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TERPANDRE

Symphonic Prog • France


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Terpandre biography
TERPANDRE is a French group whose music is classical influenced melodic progressive. The line-up of the band was: Bernard Monerri (guitar, percussions), Jacques Pina (keyboards), Michel Tardieu (keyboards), Patrick Tilleman (violin), Paul Fargier (bass) and Michel Torelli (drums, percussion). Bernard Monerri and Jacques Pina were the ones who founded the group. Their music is underlined by the heavy use of violin and mellotron in some of the tracks.

The self-titled album, released in 1981, is the only one album by the band. This album was actually recorded already in 1978. Due to the bad timing of the album it was originally self-released three years after it was recorded and only later re-released by Musea in 1988. It is a very good album and considered a minor classic of the French scene.

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Musea 1981
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3.53 | 33 ratings
Terpandre
1981

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TERPANDRE Reviews


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 Terpandre by TERPANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.53 | 33 ratings

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Terpandre
Terpandre Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars The self titled debut and sole release by French progressive band Terpandre is a grand and romantic symphonic instrumental prog album, in the fine tradition of Camel and Rousseau. It also has slight fusion and jazz elements, with heavy use of the violin to give them their own sound. The album is hugely dominated by the Mellotron, which will no doubt impress many classic prog fans! With a refined and sophisticated sound, it's an intricate and delicate album with plenty of movement and colour.

The lead track `Le Temps' has a very upbeat rhythm, with grand violin, furious drumming, fluid bass, subtle Mellotron washes and urgent Camel-like guitar riffs, similar to their first few albums. It's quite a sprightly track with lots of energy - laid back and emotional one minute, frantic the next. Terrific way to start the album. `Conte en vert' has a reflective and thoughtful sedate quality, very uplifting in places, with an oddly comforting ghostly Mellotron melody. With some restrained electric guitar, subtle piano, murmuring bass and commanding drumming, it evokes a similar mood to the much loved Camel `Snow Goose' album, with the Mellotron replacing the flute very effectively. `Anna Michaele' is essentially a wondrous two Mellotrons and piano symphony with a dancing Moog throughout! `Histoire...' has an playful E.L.P inspired Moog intro, before the band cheerfully rip through some quirky time changes with snappy playing. The middle section in rather moody in contrast, quite menacing with manic violin that alternates between somber and sinister! The 13 minute `Carrousel' has many fusion elements, lots of tempo changes, and is filled with dirty violin, snarling electric guitar and jazzy electric piano. Although the classical middle section is perhaps a little too whimsical and pretty, it then diverts into a much darker section about 8 minutes that very briefly even reminds of Magma! The swirling mini-moog and busy pounding drum workout ensures the album ends on a very dramatic and epic finale.

The album has been given a superb reissue from Musea with a few rough-around-the-edges live tracks as a bonus. The performance of album track `Conte en vert' is a little wonky and flat, however live-exclusive `Musique...' is a great addition - an evocative and emotional piece highlighted by glistening electric piano and spectral Mellotron that breaks through the murky quality. The reissue also has a a very detailed booklet that is truly exhausting to read. Try reading it all, and tell me I'm wrong!

Taking into account when the album was made (recorded in 1978, released in '81), it's reassuring to find it's full of proper progressive rock, as opposed to being overly commercial or AOR. Although the album is frequently laidback and easy to listen to, it's never too basic or simplistic. Rather it's accessible, catchy and undemanding. With music frequently as warm, bright and full of energy as the front cover, `Terpandre' is a classy album full of rich and dreamy prog, and it's one that I return to constantly.

A bit of a lost gem! Highly recommended.

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 Terpandre by TERPANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.53 | 33 ratings

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Terpandre
Terpandre Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 really

Terpandre is a french symphonic prog act with one album released in 1981 selftitled. The band manage to release the album only in early '80's, but the most of the pieces dates already from 77-78, but due to the progressive scene in those years, the band had some difficulties and only 3 years later was on the market. The music is from mellow side of prog not far from later Rousseau albums, just check out the second track Conte en vert , just in the most traditional Rousseau atmosphere, and some passages when band is more up beat with for ex Genesis or from darker side with King Crimson. Also some jazzy passages interfear in some pieces and gives a certain atmosphere to the album, the violin of Patrick Tilleman reminds me of Jean Luc Ponty for ex. So the album is good, but somehow lost in the conglomeration of the new other genres from early '80's. The prog listneres must give some spins to this, unnderrated band from french scene. Even is not a spectacular album has some great moments like , the opening track Le temps, up tempo track full of intelligent arrangements and great druming, I think the best pieces from here. The album was re released by Musea records some years ago on CD format and besides two bonus tracks in live version recorded in 1977, one of them Conte en vert is in studio format on this album already , bring nothing new, mellow side of the band presented and with nothing special atmosphere, almost useless addings. The CD contain a very detailed bio of the band with pictures. A fairly good album, lost in time and in prog history but some spins worth from time to time.3 -3.5 stars.

