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Alan Stivell - Reflets CD (album) cover


Alan Stivell


Prog Folk

3.75 | 21 ratings

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4 stars For all intents and purposes, this was Stivell's debut, and an impressive and mature debut at that. From the opening notes of the title cut, the openness and greenery of the rich Breton countryside is mainlined for the listener. One does not need to have set foot in Brittany to visualize that which Stivell paints so vividly. Most tracks are sung in French but are no less authentic for it. Exceptions are the romantic "Marig Ar Pollanton", "Son Ar Chistr", and "Tenval an Diez" in Breton, and Cyril Tawney's gently bawdy "Sally Free and Easy". The pipes, harps and organs meld into a single siren call for a unique culture.

The lovely "Suite des Montagnes" is a duet between flutes and harp, with a good deal of organ thrown in for dramatic effect. "Broceliandre" includes percussion, cellos and female choral accompaniment that augment the already gorgeous melody. The chorus borrows from the popular music of the time in its anthemic quality. Attention to delicate arrangements permeates every track. Even jolly ditties like the Breton "Son Ar Chistr", with its call and response vocals, possess this rich quality.

When called to reflection, one can do much worse than to share the experience with Mr Stivell's first great work.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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