Composer Georges Delerue was responsible for some of cinemas most romantic and infectious themes, he was one of those composers who had the ability to enhance, support and ingratiate each and every project he worked upon. Since his untimely death his music seems to have become more and more popular if that is at all possible, as the composer always had a faithful army of followers throughout his illustrious and incredibly creative career. The composer was at ease working within any genre of film and fashioned delicate, melodic and dramatic compositions that fitted each and every situation like the proverbial glove. Many collectors outside of France were introduced to Delerue’s music fairly late on into the composers career, when he worked upon American movies such as DAY OF THE DOLPHIN, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, CRIMES OF THE HEART and BEACHES. But the composers output was far greater for productions that were filmed by European filmmakers and sadly these were sometimes overlooked. This compact disc is the first release from THE MUSIC BOX RECORDS COMPANY, and is limited to just 1000 pressings. The music on the disc is taken from two movies. The first is from 1975. L’INCORRIGIBLE, directed by Philippe De Broca and starring the effervescent and charismatic talent of Jean Paul Belmondo. De Broca and Delerue began their creative collaboration in 1960 and this fruitful partnership lasted through to the late 1980,s. The composer working on many of the Directors most prestigious and well known examples. L’INCORRIGIBLE is a comedy which has as its central character Victor Gauthier a gentle mannered villain and fairly polite teller of untruths. The second score included on the disc is from the 1976 movie VA VOIR MAMAN PAPA TRAVAILLE, a little known movie which was directed by Francois Leterrier who himself had very little success as a director of commercial projects.
L’INCORRIGIBLE is typical Delerue, it begins with a short lived but strident sounding piece in the form of the movies main theme, which for me at least sums up perfectly the atmosphere of the films storyline and also the characteristics and personality of the films central figure. Strings, brass and percussion combine to create a rousing fairly brisk sounding piece that is melodic and slightly mischievous, full of light-heartedness and zest. Track number two is just the opposite TENDRE MARIE-CHARLOTTE, is a tender blissfully melodic and haunting tone poem performed in the central part by piano which is supported by underlying strings that enhance and tenderly underline and caress the central theme, then the composer adds woodwind to the equation further enhancing and delicately carrying the theme forward to the cues conclusion. This type of orchestration can only be Delerue, he was and still remains the master at this creative and pleasing method of bringing emotion and poignancy to the proceedings. Track number three VICTOR TRAITE UNE AFFAIRE, contains the same central theme as track two, but on this occasion the composer arranges it differently and replaces the piano with an accordion creating a typically French ambience to events. L’INCORRIGIBLE is a score that contains a number of styles within its running time, we are treated to Delerue in richly romantic mood, neo classical flourishes can be heard throughout and there is also an underlying comedic air to the score with roguish interludes, plus a handful of cues that conjure up perfectly an atmosphere that is mysterious and tense at times. One of the highlights of the score is track number 16, THEME D’AMOUR which is performed on piano by the composer, this is a delightfully emotive piece made even more so by the very fact that it is Delerue playing it.
VA VOIR MAMAN, PAPA TRAVAILLE begins at track number 17, this too has the typical sound of Delerue about it, as soon as the track commences one instantly knows what composer is responsible for the music. Lightly struck vibes embellished by a music box effect and harp are further enhanced by underlying strings in the GENERIQUE DEBUT, a pleasing opening to a score that contains compositions that can easily be identified as Delerue through and through, but also a score that contains some up beat examples which have an almost pop persuasion to them as in track number 18, SERGE E MARIANNE, track 21, SURPRISE PARTIE and track 28, FUTURISSIMO, in which Delerue utilises electronic instrumentation effectively but also subtly creating a cue that’s style one would ordinarily associate with composers such as Magne, De Roubaix, Lai or Gainsbourg.
There is also the rather jaunty AU PARC DE THOIRY which is performed on piano in nickelodeon mode backed with percussion, this segues into a tango tempo taken on by percussion and piano that act as support to accordion. But for much of the score we are treated to some archetypal Delerue, demonstrated in emotive and haunting interludes that are touchingly beautiful and mesmerising and the odd near classical sounding piece performed by either piano, harpsichord or strings. All in all this is a delightful compact disc that contains two very different but also in some ways similar examples of the work of Georges Delerue. Music Box Records are to be congratulated on selecting this duo of fine scores and saving them from obscurity. Packaged well with edifying sleeve notes filmographies and other information, the disc has very good production values with nice sound and colour stills.