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30 YEARS OF FILM MUSIC - ODEON

HE LEFT HIS MARK ON A WHOLE GENERATION OF COMPOSERS.
HIS UNIQUE, UNFORGETTABLE WORKS HAVE TRAVELLED 
TO THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD…

 

In 1998,

 

EMI Music France, began the production, under the Odeon  label, of a retrospective of George Delerue’s scores for French films, an ambitious project.

Besides the prohibitive cost involved in freshly recording all the scores, the composer himself was no longer there to conduct and supervise a re-recording. EMI turned to available recordings, many dispersed in the cellars or attics of editors and in the collections that Delerue had left behind.

 

To carry out such a project was no small task. Fortunately the man to do it was there in the person of Stephane Lerouge, a voracious cinema fan with a passion for film scores, an encyclopedic memory, rich experience, and real tenacity. The success of this double CD album, both in musical conception and in its informative booklet, owes much to this man behind the scenes.

In his unrelenting search for choice original recordings of the sound tracks, he came upon missing items, pieces long misplaced and neglected, and unfortunately sometimes

important original items so badly deteriorated that they were unusable. These two CDs offer a variety of disparate pieces. There are original sound tracks more or less well preserved, from 33 or 45 old vinyls which sound scratchy and antique to us today and which are sought after mostly by collectors. Still, the progression of sounds and techniques to be heard here provides a rich reflection of musical recording through the years.

With the unforgettable chords of Le Mépris (Contempt, 1963) , the triumphant lyrical flights of trumpets from Cartouche (1962), the intimate Chere Louise (1972),  the troubling Malpertuis (1972),  the cinematic hymn in the chorale of Day for night (La Nuit Américaine,1973), the dramatic tones of Dien Bien Phu (1991), the composer in these CDs brings us on a grand, celebratory voyage.

 

 

And it is a unique voyage on which we also discover, in a pleasant detour through television, the complete theme for the credits of The Rois Maudits (1973) and, from radio, the jazzed up Bachean music of Radioscopie, a daily and very popular French radio show produced by Jacques Chancel.

The variety in these EMI recordings, counterparts to the London Sessions recordings of the American scores, reflects the musical richness that grew from Delerue’s own joy in the rich variety of life itself.

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