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Track List: 1. Auto-portrait en trois coueleurs 3:24 2. Droles d'oiseaux 17:36 3. Pieces pour quatuor a cordes 12:18 4. Pelines d'amour perdues 1:43 All tracks: by Ribac, except 1: by C. Mingus, arranged by Ribac. Line-up: Francois Ribac - fretless bass Celia Reggiani - piano Vincent Decorde - drums Therese Goasguen - vibraphones Frederic Saumagne - saxophones Sylvette Claudet - clarinets (+ vocalize - on 4) Veronique Verdie - trombone Sylvane Candille - flute Thierry Tisserand - first violin Isabelle Claudet - second violin Marie-Pascale Jallot - alt violin Ursula Richter - violoncello Marie Faure - synthesizers Lucia Ferrandon - vocalize Produced by Ribac & C. Frossard. Engineered by C. Frossard at Mesa St., France.
Preamble. Francois Ribac's debut album "Musiques pour la Scene", released on LP in 1988, initiated the activity of Musea-Parallele, which is the oldest division of Musea Records.
The Album. "Musiques pour la Scene" is the only all-instrumental album by Francois Ribac and the conception of it is really unique. The first composition on the album - the interpretation of Charles Mingus's Three-Colored Self-portrait - was performed by F. Ribac (fretless bass), C. Reggiani (piano), and V. Decorde (drums), and is certainly about Jazzy Classical Music. Although there are no repetitions on Auto-portrait en trois coueleurs, as well as everywhere on this album, it consists of the two parts. The first of them represents somewhat of a musical duel that everyone of a trio is involved in. (Do you think that such a duel is impossible? Then listen to "Three of a Perfect Pair".) Here, a musical battle between passages of piano and solos of bass, all of which are highly virtuosi and, mostly, fast, occurs to the cross-fire of machine gun-fire-like and powerful solos of drums. Well, in short, a bass guitar won a victory in that battle. So in the second part of the piece, it plays the first violin to the accompaniment of 'modest' chords of piano and a silent drumming. Droles d'oiseaux (2) was performed by the quintet consisting of the four wind-instrumentalists, three of which are the brass players, and a vibraphonist, and Pieces pour quatuor a cordes (3) by a complete violin ensemble (i.e. quartet) conducted by Philippe Hui. (See line-up above.) The music on both of these epics represents a pure Classical Music and has a wonderful academic feel to it. Emotionally, Droles d'oiseaux is of a romantic rather than dramatic character overall, while the latter epic is above all notable for a dramatic atmosphere with the shades of dark. Though some of the violin pizzicatos are here clearly of a tense character. Finally, Pelines d'amour perdues (4) features both of the 'fourth' and 'first' line-ups of the album, and also Sylvette Claudet from the quartet that I've already told about, though here, I hear not only Sylvette's clarinet, but also her voice. Consisting of the parts of rhythm section, passages of piano and synthesizer, the clavier-like solos, and female vocalizes, the album's closing instrumental represents Classical Music with elements of Avant-garde.
Summary. It's clear (at least for me) that only a few of the albums released in the 1980s are as unique as "Musiques pour la Scene", which, in addition, is both highly complex and interesting. As for Francois Ribac's entire creation, while all of his albums are absolute masterpieces, without exceptions, the hero of this review, and also both of his latest operas: "Le Regard de Lyncee" and "Que Est Fou?" are rarest gems of progressive music in general. To read the reviews of all of the other albums by Francois, click > here, > here, > here, and > here.
VM: March 12, 2003
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