BERTRAND LOREAU: Finally Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 (2017)
Updated: Aug 4, 2020
“Quite far from the visions of Spheric Music, this double album is nevertheless a splendid essay on various melodious themes rich in Berliner, classical and cinematic moods”
CD1 (73:52) Finally, A Tear of Luciana, Tchau Téo, A Son is Born, Passage, Phare De Vie, Évasion Rêvée, Pour Arnaud, La Jetée De St Michel, Amour De Persée, Renaissance, Moulin De La Falaise, Grand Blottereau, Des Illusions, Atlantic Airport, Message Perdu, Prière, Solitude Standing, En Attendant C. Poisson, Le Ciel Est Jaune (Extrait) CD2 (71:18) La Chaise Vide, Toujours Là, Une Autre Vie, Echo De Ton Âme, Pour Solenn, Alone Together, Ton Message, Spirit of
the Deep, Réminiscences, Lambert Beach, Valentin, Plougoulm, Granite Song, Correspondance Extrait 1, Train De Vie, Correspondance Extrait 2, Jeux D'enfants, Sissable, D'une Rive À L'autre, Au Revoir Spheric Music | SMCD 6305
(CD 145:10) (V.F.)
(Romantic and orchestral)
It's been a while that I know the music of Bertrand. In fact, the very first album I reviewed was Sur le Chemin, a collection of 12 rather lyrical compositions back in spring 2011. Then came albums such as Réminiscences, Morceaux Choisis and Amarres Rompues. So, why am I talking to you guys about those? Often imperceptible, Bertrand Loreau is like this butterfly which looks for its metamorphoses while dragging its old roots which have fertilized him. And its butterfly effect is like multiple musical reveries which go beyond ages and territories. This fervent defender of music from Klaus Schulze and Pink Floyd is above all a stupefying melodist. From his first steps in composition, either at the end of the 70's to today, the musician of Nantes has always privileged a melodious approach in his compositions, such as shows his very beautiful Réminiscences. The thing is, such an approach is often difficult to conjugate with the model of real Berlin School, long and tortuous with premises of improvisation. And Bertrand writes music! He never stops writing music. In a rather surprising gesture, Lambert Ringlage agreed to produce FINALLY Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, a bedside album. An intimist chamber album where harmonies sculpted in the spheroidal movements of the sequencer, the orchestral arrangements and the multiple effects of synth hang onto slow, sometimes cheerful, structures which are very far from the kind of the house. But the rhythms are not the panacea of the old Berlin movement, the synth solos are also very connected to it. And they are countless and downright attractive in this album where Bertrand Loreau's dreams infiltrate our sensibility to establish an improbable fanciful duet between two sensitive souls which a thin musical line unites through Atlantic Ocean and in the remains of time.
Finally opens our ears to this world of delight and romanticism with an artificial oboe which blows a nice melody on a slow staccato movement. A choir of young seraphic virgins accompanies this slow procession towards the discovery of the 39 other titles of FINALLY Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, a very important album for Bertrand Loreau who questions himself on his positioning in relation with music. All the tracks here lead towards melodic monuments which weave here and there some very nice earworms. The orchestrations in A Tear of Luciana are of a tenderness which stigmatizes this desire to stay prisoner of our musing. The same goes for Tchau Téo and Illusions, while A Son is Born is more joyful, even slightly more lively. In fact, as lively as a chamber music can be. Renaissance is of the same mold. The arrangements are of silk. As long as we catch ourself thinking that we listen classical music. That's what my sweet Lise thought when listening to some parts of CD1. We are entitled to a few sequences, as in the procession in Passage, a music which is very much just like its title. In the same approach, we shall find La Jetée De St Michel and its long synth solos which are as much delicious as very musical. And what to say about circular movement of the sequencer and its fragile chords of glasses in this title? Phare De Vie is a darker title with a big bed of layers a bit gloomy, while Évasion Rêvée shows a little more the Vangelis side of Bertrand with a music as complex as melodious. Although the music of Vangelis has not the same influence as that of Schulze on Bertrand, we find some common thread on FINALLY Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 which are not so much twisted. I think among others of the very moving Pour Arnaud as well as Grand Blottereau and its solos which sing as those of a morose saxophonist on a ledge on a night of full moon. Message Perdu is another title which exploits the talents of Bertrand on the synth. The ritornello of crystal-clear sequences in Prière also reminds me of Vangelis, but not the fluty melody which does very French movie music. It's about that I think moreover by listening to Amour De Persée, which is a good lively tune with its Vladimir Cosma's perfumes. The flute in Solitude Standing also reminds me of his lively, cheerful and a little bit tribal approach, while the sequencing pattern does very TD of the Johannes Schmoelling's years.
Influence that we also find on La Jetée De St Michel and the light beat in Atlantic Airport. Moulin De La Falaise is an intense piece of music which would fit so well in a dramatic movie, while En Attendant C. Poisson and Le Ciel Est Jaune (Extrait) are two tracks built on the same pattern, but which are not inevitably in the same diapason at the level of ambiences, of vibes. One puts CD 2 and one has the impression to live the Groundhog Day! The 20 titles present here also oscillate between symphonic music, although less present, romantic music, well one or maybe two tracks may sound twisted, Berlin School moods or beats and finally always very beautiful melody weaved in the paths of a tortured soul. La Chaise Vide throws influences of Tangerine Dream of the Jive years, for the ambiences, while the sequencer is knitting a nice harmony pinched like in the corridors of a fictitious harp. Toujours Là is a darker composition with a touching piano. Echo De Ton Âme, Ton Message, Granite Song are titles which would go well in Vangelis' repertoire. The fusion of emotions and orchestrations give so many shivers as with CD1. Introverted or jovial, titles like Une Autre Vie, Pour Solenn, Spirit of the Deep, the fascinating Plougoulm and the splendid Jeux D'enfants will overturn your emotions. Jeux D'enfants that I had already heard on the album Sur le Chemin is the kind of thing which gives gooseflesh to the soul. Lambert Beach and the very intense Valentin are two rather film titles. Whilst I write these lines, Bertrand Loreau prepares Finally Vol. 3 & Vol. 4, an album centered on sequences which also will be available on Spheric Music. And we have a very good idea of the orientations of this album with a title like Réminiscences, there is not much of rhythm but it's a rather Berliner title. While titles like D'une Rive À L'autre et Au Revoir don't leave much ambiguity regarding the musical orientation of the following act of this very musical, very scenic and especially very melodious FINALLY Vol. 1 & Vol. 2.
An album which flirts between romanticism, because of its very melodious and very orchestral visions, theme music and an EM where the Berlin School side is more assumed by the role of the synths than of the sequencer, this very beautiful compilation of Bertrand Loreau is the purest proof that the melody gives a nobility to music. I have adored it from start to end. And there are 40 good reasons to explain that!
Sylvain Lupari (January 17th, 2018) *****