Monday, December 7, 2009

Sometimes it helps to have the sleeve notes

So enamoured was I with the album "Belle Virginie" that I decided a download from eMusic wasn't good enough, and went out and bought it on CD as well. Now I understand what's going on! From the back cover:
Belle Virginie is inspired by the intrepid adventures of Captain Le Golif, the king's truculent corsair. Shanties sail the seas between Old World and New, spanning baroque and traditional song. A music fusion for youngsters and grown-ups.
I can certainly attest to that last point - last night I heard Ethan humming the chorus of "Le Grand Coureur", so the CD became his bedtime listening.
But this whole "Captain Le Golif" thing isn't the whole story at all. Turns out Le Concert de l'Hostel Dieu were inspired by the "memoirs" of said buccaneer to create a "family seafaring opera", but in fact the sea songs used are largely songs collected by Marguerite and Raoul d'Harcourt from Quebec and Acadia and don't have any connection per se with Le Golif or any other truculent corsair for that matter. There are a couple of sea-battle songs all right, but there's also quite a few songs of immigration or departing on long voyages, and the first track, "La Drave", could be characterised as "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm not OK".
So now I know.
But why the CD case includes several photos of orchids, that's a complete mystery.

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