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The Concerts in China

13 customer reviews

Price: £29.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Concerts in China + Oxygène + Equinoxe
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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 April 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Epic
  • ASIN: B00000ILPU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Mini-Disc
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,177 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. Hill VINE VOICE on 14 Jan. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Jean Michel Jarre was the first western musician to be invited to play within the People's Republic of China in October 1981. The concerts were not a huge success: the Chinese audience were unfamiliar with the format and the style of music, and they only warmed to the laser show (which was very impressive at the time). The music was largely underrated, which is a shame as I feel that this CD remains one of Jarre's most impressive works. It collects together excerpts from five concerts that played in Peking in Shanghai.
What makes this album stand out over his other material is the beautiful compositions he wrote to bring his western electronic style in harmony with a traditional oriental symphony orchestra. This is no better illustrated than on the track 'Fishing Junks at Sunset' which is completely mesmerising. Other new tracks he wrote for the concerts include an upbeat track 'Orient Express' and a fascinating piece called 'Night in Shanghai' which really does conjure the mood of walking through different parts of a hot sticky city at night, from the bustle of restaurants to the peace of sitting by the harbour. The final track, "Souvenir of China" is very moody, a slow burning track that suggests weariness, punctured with the incessant click of the Nikon. It's the most autobiographical track JMJ has ever produced.
The rest of the album is mainly taken from 'Magnetic Fields' including a magnificent live version of 'Magnetic Fields 2' (which has since been re-used in many of his live performances). The first track "Overture" is a little bit of a cheek--it's actually a slowed down version of Magnetic Fields 1. There are also a couple of 'Equinoxe' tracks, but there are no versions of Oxygene on this album even though it was his most well known music at the time.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 18 Dec. 2000
Format: Audio CD
The best thing about this album is the fact that it has several new compositions... but not as many as you may be lead to believe from the track listing. "Band In The Rain" is simply the first section from "Equinoxe Part 8", "The Last Rumba" is another name for "Magnetic Fields Part 5" and "The Overture" is more-or-less "Magnetic Fields Part 1" played at half speed. The track detailed as "Magnetic Fields Part 1" is sadly only 21 seconds long and bears no relation to the original album version.
Some of the new compositions written for this album have obvious Oriental influences, most notably "Fishing Junks At Sunset". These new tracks are respectable, although not Jarre at his most spectacular.
A good album, but it's probably more worthwhile to buy his studio albums first before investigating this release.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By PRTM on 2 Aug. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Jean Michel Jarre was the first western contemporary musician to perform in communist China and this live album is a chronicle of those historic concerts that took place in Peking and Shanghai in 1981. It was originally released the following year as a double LP, but this remastered CD conveniently puts all the music, unedited, onto one disc.

This live album is not just a performance of tracks from his previous studio albums as it also features seven new compositions that Jarre made especially for the event and means that roughly 50% of the album features new material.

The first of these tracks - 'The Overture' is technically not a new piece as it is a reworking of the first part of 'Magnetic Fields 1' but is perhaps different enough to merit its own title. The sequencer line has been slowed right down and an ominous drum beat and high guitar-like synth melody played over it. It makes an effective start to the album and concert.

'Arpegiator' is a sequencer-based track that undulates with very Jarre-like chord changes. Although it has no tune as such it is highly atmospheric and is one of my favourite tracks of his.

Jarre has always tried to reflect and evoke the place in his concerts and this is done most overtly here with 'Fishing Junks at Sunset' which was performed with a traditional Chinese orchestra. Here he adds some of his own music to a traditional Chinese melody and the interplay between the orchestra and the electronic instruments is highly effective. It's a beautiful piece and a highlight of the album. It has only been performed twice since these concerts.

'Orient Express' is one of Jarre's more pop-like tracks and works well when performed in concert.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 April 2001
Format: Audio CD
The Concerts in China was Jean Michel Jarre's first ever live album, released in 1982, the year after his China Tour. For the tour, Jean Michel wrote some new compositions...
Fishing Junks at Sunset, Orient Express, Night in Shanghai, Laser Harp, Arpegiator, The Overture and Souvenir of China
My personal favourite from these are Fishing Junks at Sunset, Orient Express and Souvenir of China.
Anyway, overall I give this album a well deserved 5 stars... just what I would give to any other Jarre album... they are all unique masterpieces.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul & Linda Sproat on 8 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
good CD updating my old vinyl I cannot now play to a quality CD version. I was happy with this product.
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