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Concert Program

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Music

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Biography

One day in the early 1970's, English composer Simon Jeffes was in the South of France, suffering from a terrible bout of food poisoning. He had a series of feverish waking dreams featuring a dystopian view of the near future, where all was grey and concrete.

People lived in huge grey blocks and one could see into the windows. In one room a couple was making love soundlessly and ... Read more in Amazon's Penguin Cafe Orchestra Store

Visit Amazon's Penguin Cafe Orchestra Store
for 20 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 1980)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zopf
  • ASIN: B0000072UD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ms. Badger on 17 Jun. 2007
Format: Audio CD
This album offers a fine introduction to the music of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and includes their most well-known works. Whilst it is a live recording the quality is such that one would easily be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Brian Eno said of Jeffes: "Given his individuality, his non-allegiance to any particular musical category, and the unfailing eclecticism of his vision, Simon Jeffes could easily be marginalised as an English eccentric - and thus sort of overlooked.". Jeffes, who died in 1997, may well have been an eccentric but as this recording shows, he was one of the highest calibre, of the greatest talent.

Put simply this is music which by its very existence makes the world a better place. I cannot commend it highly enough.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shakey on 13 Aug. 2003
Format: Audio CD
If you are looking for an intoduction to PCO or want a record of just how good they were live then this is the CD for you. Although recorded live there is no audience sound and the overall recording quality is superb.
A joy to listen to - atmospheric, beautiful, fun, moving, jazz-folk classical rock. It could only be the Penguin Cafe orchestra
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Josh on 1 Oct. 2006
Format: Audio CD
PCO are one of the best new age classical orchestras i have ever heard. Their music comprises of a mix of jazz, classical and folk, all blended in to one. The CD includes some of their more well known pieces e.g Telephone and Rubber Band, featured on the old One2One television adverts.

Some pieces to note, or perhaps search the internet for to get a good idea of the PCO are Scherzo and Trio, Perpetuum Mobile, Organum and Vega.

If you have never heard any of their music before, then this is a good place to start. While the album is live from a concert, there is no audience applause (presumably due to concert ettiquette) and it sounds exactly like a studio recording - perfect to the note.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"Concert Program" or "When in Rome..."? 16 Feb. 2010
By T. Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"When in Rome...", the only live CD of a concert before an audience by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, has long been one of my favorite albums -- a record I have listened to regularly, over an over again for more than 10 years. Indeed, I thought this was the only "live" record the PCO had ever produced. Imagine my surprise when I heard about "Concert Program", a double-CD live recording that had somehow escaped my attention until only recently.

"When in Rome" captures a concert before a packed house at London's Royal Festival Hall in 1987, with all its energy and excitement. "Concert Program", however, is a recording of a "concert without an audience" from 1995. PCO founder Simon Jeffes wanted to record a snapshot of the PCO at the time, reportedly because he felt the orchestra would soon go through some important changes, so he gathered the band in a residential studio in Somerset, England for a concert to be recorded. Jeffes died of cancer in 1997, and "Concert Program" thus sadly became the PCO's last release.

Both albums provide a kind of "greatest hits" collection including the PCO's best-known music, which was remarkable for drawing on a wide variety of musical traditions to create what Jeffes called "imaginary folklore" or "modern semi-acoustic chamber music". The PCO was consistently pleasant and optimistic. There is occasional sadness, but even that is handled in a very affirmative way.

Usually when music is overplayed in advertisements, it becomes annoying very fast. But the best-known works of the PCO became well-known from their omnipresence in advertisements in much of the 1980s and 1990s. Both albums contain the well-known "Music for a Found Harmonium" and "Telephone and Rubber Band" -- but "Perpetuum Mobile", another of their most popular earworms, is found only on "Concert Program".

"Concert Program" with its 20 tracks has the advantage of providing more music when compared with the 16-track "When in Rome". But without the energy of an audience, and a few more somber pieces thrown into the mix, "Concert Program" also takes on a more wistful quality. These include "Cage Dead" a tribute to John Cage, who had died in 1992, and "Vega", a lengthy piece with more than passing stylistic references to Philip Glass.

The lineup at the time of "Concert Program" also means different instrumentation than on the earlier album -- especially noticeable in a more prominent brass section. This makes a comparison between the versions on the two concert albums a lot of fun.

So which one to buy? Well, the easy answer is both -- which is true, but a cop-out. "Concert Program" is outstanding, but if I had to choose, I'd go with "When in Rome". It is a more polished and consistent album, with a slightly more satisfying selection of music. Still, if you like the Penguin Cafe, sooner or later you might think about getting both. Five stars all around.
Just love it!!!!! 18 Nov. 2010
By Pousto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was really surprised that I never heard of this orchestra. Thanks to "Classic Arts Showcase" I heard them play "Number 1-4 and immediately went to Amazon to get a recording. I suppose if I had seen "Happy Feet" I would have heard "Air a Danser". Now, I can't get it out of my mind. Their music seems so soothing and happy at the same time. What a treat!!!!!
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Classic Penguin Cafe 2 Dec. 2006
By Toukolainen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Quintessential and sublime live recording of the band performing their most accessible tracks, including Music for a Lost Harmonium, Telephone and Rubber Band, Beanfields and others less familiar, but as inviting. Taking the principle of repeated phrases and applying different tonal arrangements and textures, under leader Simon Jeffes the band established parametres for cross-over genres that reign still today (2006): their mix of classical and world styles is still very hard to beat.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Unplugged 20 Nov. 2014
By charles e. callahan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love Penguin Cafe's music. They are so inovative and fun. This is a "unplugged" version of their most familier music. Did'nt like as well as their other albums, Disappointed.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nice but you must be in the mood 18 Dec. 2013
By Jennifer L. Wibbels - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great - truly awesome music; however, very mellow and low key. . .creates a contemplative environment -- introspective. . .a little melancholy.
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