Various Artists

Jean-Luc Godard Histoire(s) de Musique

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This stellar volume from Universal France is a wildly diverse sampling of the many scores that have accompanied French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard's films since 1959. Indeed composers as diverse as Michel Legrand, Georges Delerue, Antoine Duhamel, Gabriel Yared, Paul Misraki, and even jazz pianist and composer Martial Solal have all taken turns writing scores for Godard. This set begins with 1959's A Bout de Souffle and runs through 1980's Suave Qui Peut (La Vie) with stops along the way at Alphaville, Pierrot Le Fou, Week-End, La Chinoise, Le Mépris, Une Femme Est une Femme, La Plus Belle Escroqueries du Monde, La Plus Vieux Métier du Monde, and Vivre sa Vie. The word "stops" in the previous sentence is quite deliberate as these cues are simple glimpses of the sources rather than in any way representative as a whole. That said, the editing is spectacular, even though these 22 tracks are arranged in chronological order. The music runs form steamy noir jazz to fractured rock, to vanguard classical music to open-ended sonic expressionism. For anyone who has been curious about the scores for Godard's music (the complete scores are available individually) or are looking to have that something "different" on their shelves, this is for you.

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