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Popol Vuh - Herz Aus Glas CD (album) cover


Popol Vuh


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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars With the previous album Aguirre , Popol Vuh started a new phase in their musical adventures. From that album on , most of their input will be soundtracks of movies , most of them for Werner Herzog films. If the music was not easy to grasp in Aguirre without seing the film , one does not have the same feeling about this second soundtrack. Cour De Verre is the name of the movie and I have also never seen it, but the music seems to stand up on its own without the pictures better than its predecessor. With the ambiances developped on this album, I was frequently brought to think of Mike Oldfield circa Incantations era. But I must say the interest of popol Vuh's music was quickly fading by this time and the fan base was changing also.

In the next years , Popol Vuh will release an impressive amount of Movie's Original Soundtrack album - Cobra Verde , Fitzcaraldo etc... and neglecting their own proper studio output that allowed them to make classic albums like Seligpreisung and Salomos. A bit of a shame.

Report this review (#31947)
Posted Thursday, March 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars An essential work and a true classic of Popol Vuh's otherwise stagnant late 70s period. Though nominally a soundtrack, Herz aus Glas stands on its own apart from Herzog's haunting film. Like the later Nosferatu soundtrack, Herz aus Glas is ometimes ethereal, sometimes heavy, sometimes soaring, but always challlenging. In short, Herz aus Glas is splendid Sunday morning music for pagans.
Report this review (#31948)
Posted Friday, May 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the last great Popol vuh albums, released in 1976, is the soundtrack from the Werner Herzog movie.

The pieces ranging from meditative to energetic, from mid 70's Popol vuh style to pure eastern music (thanks to sitar). Spiritual inspiration is still important and illustrates very well the Herzog movie contemplative moments, such as countrysides views or beautiful skies.

The first piece especially is stunning, with its fantastic guitars, but don't expect to hear that on CD, especially from the Spalax and SPV records CD reissues which are awful, compared to the original vynil. Not only sound is atrocely muffled on the CD version, but instruments are missing as if it was a different mix! Especially the sublime dialogues between the two guitars on the vynil version are inaudible on the CD cause one guitar has been forgot in the mix!! There must a be a dark (sad) story with a mastertape, cause it's the same on both Spalax and SPV CD versions.

A very good Popol vuh album, but to get on vynil to fully enjoy it.

Report this review (#74556)
Posted Monday, April 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I would like to rectify things; Popol Vuh albums have never been released initially as soundtracks. The music used by Werner Herzog as scores for movies are first of all Popol Vuh original and personal efforts (must be considered as studio albums). As it was said by Hugues, we don't have to see Herz of Glas to understand and appreciate the music. However the special scenes dedicated to Popol Vuh's music (as the elegiac and dreamy-like opening theme when the hero is contemplating the landscape) are constantly evocative and reach the human soul in its most reflective moments. However as a score for Werner Herzog, "Aguirre" is a way higher. Musically "Herz aus Glas" sounds very calm, fresh and pastoral with dense floating guitar parts and sometimes raga-like eastern strings (as in the deep spiritual "Das Lied von den hohen Bergen"). It's a fine intersection between shimmering (mantric) folk rock melodies and absolute natural, organic ambiences. Very similar in style and aesthetic to albums as "Seligpresung", "Einsjäger & Siebenjäger" and a few others Popol Vuh's classics. The result is quite accessible and pleasant but not as transcendent as the droning, textural and dark mystical synth experimentations of "Affestunde"or "In Den Garden Pharaos"...anyway it's a matter of tastes.
Report this review (#100695)
Posted Monday, November 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is one of several soundtracks POPOL VUH did for Werner Herzog the famous German movie producer. As philippe mentions in his review, POPOL VUH didn't make music for movies.This was music Florain had already recorded and kept at home in a box. Florian was long time friends with Werner, having actually acted in the latters first feature film in 1967. As Florian relates "Sometimes he (Werner) came to my house and he asked me "Please open your box" the one in which I kept my tapes from my productions. When we are listening to music, sometimes he lifts his finger and says "This part of your music would be great music for a film." And so that's in part how the process would begin for POPOL VUH's music being used in a Herzog movie. My attitude in listening to POPOL VUH is completely different to when I listen to other recordings. The reason for this is because I know Florian makes music for the heart. And I know he's genuine when he talks about his music as being a way for love to felt and experienced. I can testify to that truth personally.

"Engel Der Gegenwart" begins with sitar sounds coming and going without much else going on. It's 3 minutes in before we get a melody, and it gets even better after 5 minutes when the guitar and drums become more prominant.This song seems to go from sad to happy. "Blatter Aus Dem Buch Der Kuhnheit" opens with sitar once again as the lead instrument as guitar is strummed. This is quite enjoyable.

"Das Lied Vo Den Hohen Bergin" is very Indian sounding with the dominant sitar and percussion throughout. "Huter Der Schwelle" is one of my favourites.This is much fuller sounding and check out the guitar 3 minutes in. "Der Ruf" is another amazing song. There's something uplifting about this one. It's like light is shining out from the music, or is it love ? Very warm and emotional. "Singet, Denn Der Gesang Vertreibt Die Wolfe" features drums, guitar and sitar that stand out, but they all work together as one in this beautiful track. "Gemeinschaft" is another moving song with some warm flute early. The last four songs are very especially heavenly.

A solid 4 star album. This is meaningful music without words. They aren't necessary.

Report this review (#178016)
Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Popol Vuh's soundtrack album for Heart of Glass, like his previous Werner Herzog collaboration (Aguirre), collects a small number of tracks used in the film in question and pads out the running time with other tracks recorded from around the same time. Once again, the shimmering, ethereal guitar of Daniel Fichelscher produces gorgeous walls of sound that the listener can lose themselves in, and Florian Fricke's genius for producing delicate, flowing, spacey tracks is proved. The lack of vocals is a bit of a shame, but the instrumental material here is more than good enough to make up for the lack of Djong Yun on the better tracks. At the same time, the album as a whole is a bit hit and miss, with less cohesion than previous Popol Vuh releases and at points it feels like Fricke and company are simply going through the motions.
Report this review (#552758)
Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | Review Permalink

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