ALAN SIMON

(FRANCE)

CHOUANS

(2019)
LABEL:

CHERRY RED RECORDS

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Celtic, Easy-Listening, Symphonic, Theatrical
"Thank you Mr Simon, with a big M and a big S"
TONYB (23.07.2019)  
5/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
Should Alan Simon, author of many frescoes including the famous "Excalibur" tri/tetralogy (which will soon become pentalogy!), be presented? A composer, conductor, director and performer, the native Nantes native regularly comes back to us with new stories, set to music with the help of many talented performers and musicians.
But, in this year 2019, Alan Simon is tackling history with a great H, the one who built today's France through episodes that are not always very glorious. And the least we can say is that the painful page of chouannerie, positioned in the early days of the Revolution and the Republic, is particularly dirty, to say the least.

To put all this into music, and also into the stage, Alan Simon has drawn less than usual from his address book of instrumentalists, to whom he has added a bagad but also a full symphony orchestra. Not surprisingly, the various titles offer us, as usual, neat and accessible melodies, to which are added both abundant and luxuriant orchestrations and a few luminous solo piano notes, when it is not powerful electric riffs that highlight the climate of terror evoked by the various performers. The whole is sprinkled with Celtic instrumentation, with harp and bagad at the top of the bill.

But beyond these hyper-worked musics, it is on the side of History that many times the heart is tightened when receiving the unadulterated words that strike the listener. Mostly male, the key characters of the story are personified by interpreters with an obvious charisma, which gives even more strength to these dark verses. At the head of the gondola, the Descamps family (the father, the son... and not, not the Holy Spirit but Brother Francis!) whose different appearances are as many musical uppercuts, with a special mention to Tristan whose talents as an interpreter are more and more amazing.
But we will also highlight the quality of the female voices, some of which go up in the high notes and stick real shivers along the spine.
In these atmospheres, however, Alan Simon manages to generate real musical emotions, with his talent as a melodist and orchestration as incredible as ever, each note seemingly weighed by the yardstick of his fellow musicians. And where many rock operas only take their dimension on stage, this restitution of the show in its purely musical form is a real success and can be listened to like any studio album.
The final word will go to the immense Jean-Claude Dreyfus, whose declamation from Victor Hugo's "La Légende des Siècles" is a powerful addition to this painful page.
As for me, I would have only one message to pass on: thank you Mr Simon, with a big M and a big S.
SIMILAR BANDS:
PAT O'MAY, ALAN PARSONS

TRACK LISTING:
01. Ouverture
02. L’Incorruptible
03. Ça Ira
04. Au Nom De Tous Les Miens
05. Le Chant Des Paysans
06. La Folie
07. Ma France, Mon Espérance
08. La Complainte De L’Abbé
09. Dieu & Le Roy
10. L’Appel De Cadoudal
11. Le Saint De L’Anjou
12. L’Amazone
13. Le Pardon De Bonchamps
14. La Virée De Galerne
15. L’Infernale Danse
16. Monsieur Henri
17. Coeur De Chouans
18. God Save The King
19. Réfractaire
20. Un Nouveau Monde
21. Mourir Pour Des Idées
22. Mon Petit Frère
23. Le Vent De La Mémoire

LINEUP:
Alan Simon: Chant / Guitares
Antonello Pudva: Guitares
Basile Leroux: Guitares
Christian Decamps: Chant
Dana: Chant
Guido Carli: Batterie
Institut Musical De Vendée: Choeurs
Jean Claude Drouot: Narration
Marco Canepa: Claviers / Piano
Marco Fadda: Percussions
Massimo Palermo: Basse
Matteo Dorigo: Vielle À Roue
Olivier Gann: Chant
Paolo Ballardini: Guitares
Tristan Decamps: Chant / Claviers
   
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