June 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings / June /


Various - Compilation:
Music for the films of Marcel Carné  
  TRAVELLING NAÏVE K1601   [43:39]

Carne

I confess to being totally perplexed by this release. In attractive and sturdy gatefolding card packaging, this looks like some extensive love and thought has gone into its production. French Writer / Director Carné certainly warrants a CD recognising the music in his work, varied as it was. The problem is that on this 4 scores in 1 disc, you canít hear it!

There are credits within the booklet for Restoration, Remastering, Sound Mixing and Editing. But what did they do? These sound to me like nothing more than recordings directly off the film. Dialogue and general film sound swims in and out, and the quality points at nothing more than Mono from some surviving film or VHS copies of the films. Those being: Hôtel du Nord, Le Quai des Brumes (both by Maurice Jaubert), Les Enfants du Paradis and Les Portes de la Nuit (both by Joseph Kosma).

Amongst the French chatter and background accordion is some very fine underscore, most attractively the grand march opening the 25 minutes of Les Enfants du Paradis. This is by far the most interesting and lengthy of cues however. Everything else runs to an average of 5 minutes.

So all in all, this ranks as amongst the most infuriating of albums Iíve ever heard. Except, I donít feel like I heard much at all!

Paul Tonks

**

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