Popol Vuh

Coeur de Verre

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One of several soundtracks Florian Fricke composed for the films of Werner Herzog, Coeur de Verre (Heart from Glass, 1976) is one of the true masterpieces from Popol Vuh. Utilizing East Indian classical music as its starting point, Fricke and Daniel Fichelscher (guitars and percussion), with help from Alois Gromer on sitar and flutist Mattias Tippelskirch, have recorded one of the most blissed-out works in the band's history. Fricke's concentration on nearly painfully slowly developing themes (yes, even slower than usual) is tempered by the sheer reliance on transcendent euphoria in the processional tempos. The purposeful control of dynamics is necessary because of the deep emotional and spiritual connotations in the music. Composed to the images on the screen, the original version of "Sing, for Song Drives Away the Wolves" and the redone "Geimenschaft" appear here and close the album. Indeed they are its highlights, but that is only after a buildup that demands release after 45 minutes. Many would argue for one of the choral vocal works like Hosianna Mantra or Sei Still, Wisse ICH BIN as the band's flat-out masterpiece, but in its purely instrumental incarnation this one is unquestionably Popol Vuh's watermark. There is so much beauty here, it tenderly breaks the heart over and over again, seemingly effortlessly.

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