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Suggested Albums: Alan Simon : The Excalibur Trilogy : "Excalibur:The Legend of the Celts" (1999) - by Eliseo Mauas Pinto

  • This ambitious project by Alan Simon comprises a trilogy of album releases:
    Excalibur,The Legend of the Celts (1999)
    Excalibur II, The Celtic Ring (2007)
    Excalibur III - The Origins (unreleased)

    Official site of The "Excalibur" CD and DVD albums :

    To the delight of fans of the King Arthur's Saga, the mystic developed between the fifth and sixth centuries by the history and deeds of the legendary King Arthur Artus, whom along with his loyal knights resisted the Anglo-Saxon invasions, revives again by the hand of the Breton author, composer, and producer Alan Simon. The Bretons, heirs of the body of legends spread by their Welsh brothers, return to the music scene through a conceptual album full of original compositions and with no precedents.

    Excalibur,The Legend of the Celts (1999)
    Two years it took to write the scores, a very sophisticated and pretentious production that was recorded in seven different countries studios, and involving over 120 musicians. His wealth comes from the combination of musical styles such as Symphonic, Ethnic, Rock, Folk, Celtic, New Age, Medieval, and Georgian. Like a musical tapestry, Alan Simon, recreating nuances that will cover the history of music itself, imbued with a timeless and universal dimension. Simon confesses: "I want 'Excalibur' is well received by all audiences and all generations. I wish it was considered popular music. The album was specially designed for live performances. It is remarcable to highlight the work of Marco Canepa (who had already worked with Angelo Branduardi Italians and other musicians) and the recording of the album was done in six different formats because of the impossibility of gathering all the artists in the same study, everyone he recorded where they would like to and in the best possible way. " It is indeed an album of journeys, it was recorded in France, Belgium, Ireland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic" .
    Some issues are linked by the speech of Jean Reno , who guides us through the characters and episodes of the epic Arthur, like a role playing Merlin: "at night feudal land is disunited, in those days of madness, a legend was born, are the times of Merlin, the coming of a King, and the sword Excalibur ... one day a king will return and the sword emerge. "
    The album's succesful design include Medieval engravings, Celtic triskels, the sword Excalibur and the Holy Grail so sought, conceives textures as if it were a medieval book. Simon includes texts related to the most relevant passages of the legend as quotations to the exquisite verses of the songs. "I am water, I am the earth and the wind across the ocean, I am the fire and I am the rain, sing for these valleys and the hills are dark mixed with the spirit of life. Behold! Excalibur shines. " (quoted from the poem Artus perfomed by the ex-Supertramp,Roger Hodgson).
    Oddly, like the lid attached to the English edition of the Wakeman's, the stamper printed on the CD shows the painting of the circular table 1300 at Winchester Castle, entrusted by King Henry VIII in 1522 DC (that's why the inclusion of the pink rose painted pink in the center, the emblem of the Tudors). About five and a half meters in diameter, only the upper part remains since it's legs disappeared. It was repainted in 1789 and currently located in the main hall of the castle of Winchester, and shows the King Artus chair concentric locations of their twenty-four gentlemen.
    In 'Excalibur' by A. Simon, develops the central characters in this case, performed by the incredible list of contributors: Gabriel Yacoub as Perceval, a knight in the tireless search for the Holy Grail, Roger Hodgson (ex-Supertramp) and majestic Artus, Nikki Matheson and his wife Genevieve, Aine Furey (Bohinta) as the mischievous Morgana, Martin Furey (Bohinta) as his incestuous son Mordrez, Simon Nicol (Fairport Convention) and Galvan, Jean Louis Jossic (Tri-Yann) and King Uther Pendragon. 'Excalibur', the central theme of the album was interpreted by the Breton virtuoso guitarist Dan Ar Braz (ex-Stivell, Fairport, Malicorne) who assumes the role of the mythical sword arturiana, symbol of power, wealth and fertility, contributing to a settlement music is his trademark: the dialogue between Scottish bagpipes and electric guitar, which goes back to earlier works like''Suite for Green Land 'and the recent "Celtic Heritage" (a work that combines conceptual musicians also recorded along Celtic nations) To this end Simon distributed the roles according to the personality of each musician.
    Other collaborators are the galician Carlos Nunez, baroque flute, Breton Celtic harp Dominique Bouchard ,in the United States Gerry Conway (ex-Jethro Tull, Fairport) on percussion, the British group Fairport Convention in full (sounding very strangely with a settlement Wolftone), the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Bulgarian Orthodox Choir and Band Bagpipes St Nazaire in Brittany. It highlights the collaboration of the English musician James Wood captivated by the legend who wrote part of the arrangements of strings, also involved in electric and acoustic guitars, key, and low.
    The album closes with the theme 'Towards the Isle of Avalon' with an original melody playing a bagpipe solo 'pibroch' musical form alternating variations on a basis melody (some assume that was performed once to march to the battle for its hypnotic effect ) leading us to the last journey undertaken by the mortally wounded Arthur.
    According to Alan Simon says "the composition of 'Excalibur' was the most wonderful, exciting and inspiring. I've found great artists who have strength and experience to bring my musical quest. Besides being a conceptual album, it was a tie , a kind of rebirth of the Roundtable, which led to friendship, complicity, and goodwill of the musicians involved. " Regarding the current Celtic music revival confesses "Excalibur" is not an album opportunist. Simply reflects a move that marks the return of a strong and deep culture that goes beyond mere musical.
    Alan Simon has signed a contract to make three versions of this conceptual work: a European version (already published by LTC Tristar / Sony Music in January of'99) with 17 tracks., 20 tracks with an international not yet published, and a final Live in 2000 as a corollary of a tour that will include both items of the two previous versions as well as new songs. The British group Fairport Convention will be in charge of arrangements and contacts with musicians. It should be noted that more than one years passed between signing the contract with Tristar / Sony Music and recording the album.)
    It is important to quote tha Alan Simon previously wrote in 1994 a musical story called Le Petit Arthur.
    A live performance of Excalibur was registered on (CD and DVD), during the first concert at Rennes, on October 12th,1999.

