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Simon, Alan: Chouans

Who hasn’t learned about the French Revolution at one time or another? It was a period of major unrest in France’s history but was arguably necessary in order to invoke change. That’s what the people demanded and after a ten year period of revolt and bloodshed that’s exactly what happened. Enter French musician/composer Alan Simon, leader of his Excalibur project and his new opus Chouans, a rock opera based on the French Revolution. Simon has assembled a huge cast of musicians and vocalists to help reinterpret this moment in history, to bring it to life musically. The vocals are in French so I can’t get into the nuts and bolts of the concept but the music really speaks for itself.

The music is spread over two discs and twenty-three tracks. As with all concept pieces this should be listened to as a whole, not in bits and pieces. Instead of discussing individual tracks it is preferable, in my view, to mention the overall feel of the album. Simon, as with his Excalibur project touches on a variety of styles. While the sound is mainly under the symphonic rock umbrella there are touches of folk, classical, ethnic, pop and jazz, really there isn’t much the artist considers out of bounds. Moments of bombast are frequent, symphonic swells of strings and keyboards are numerous and the use of choirs is like the icing on the cake. The guitar work is excellent throughout with many soaring leads effectively adding to the drama. So overall this production is very professionally done, from the artwork to the overall arching concept and Simon should be very proud for what he has created here.

I think fans of rock operas and symphonic music in general will find a lot to like as long as the French lyrics doesn’t impede your enjoyment. Check out the link below to learn more.

Track Listing:
CD 1
1. Ouverture (3:48)
2. L’incorruptible (3:41)
3. Ca Ira (3:25)
4. Au Nom de Tous Les Miens (3:30)
5. Le Chant Des Paysans (2:43)
6. La Folie (3:37)
7. Ma France, Mon Espérance (4:46)
8. La Complainte de L’abbé (3:33)
9. Dieu & Le Roy (3:06)
10. L’appel de Cadoudal (3:28)
11. Le Saint de L’anjou (3:50)

CD 2
1. L’amazone (3:27)
2. Le Pardon de Bonchamps (3:07)
3. La Virée de Galerne (4:12)
4. L’infernale Danse (3:29)
5. Monsieur Henri (4:36)
6. Coeur de Chouans (3:24)
7. God Save the King (2:57)
8. Réfractaire (4:39)
9. Un Nouveau Monde (3:25)
10. Mourir Pour Des Idées (3:38)
11. Mon Petit Frère (3:58)
12. Le Vent de la Mémoire (3:31)

Added: October 16th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist @ Facebook
Hits: 541
Language: english

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