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Pop - Released October 5, 2001 | Parlophone (France)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Pop - Released May 20, 2005 | Parlophone (France)

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Pop - Released September 27, 2002 | Parlophone (France)

The double-disc set C'Était Ici presents Yann Tiersen live in concert, performing highlights from his five studio albums and his score for the French film Amélie, the work for which he may be most widely known. While "La Valse d'Amélie" and "L'Autre Valse d'Amélie" sound just as sparkling and magical here as they did in the movie and on its soundtrack, and songs such as "C'Était Ici" and "Rue des Cascades" follow suit, the album gives equal time to the other sides of Tiersen's music. The pieces with vocals are particularly striking, especially "La Rupture," a winding epic that is as eerie as it is beautiful. The mellow, romantic "La Terrasse," meanwhile, highlights the undercurrents of French pop and rock that influence his work. Hints of French folk can be heard on tracks like "Déjà Loin" and the modern-day gypsy fiddling of "Sur le Fil," emphasizing the fact that while Tiersen blends elements of classical, pop, rock, and folk into his music, all of it is quintessentially French. The live format especially suits some of his more energetic songs, such as "Le Jour d'Avant" and "Le Banquet," both of which feature explosive, rock-oriented drumming. Then again, the beautifully intimate renditions of Serge Gainsbourg's "La Noyée" and Tiersen's own "Le Moulin" are just as powerful in a quiet way. The second disc digs deeper into Tiersen's discography, offering more of his longer, more involved compositions such as the swooning "Bagatelle," a collaboration with Dominique Ané, and the 12-minute "Fevrier," which conjures images of the grayest, longest-seeming month with ticking percussion and jittery, atonal pianos, guitars, and brass. Other highlights include the dreamy "Le Méridien" and "La Parade," which feature appropriately somnolent vocals from Lisa Germano, another of Tiersen's frequent collaborators, and the gorgeous "Monochrome," a paradoxically vivid description of day-to-day tedium sung by Ané. C'Était Ici functions almost like a greatest-hits collection of Tiersen's work: a welcome reminder for fans of his diverse talent, and an introduction to the rest of his work for those charmed by Amélie. While most two-hour live albums don't necessarily make a good introduction to an artist's work, C'Était Ici is a very happy exception to that rule. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Pop - Released February 3, 2003 | Parlophone France

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 6, 2019 | Mute

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On Portrait, Yann Tiersen celebrates his multi-decade, multi-genre career by bringing it full circle. Instead of just gathering the best-known songs from his discography, he emphasizes the classical training that he rebelled against as a youth and the French folk and chanson roots of his music by reinterpreting pieces from albums spanning 1995's Valse des Monstres to 2019's ALL. If Portrait's somber mood, grand scope, and numerous collaborations bear a close resemblance to the latter album, there's a good reason: Tiersen came up with the idea to reimagine his entire body of work with this collection during the rehearsals for the ALL tour. The hushed but majestic atmosphere of that album is especially prominent on "Grønjørd," originally from 2014's ∞ (Infinity), a major influence on his subsequent work. The delicately urgent, piano-based instrumentals of 2016's Eusa also cast a long shadow over Portrait, and "Porz Goret"'s darkly winding melody is just as lovely here as it was before. The way Tiersen strips away the whimsical touches of his early albums might be jarring to fans who fell in love with his sound via the Amélie soundtrack, but it helps unify his music as a whole. "La Dispute," one of the songs immortalized and romanticized by the film, is reimagined as a duel/duet between accordion and piano that underscores its theme of conflict. On the other hand, Portrait's version of "Comptine d'un Autre Été (L'Après-Midi)" adds more warmth and melancholy to one of the composer's most famous melodies. Fortunately, Tiersen doesn't strip his music down too much. The musical saw on "Pell" is a ghostly acknowledgment of his love of unexpected instrumentation, while the toy piano that was a staple of his earliest work makes a charming, if slightly sinister, return on "Waltz of the Monsters" and stands in for a carillon on "Prayer No. 2." The bracing harpsichord on "The Jetty" makes it impressive and a little imposing, a feeling that's reinforced by the heavy guitar textures (courtesy of Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley) on "Prad" and "Introductory Movement." Here and on the tracks with vocals, Tiersen tempers Portrait's frequently contemplative tone. Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys helps reinvent "Monochrome," Tiersen's first hit in his native France, by giving it a weary heft reflecting all the years since it originally appeared. Two of the retrospective's brand-new pieces are among its finest: "Closer" unites Tiersen's fluttering piano with Blonde Redhead's breathy vocals in a collaboration that balances the deeply romantic sides of both artists' work perfectly. On the striking final track, "Thinking Like a Mountain," Tiersen meditates on the natural harmony between danger and safety with the help of O'Malley, Melanie Knott, and John Grant, who recite excerpts of ecologist Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac over soaring strings and feral, panting backing vocals. It's a fitting end to Portrait, which balances the adventurous and traditional sides of Tiersen's music in a way that honors the sense of wonder and beauty in his work since the beginning. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released June 16, 2008 | Peermusic France

Tabarly is a soundtrack for a 2008 documentary film of the same name written and performed by French composer and musician Yann Tiersen. This was his first soundtrack work in five years. The soundtrack was more laid-back and minimalistic compared to Tiersen's other, more whimsical work on films such as Amélie and Good Bye Lenin! -- some of the compositions were performed with only a piano or guitar. As usual, Tiersen played all the instrumental parts himself. © Sergey Mesenov /TiVo
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Pop - Released April 23, 2001 | Parlophone France

