Alan Simon -
Excalibur: Le Concert Mystique

(DVD 2008, DVD 110 min, CD 75 min Babaika productions 70022640693)

The tracks:
  1- Legende(3:11)
  2- Pour l'amour de la Reine (3:51)
  3- The elements (6:31)
  4- Castle Rock* (3:10)
  5- Morning song (4:08)
  6- When the legend comes true (3:19)
  7- Mourir avant (4:07)
  8- Celtic dream (5:54)
  9- Morgane(5:47)
10- Behind the darkness(6:22)
11- The Gest of Gauvain(4:44)
12- La complainte de Perceval (5:01)
13- The will of God(4:18)
14- Fame and glory (4:35)
15- Mordred(5:28)
16- Excalibur (4:20)
17- Dans la meme lumière (3:38)
18- Dihun* (1:26)
*: Only on DVD

Alan Simon Website        Anna Vreizh Website       

This album contains the live performance of the first album of a trilogy that tells the story about Excalibur, the magic sword of the legendary King Arthur of Britain. Alan Simon is a very talented French artist. He is not only responsible for this trilogy, but he writes music for musicals (Le Petit Arthur, Les Enfants Du Futur) and cinema (O Gengis) as well. Moreover, he already wrote three novels, of which two are dealing with Excalibur and Merlin the magician.

The music on this DVD was recorded live in Rennes in October 1999. The concert consists of a variety of musical styles: from film music, French ballads and classical rock to Celtic folk and progressive rock. Alan Simon plays flute on several tracks. He is supported by an impressive group of well known and sometimes even world-famous performers like Roger Hodgson (ex-Supertramp), French folk band Tri Yann, Dar Ar Braz (Alan Stivell), Jacqui McShee (Pentangle), James Wood, Gildas Arzel, Simon Nicol (Fairport Convention) and Didier Lockwood (Magma), just to name a few. They play together with the 130 musicians of the Symphonic Orchestra Of Prague and the Bulgarian choir Philippolpolis. Actor Jean Reno, whose voice is similar to the one of Richard Burton in Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds, tells the story of Excalibur. Some tracks are sung in English, others in French and three of them are instrumental: Legende, Behind The Darkness and Excalibur. My favourites are the opening track Legende, The Elements sung by Roger Hodgson, Morgane beautifully sung by Jacqui McShee and Fame And Glory sung by Simon Nicol & Didier Lockwood.

The show has been filmed perfectly including a laser show and a very cheerful audience. If you like rock operas as War Of The Worlds or Ayreon’s albums, than check out this one. As a bonus, you get a documentary in French about the making of this concert told by Alan Simon himself and of course the inevitable photo gallery...   

****+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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