    Track List:-
    Dihun by L'Orchestre Symphonique de Prague
    Merlin L'Enchanteur read by Jean Reno
    Pour L'Amour de la Reine by Tri Yann
    The Elements by Roger Hodgson
    Morning Song by Nikki Matheson
    Celtic Dream by L'Orchestre Symphonique de Prague and Le Choers Orthodoxes Bulgares «Philippopolis»
    Ad Libitum by Carlos Nunez et L'Orchestre Symphonique de Prague
    Morgane by Bohinta
    Davet Ar Baradoz by Denez Prigent
    La Complainte de Perceval by Gabriel Yacoub
    The Quest by Le Choers Orthodoxes Bulgares «Philippopolis»
    The Will Of God by Roger Hodgson
    Camlann by Bohinta
    L'Appel de Galahad by Angelo Branduardi
    Excalibur by Dan Ar Braz
    Ver L'ile d'Avalon by Bruno Le Rouzic
    " Castle Rock" and " The Gest Of Gauvain" were both specially recorded for this album.
    " Castle Rock" (Alan Simon)
    was recorded at Woodworm Studios, Barford St. Michael, Oxon.
    Sound Engineer: Mark Tucker
    Arranged by: Fairport Convention
    Simon Nicol (Acoustic Guitar)
    Dave Pegg (Bass Guitar)
    Dave Mattacks (Drums, Keyboards)
    Ric Sanders (Violin)
    Chris Leslie (Electric Bouzouki, Electric Guitar)
    " The Gest Of Gauvain" (Alan Simon / Alan Simon - James Wood)
    was recorded at Woodworm Studios, Barford St. Michael, Oxon.
    Sound Engineer: Mark Tucker
    Simon Nicol (Lead Vocal, Acoustic Guitar)
    Dave Pegg (Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals)
    Gerry Conway (Drums, Percussion)
    Ric Sanders (Violin)
    Chris Leslie (Electric Guitar, Keyboard, Backing Vocals)
    Produced by Alan Simon

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