The soundtrack to Jean-Pierre Jeunet's charming, slightly surreal romantic comedy Amélie features music by Yann Tiersen. Just as the film presents an idyllic, idealized version of Paris, Tiersen's score captures the most romantic aspects of French music, complete with fluttering accordions, delicate harpsichords, mandolins, and poignant strings and pianos. Pieces like "J'y Suis Jamais Allé," "Le Moulin," "La Valse des Monstres," and "Les Jours Tristes" -- which features a toy piano -- convey the film's sweet, slightly skewed outlook perfectly, and are completely charming in their own right. Aside from the three variations on the heroine's theme, "La Valse d'Amélie," most of the score comes from Tiersen's other albums, making Amélie a fine introduction to his work as well as an appropriately winning soundtrack. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released June 3, 2016 | madoro music

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 15, 2019 | Mute

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 30, 2016 | Mute

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Classical - Released December 20, 2015 | Lark Recordings

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Classical - Released December 18, 2014 | In The Mood

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Classical - Released November 1, 2015 | Lark Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 19, 2014 | Mute

Even if he hadn't created some of the most vivid film music of the 20th and 21st centuries, Yann Tiersen's music would probably be called "filmic." In both his scores and stand-alone albums, the artful way he blends his flair for atmosphere with memorable melodies and instrumentation lends itself to vivid storytelling, something he explores beautifully on his eighth album ∞ (Infinity). Largely recorded in Iceland and inspired by that country as well as the Faroe Islands, much of the album evokes Nordic post-rock while reflecting Tiersen's distinctive touch. "Slippery Stones" and "In Our Minds" echo Múm's ability to sound anthemic, childlike, and dark at the same time. The brassy "Grønjørð" features Tiersen's bandmate Ólavur Jákupsson singing the praises of the Faroe Islands' verdant and volcanic landscape in his native Faroese. "A Midsummer Evening" harnesses Tiersen's fondness for toy instruments into widescreen orchestral psych-rock that captures the surreal joyousness of a long dusk and balmy night. All of this makes ∞ (Infinity) a more cohesive set than its predecessor Skyline. Tiersen expertly uses the album's united motifs and instrumentation to contrast its expansive sounds, such as the title track's sweeping drones, and intimate lyrics like "The Crossing"'s "just hold my hand." Stories are woven through the songs in unexpected ways: "Steinn" and "Ar Maen Bihan" tell the same hypnotic tale of nature and circularity in Icelandic and Tiersen's native Breton, respectively. However, he saves ∞ (Infinity)'s most impressive storytelling for last: "Meteorites," a collaboration with Arab Strap's Aidan Moffat, explores love's intimacy and vastness, moving from merging cells to soaring through the universe. Moffat's burr brings a frankness to lyrics like "this is our rom-com" and gives voice to all the heartbroken, searching, and joyous moods dancing through Tiersen's music over the years. A movie unto itself, "Meteorites" might wink at Tiersen's status as a composer for film, but it's too exquisite to be a joke; it elevates what was already a strong collection into some of his best work. Given its all-encompassing title, it's fitting that ∞ (Infinity) is one of Tiersen's most ambitious albums, but its grand scale only magnifies his music's heartfelt beauty. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released December 12, 2018 | Mute

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Pop - Released May 13, 2005 | Parlophone France

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 30, 2016 | Mute

After the far-flung travels of ∞(Infinity) took him to Iceland and the Faroe Islands, Yann Tiersen returns home figuratively and literally with Eusa. Named for the Breton term for the island off the coast of Brittany where he lives, this is a back-to-basics project for Tiersen -- as basic as his work can be, that is. Conceived as a musical map of his home, Eusa began as a series of field recordings and piano compositions taken from and inspired by different locations on the island that were later issued as an album and a book of sheet music. Theoretically, one could re-create Eusa by playing the field recordings and performing the compositions, but of course Tiersen (who recorded the album at London's Abbey Road studios) brings much more to the album. As a whole, it lacks the anthemic winsomeness of the music that catapulted him to fame, but the album's simplicity lets his masterful melodies and playing shine. Tiersen holds Eusa together with a series of pieces named "Hent," which means "path" in Breton. These teasing interludes do feel like stops along the journey, from the delicate beginnings of "Hent I" to the serene sense of arrival on "Hent VIII." In between, Tiersen distills moments as well as places: "Hent III"'s somber melody, lapping waves, and bird calls conjure an overcast shoreline. The rest of Eusa flits between soothing and urgent just as nimbly. The rippling, full-bodied waltz "Pern" is quintessential Tiersen, boasting a gorgeous melody rivaled only by the sweetly nostalgic "Roc'h ar Vugale" and "Penn ar Lann," which is set aloft at the end by chirping birds and ascending chords. On "Porz Goret," "Enez Nein," and "Penn ar Roc'h," he imbues the album's longing with more insistency, but the results are just as affecting. Though he hadn't intended to record these compositions, it's a good thing that he did -- Eusa is like being invited into Tiersen's home to hear him play. Comforting but never dull, it's a reminder that the familiar can be just as inspiring as the foreign. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 23, 2019 | Mute

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 14, 2018 | Mute

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Film Soundtracks - Released June 3, 2016 | madoro music

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