Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Rene Dupere, Dutch Robinson, Francesca Gagnon|
Genres: World Music, Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Soundtracks
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Member CD Reviews
Sivi H. from ANN ARBOR, MI
Reviewed on 1/18/2011...
this is an amazing and beautiful cd
A Joyful Success of Cirque du Soleil!
LadyJ | 01/06/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alegria is one of Cirque's finest triumphs. Having opened in 1994, it still tours today, and its soundtrack is the still the highest-selling Cirque soundtrack to date. It's music is a delightful blend of heart-felt, whimsical, evocative songs, many of which display the vocal talents of Francesca Gagnon. Like most Cirque albums, not all of the show music is present, but the Alegria soundtrack includes most of the key musical numbers and can thus be considered a relative success.
---DVD PERFORMANCE ACTS---
* Swinging Trapeze
* Fast Track (Trampoline)
* Fire Knife Dance
* Snow Storm (Clowns)
* Le Bal
* Flying Man
* Russian Bar
* Aerial High Bar
1. Alegria (Finale): The show's unofficial "theme song". It's very bubbly and hummable. Though it's actually sung during the finale, it also makes for a good first track on the CD.
2. Vai Vedrai (Swinging Trapeze): Mysterious and elegant, "Vai Vedrai" begins softly and crescendos. A lovely interlude of strings in the middle. Sung during the second half of Swinging Trapeze and while the performers set up the Fast Track. Identical to the show.
3. Kalendro: Not actually in the DVD version of Alegria. Has a sort of tribal feel with a choral group. This music was used in several rotational tour acts not included in the filmed version. I don't mind it's inclusion...since the DVD is the eternal "snapshot" of the show it Cirque could have included one of the omitted DVD songs in place of "Kalendro"; on the other hand, since the audience can listen to the DVD, it is nice that a rotational musical piece was preserved on CD.
4. Querer: Not actually in the DVD version of Alegria. Sung by Gagnon. Very Spanish feel. Fits wonderfully with the rest of the score.
5. Irna (Fast Track): An energetic track that pulls the main theme from the Fast Track show piece, but misses the mark in some areas. The show version glides effortlessly into a soft, sad vocal interlude (which features for the first time a duet with Ève Montpetit as The Black Singer). This is included on the CD as "Valsapena" (#11) but loses its effectiveness. Also in the live show, an intense duet ending the piece is here shifted to the middle minus the vocals. There was no reason to remove these beautiful additions and the song, while enjoyable without, does not reach the roller-coaster of emotion of the live show.
6. Taruka (Contortion): Very oriental with flute and strings. The CD version features vocals much more heavily than in the show but the singing only enhances the song...one of the few times that the CD track is actually better than the show. Lovely, fluid music that is perfect for the contortion act.
7. Jeux d'Enfants: Not actually in the DVD version of Alegria. Twenty seconds into the song you may fight the urge to tear your hair out. It's incredibly irritating and an utter waste of space. Why was this ridiculous track used when other stunning numbers were left out!
8. Mirko (Trapeze Setup): Syncopated, intense, and evocative, with stunning vocals by Gagnon. Nearly identical to the show, except for a few soft measures of violin omitted.
9. Icare (High Bar): Great number; captures the anticipation of the act with great instruments.
10. Ibis: Not actually in the DVD version of Alegria. As with "Kalendro", "Ibis" was used for touring rotational acts. Features Gagnon singing and fits well with the show. The vocals soar and are very inspiring.
11. Valsapena (Fast Track): The middle segment of Fast Track. Sadly has now lost the duet Ève Montpetit as The Black Singer. "Valsapena" works on its own but should have been left with "Irna" so as not to lose the fluidity of the act.
12. Nocturne (Snow Storm): This slow, haunting melody with quiet strings and a gentle trumpet solo is essential to the more serious side of the show. At about 3 minutes, could have been slightly longer to match its 4 minute duration live. I probably wouldn't have placed it last on the CD...strange end to such to such a vibrant collection of songs!
(For those wishing to re-arrange their music true to the live show, it would be as follows):
#3 (not in DVD version of show)
#4 (not in DVD version of show)
#7 (not in DVD version of show)
#10 (not in DVD version of show)
---TRACKS CUT FROM CD---
Opening: Short introductory instrumentals, but very fun. It could have easily been incorporated into the soundtrack.
Fire Dance: A piece that begins rather non-descriptly but picks up with strings and a vocal duet about halfway through. Enjoyable to listen to, but if Cirque wanted to cut down the length of their soundtrack, this was probably okay to leave out.
Cerceaux (Manipulation): Included as track 13 on extended soundtrack. Absolutely beautiful Indian-flavored melody that's great fun. Should be included on the original and current soundtracks.
Strong Man: Very minimal background music; no reason to include on a soundtrack.
Malioumba (Flying Man): Included as track 14 on extended soundtrack. Having not heard this track on CD, I cannot compare it to the show. However, a review of the live version follows: "Malioumba" is exotic with goosebump-inducing vocals by Gagnon. One of the musical highlights of the show; should be included on the original and current soundtracks.
Russian Bar: Fast-paced, completely instrumental. Wonderful violins and percussion. A mystery why this was left out.
Le Bal: Short vocal piece directly after intermission. Short and flirty but nothing too special; Gagnon oddly has trouble staying on pitch and I personally don't mind that it was omitted from the album.
---OTHER CUT TRACKS---
Handbalancing: Rotational touring act.
Cyr Wheel: Rotational touring act.
Were I reviewing the extended soundtrack, I would have given it 5 stars. However, because only the non-extended versions (missing Flying Man and Manipulation) are not available, my rating for the current soundtrack is 4 stars. I appreciate that nearly the entire show is captured forever on the Alegria CD, an effort that not all Cirque shows are given. The music itself is an amazing success both compositionally and in retail sales. Gagnon performs beautifully throughout and the sound quality is wonderful. This is a must for an fan of Cirque music!