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 Terpandre by TERPANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.53 | 33 ratings

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Terpandre
Terpandre Symphonic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

A quintet from Lyon that recorded their sole album in 78 and released it in 81 (this alone should tell you why you've never heard of this obscure band), the eponymous album is one of those typical ultra- symphonic product of its time. The group (a double keyboard attack quintet, all five of them in their late 20's) was lead by guitarist Monerri (designer of the bucolic sleeve artwork) and main songwriter and keyboardist Jacques Pina and preferred instrumental music, with hired hand violinist Tilleman playing on the opening and closing track of the album.

Opening on one of the most up-tempoed Le Temps track of the album, it is probably the jazziest of the 5 original pieces, with guest Tilleman's violin (strongly influenced by JL Ponty's playing) pulling a great closing solo. Conte En Vert is a rather soft and cosy ultra symphonic track, filled with a mellotron and some Hackettian guitars, but it might just be a bit too sweet for our own good, the ultra-symphonic side nearing the cheesy. As often with late 70's works, there are some derivative influences such as Yes, Genesis and a bit of Crimson, but it's fairly well-digested and therefore neither obtrusive, nor obstructive. Another mellotron-laden (two of them at the same time) track Anne-Michaëlle is maybe a tad too much of a tron-indigestion (this is not Flamen Dialis) and is the only track penned by the other keyboardist Tardieu, but the best track of the album is yet to come. Indeed Histoire D'un Pêcheur (story of a fisherman) is an absolute stunning track, although starting from some suspicious-sounding synth, but soon we're into an unreal piano, percussions and mellotron passage that bring chills down your spine. Carrousel is the closing epic track, clocking over 13 minutes, and it is the group's other tour de force, making the flipside much more interesting than the A-side. The track oscillates between up- tempo and very reflective piano moments, but it is the lengthy and repetitive crescendo finale (a bit like in Crimson's Starless but fairly different) that ultimately remains in mind.

The Musea reissue comes with the usual Musea great care in the overly-informative booklet, a few pictures and some almost-obligatory bonus tracks. Here the two "live bonuses" are of average sound quality and one of them is a non-album piece, Clair-Obscur being a clear reference to a classical master of the late romantic period. Terpandre's sole album (a typical late 70's production) is one that had bleeped on my radar a while ago, but then had slipped out of my sight, and I must thank Lady Jane for a great Valentine.

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 Terpandre by TERPANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.53 | 33 ratings

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Terpandre
Terpandre Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars Technically intricate and sometimes beautiful, Terpandre's sole album may be a bit too classically oriented for some. It works best when the clinical aspects are given a more emotional infusion, as in "Conte en Vert" and "Musique Pour Clair Obscur", and worst when the sophistication is neutered by somewhat whiny synthesizer sounds, as in the opener "Le Temps", which also features some brass. When they try to rock, they sound a bit like mid period King Crimson, but not nearly as good. The band attempts to achieve a balance within tracks that renders them somewhat schizophrenic, alternating between fuzzy guitars and insistent violins and nearly moribund keyboards and cymbals. Hence you need to be confident enough as a fan to integrate these worlds. While I see the benefits and can enjoy this from time to time, I can't say I ever get the urge.

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 Terpandre by TERPANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.53 | 33 ratings

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Terpandre
Terpandre Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a beautiful symphonic instrumental record with a touch of Jazz. This was the only release by this French band who took their name from character in Greek mythology who was a poet and musician.

"Le Temps" opens with some brief percussion before we get some uptempo drums, keys and clavinet creating a jazzy sound. Violin and more percussion come into play.The soundscape changes 3 minutes in to an eerie interlude before we get back to the uptempo melody. "Conte En Vert" features some beautiful mellotron with piano and drums. Great tune. Speaking of great, check out "Anne-Michaele" a piano and mellotron feast ! This is just a warm and amazing song. "Histoire d'un Pecheur" consists of keys, violin and drums until we get some ominous sounding violin as the song gets dark with drums and piano.Things change again to an uptempo melody.

"Carrousel" is the longest song at over 13 minutes.There are plenty of mood and tempo shifts.The guitar melodies in the first passage are great with piano and drums along for the ride.The sound pretty much stops as the piano tinkles away with outbreaks of drums as the sound intensifies. Things change again as we are treated to good piano melodies,as violin comes in. Nice ! Lot's of mellotron after 9 minutes as things slow down with clavinet and drums.The final two tracks are bonus live songs. "Conte En Vert" is great live with floods of mellotron and piano melodies. "Musique Pour Clair Obscur" features waves of mellotron with piano and keys. Bravo !

I highly recommend this excellent French album.

