Produced by Charles Spira, Jonathan Ehrens
Other pieces by Charles Spira
Posted on June 11, 2010 at 01:33 PM
I listened on an overcast, late-spring day, which put me into a Parisian mindset. On any day, though, I would have thoroughly enjoyed Charles' survey of French music. I had heard of many of the artists, and heard their work, but I never had context - who was contemporary with whom, who influenced whom. This piece is great for structuring my understanding of the music, presenting the artists in loose time sequence and drawing connections of influence among them. I enjoyed hearing stylistic shifts across artists and over time. I'd like a piece like this for many music traditions worldwide.
Charles' writing is simple, clear, and interesting - a great combination that made it much easier to remember what I was hearing. The production quality is high. Nothing fancy, just professionally done, and a reminder that simplicity can work well. The piece does start to feel rather long after 40 minutes or so - Charles himself acknowledges there's a lot of music to go through. It might be worth breaking it up by decade, even at risk of losing the stylistic comparisons over time.
Posted on July 07, 2010 at 10:16 AM
This piece provided a very cursory introduction to some artists of French chanson. I would have liked a little more discussion of what are the common characteristics of French chanson, (something about instrumentation, perhaps?) and I would have liked to hear at least one or two songs in full.
Posted on July 16, 2010 at 09:17 AM
I am moved by this most human music. The emphasis is expression in a beautiful way, not to be loud or shock and there is no repetition of a backbeat. French chanson takes you to a better world.