Archive for the ‘andreas vollenweider’ Category

request: ich kann nicht mehr die augen schliessen

August 7, 2008

here i posted the record with texts by francois villon and music by vollenweider, bardet, and valentini in the series of poesie und musik. for the background information on the artists you might refer to this earlier post.

and now it is time for more music by vollenweider, bardet, and valentini, but with texts by the german author from the 19th century heinrich heine. musically i do find this record more mature and relaxed then the villon record. musically, there are this time no references to the time of when the texts were written. and somehow this works better. therefore the record is “rounder”, less single songs and also the musicians must have felt that way: on the back of the cover there are only the playing times for each side given. so musically it is a pretty cool record. and then there are the words. and well, it has been a time that i’ve read heinrich heine. so it was a again a kind of eye opener, a strong reminder of how good heinrich heine the author is: really wicked stuff! really great – the selection done by the musicians is a very interesting one: cheeky stuff about the ladies, political commentary, and general musings with a lot of wit. and it all feels very fresh – in a way it is at the same time great to see how timeless his writings are and on the other hand also frightening how little seems to have changed…

so – i somehow hope that this record might incite some of you to get into heinrich heine – for more information search the net – there is quite a lot available. if you want to go straight to his texts, you’ll find them on the net, too. the complete heinrich heine in german you’ll find here. and thanks to the internet archive, once more, there are many english translations available online, too.

oh – but you might want to start with the record vollenweider, bardet, and valentini: poesie und musik, heinrich heine. ripped from vinyl as two mp3-files (side a/side b), including the scans of the front- and back-cover and the inlay with some more detailed information you can get here. enjoy!

bonus: francois villon

July 4, 2008

i knew it existed – it just took me a while to come acrosss it. between 1974 and 1983 there existed a project called poesie und musik, publishing records that combined – right: poetry and music. based on texts by heinrich heine, pablo neruda, the (west-)indian chief seattle (and another record with northamerican-indian texts). and one with texts by francois villon. more precise: with the texts of paul zech, based on the poetry of francois villon. (for an explanation you might want to visit my earlier villon post).

this project was headed by the swiss musician rené bardet – for the first three records (the two heine records and the villon record) he worked together with orlando valentini and a certain andreas vollenweider. not much i know about orlando valentini – he seems to have played with various musicians over the time. he passed away a couple of years ago – as did rené bardet, who quit being a musician in the 80s and started to work in the media industry. but as all you (new agers) know, andreas vollenweider rose to international fame during the 1980s and is known now for his solowork as well as for his many collaborations. i have to admit that i always found it amazing the every household in california seemed to have at least one of his cd’s (and one of kitaro, of course)…

but back to 1976, when the three of them published the francois villon record.

i have to admit i was first a little bit disappointed – it starts with an instrumental in the medieval-folks-y style – and it continues to have that kind of style – sometimes more jazzy – for the first couple of songs. well, of course my expectations have been high, since i was on the lookout for this record for a while. but this kind of updated medieval sounding style is just not my cup of tea… first it seems to me like the poetry and the music are rather parallel then together – not unlike the the villon record by richard lauffen i posted earlier (and that is still up). but somehow the poetry of villon seems even further away by trying to put it in a musical context that refers to a time very long gone. somehow it is like seeing shakespeare in an “authentic” performance and then seeing the movie romeo and juliet from 1996 (yep, the one with leonardo di caprio), where the original text (and consequently the play) suddenly makes sense again by moving the visual to the now. or to try to explain it differently: the first couple of songs / ballads seem to be made too obviously like “one sould make it” but seem like not…hm…to have been appropriated enough. but in a way it is interesting to note that the music refers to a time before the texts by paul zech were created… but then comes the last song on the first side – and suddenly it works. it is kind of a romantic, (pop-)ballad flavoured with a spanish guitar. and although rené bardet still declames the text, it is suddenly really poetry and music, together. and the same is true for the second side: it starts with a more blues-y number – which fits the words perfectly and continues to the most amazing track, sommerballade von der armen louise, which is…heartrending.

so – starting at the end of the first side and for the full second side the music and the words re-inforce each other – it’s not just the music giving a nice background… but as usual i think you should listen to it for yourself. poesie und musik: francois villon, ripped from vinyl, including the coverscans (on the back-cover you see the three of them young and cute) you can get here. wikipedia informs me that there is a re-issue of this record planned, but i could not find any other source confirming this information, and andreas vollenweider does not even list this record in his discography on his website. and now make yourself a stiff drink and enjoy mister villons prose!