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 Terpandre by TERPANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.53 | 33 ratings

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Terpandre
Terpandre Symphonic Prog

Review by Heptade
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This mellow French one-off is basically jazz-rock lite with mellotron. It's an all-instrumental album which ranges from some synth- and violin-led fusion type pieces to flowing mellotron melodies on the softer pieces. Despite coming close to easy listening at times, the mellotron saves these bits with its dependable unearthly beauty. Certainly this album should not be missing from the collection of mellotron freaks. The jazzy pieces are competent but not particularly inspiring, particularly on the infrequent occasions when a more rocking sound is aimed at. Overall, this is certainly a mellow record that's good for sunny afternoon background music, but not a classic by any stretch.

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 Terpandre by TERPANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.53 | 33 ratings

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Terpandre
Terpandre Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In the Eighties I often visited Paris because of its wonderful atmosphere, great musea, street musicians and the Eifel Tower. Of course I searched for record stores, one of the best was in the mega store FNAC. There I bought a lot of French progrock LP's, this is one of the most beautiful.

Terpandre was a six piece band including two keyboardists and a violin player. The five songs on this LP (the CD contains two live bonustracks) sound a bit subdued,often very dreamy and mellow with only some more bombastic parts as in the final part of "Caroussel" (propulsive drums). The interplay between the instruments is often subtle, especially the two keyboard players do very well delivering majestic violin-Mellotron waves (with echoes from early KING CRIMSON), beautiful classical piano (at some moments a bit jazzy like in "Caroussel") and some short synthesizer flights. The work on the violin evokes a bit the fusion sound from Jean-Luc Ponty (also a Frenchman) and the guitarplay has hints from ROBERT FRIPP but less fiery.

. To me this sounds as wonderful 'candlelight prog'



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 Terpandre by TERPANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.53 | 33 ratings

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Terpandre
Terpandre Symphonic Prog

Review by geezer

4 stars This only album by French group Terpandre was recorded already three years before it was released. Fans of mellotron should be pleased with this instrumental album. The mellotron is featured only in some of the tracks, but when it is, those tracks are also full of it. In addition to mellotron this album is full of violin. Indeed, it is perhaps the violin of Patrick Tilleman that is the most dominant instrument. The overall impression that this album leaves for me is very classical because of the heavy use of violin in some tracks. Overall, this is mature and refined melodic progressive.

The best track is "Anne-Michaele". This track is mostly just two mellotrons and piano that create a very beautiful atmosphere. All tracks are at least good though. In the cd version there is two additional live tracks that I could live without. I hate it when the record companies add live tracks to re-editions. Usually these tracks just seem out of place like in this case. The other live track "Musique Pour Clair Obscur" is not any of the original album tracks so I can forgive the inclusion of this track.

Conclusion: Excellent instrumental French progressive.

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 Terpandre by TERPANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.53 | 33 ratings

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Terpandre
Terpandre Symphonic Prog

Review by Proghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 1981, well, usually not much good is said of the prog rock scene. GENESIS gave us "Abacab", which finds them moving even further away from prog (but having the then- new MTV embrace them), KING CRIMSON reunited with a new lineup (Fripp, Bruford, Belew, Levin), and gave us "Discipline", which had more in common with the TALKING HEADS than anything they came up with from 1969-74, which while welcomed by many prog rock fans, alienated a few others.

Then there was this little known one-shot band from France, TERPANDRE. Here's what really happened, the band actually recorded this album in 1978, in a time where the prog rock scene was in decline, but still had room for a few good prog albums. Punk and disco was on the rise, so the album was rejected by all the labels they went to (they even tried for ECM - big time contemporary jazz label, but they deemed it "too electronic" for their image), until in 1981, they found a small, local label (in Lyon) called Dionysos, and had the album released in April of that year. This is an all instrumental prog album that leans to the romantic side, piles with tons of great Mellotron all over and nice use of Mini Moog. There is also some fusion tendencies in the Jean-Luc PONTY vein (especially since the band included Patrick Tilleman on electric violin, who was obviously influenced by PONTY). But the album gets bogged down by being too overly dramatic in places for my liking, and there are a few unnecessarily slow spots on the album preventing me from calling it a classic, but it's still an album worth having.

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 Terpandre by TERPANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.53 | 33 ratings

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Terpandre
Terpandre Symphonic Prog

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Excellent French instrumental prog with heavy emphasis on violin and CAMEL-like symphonic atmospheres. The music of TERPANDRE is rich and layered with dual keyboards (synth, acoustic, e-piano and of course mellotron). Violinist Patrick Tilleman (Ex ZAO) is all over this album with great talent and clearly makes this album a standout. Their music overall is quite romantic and emotional with great beauty. Songs are well written tending to stay more on the gentle delicate side with a few great big break outs. The fine folks at Musea have included 2 rare bonus live tracks from 1977 as well. A beautiful album from start to finish... and loads of mellotron as well.

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