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4.7 out of 5 stars
22
4.7 out of 5 stars
Preludes Airs And Yodels [A Penguin Cafe Primer]
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£7.51+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 6 July 2017
jaunty catchy stuff!
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on 2 October 2017
great cd
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on 15 August 2006
Penguin Cafe Orchestra was the brainchild and main musical outlet for the sadly missed multi-instrumentalist/composer Simon Jeffes. Marked by a delightful mixture of jazz, 18th Century seranade and a discreet smattering of avant-garde, they bring pleasure to all who let them in...

This collection is, a couple of niggles notwithstanding, a fine introduction to PCO, and a very pleasant album in its own right. Opening with the well known Music for a Found Harmonium and closing with the delicate Piano Music, the selection and ordering of the tracks is mostly spot on.

Those niggles? The Patrick Street cover/interpretation of Music For a Found Harmonium is pleasant, but why is it on a best of PCO? More damaging is The Orb's remix of the same track. As remixes go, it's fairly good, but it just doesn't fit in. It's metallic electronics serve only to break the mood and lessen the overall pleasure of this compilation.

But this is still a fine album and an ideal way of checking out the understated pleasures of Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

It should appeal to fans of The Durutti Column (and the reverse is fairly true too...)
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on 14 July 2002
A minor revelation, the PCO do the hardest trick of all, make simple music sound easy.
Hard to catgorise, but I'll have a go; an accoustic Kraftwerk. Loads of simple, humm-able melodies. My personal favourite is track 5 "Telephone and Rubber band", which I realised I first heard on an advert for Mobile phones years ago.
Ideal "chill out" music; deft, closed loops of melody. As restful as chinese green tea, which I am sure they serve in the Penguin Cafe.
Buy it, you'll like it!
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on 22 April 2002
The Penguin Cafe Orchestra are one of those acts that I've always intended to check out but never been quite sure how to start... so this compilation/sampler of their work looked like a good starting point.
Other reviewers of the PCO usually struggle to describe their music (is it pseudo-classical? folk? world? experimental?) and I can now sympathise - other than to say that it is all thoroughly enjoyable! The tunes on this album, odd though they seem at first hearing, somehow insinuate themselves into your brain, so that you find yourself humming them during the day...
I particularly liked the three different versions of the opening track, 'Music for a Found Harmonium': the first is the original harmonium-based (no surprises there) version, the second an arrangement for a non-PCO piano-based quartet, and the third an electronica remix (re-make would be more descriptive) by The Orb. All three somehow preserve the oddball charm of the basic tune.
Oh, and no need to worry - I haven't heard any actual yodelling on the album...
I like this album already and I suspect it is going to continue to grow on me: I will be looking out to add more of the PCO's work to my collection!
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on 26 September 2003
Whilst most people know the track 'Telephone and Rubber Band' from the mobile phone adverts, I came to hear of PCO from an obscure Australian Film 'Malcolm'
anyway, I don't know much of PCO, but all the tracks I DO know are here. Music for a Found Harmonium may just be one of the best melodies ever penned, IMO. As a start for an album it is flawless, and the following tracks, whilst often quirky and strange at first, have a way of implanting their melodies into your head.
However, the album seems to lose momentum after the first 10 tracks or so, and often has me skipping forward to the brilliant Orb version of Music for a Found Harmonium, called PandaHarmonium.
A great introduction to PCO.
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on 21 November 2003
You will know most of these tunes from adverts or movies, but don't let that stop you. There is some wonderful work here, a 'primer' for the Penguin cafe (a best of the early stuff really). I defy anyone to dislike 'Music for a found harmonium'. His later work reaches higher heights (Union Street cafe) but this is a solid and lovely album of the late great Simon Jefes.
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VINE VOICEon 3 April 2011
I first got into the Penguin Cafe Orchestra without knowing who they were, after listening to 'Music for a Found Harmonium' and 'Telephone and Rubber Band' on a very weird, eclectic and frankly brilliant Aussie movie called 'Malcolm'. As the film starts 'Music for a Found Harmonium' starts more or less playing, and I couldn't believe it; here was a perfect piece of music in every way, so profound and melodic and wonderful! I'm listening to this album as I write, and frankly it is so good that some of the music makes me weep, especially the two aforementioned pieces.

There is no category that I think I could put the Penguin Cafe Orchestra in, as their music is so original and eclectic and even off-beat, and yet it is still accessible and listenable even when it is different and experimental. Some of the tracks on here have been used by films and they have certainly been used for adverts in Britain too, they are that good. Simon Jeffes, the main creative urge behind the 'Orchestra no doubt decided that he wanted to make pure music for its own sake, regardless of commercial viability and he has done just that, and yet the group are highly successful; isn't that strange?!

I can say this; there are certain pieces of artwork, certain movies, certain poems, certain pieces of music that somehow make you question the whole human reality or condition or whatever, and they leave you to reflect on something higher than yourself; this is when something is magic and transcends the everyday; I believe Simon Jeffes with some of his music has managed to do just this. Some of these pieces are so profound.
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on 25 July 2007
Found this gem while looking for something else entirely. The Penguin Café are new to me - but not their music. You'll recognise Telephone and Rubber Band from a well known advert and I've heard Music for a Found Harmonium a thousand times without knowing who it was by.

This is a wonderful compilation and a great introduction to PCO's music, some tracks date back to 1976 but it includes a great 1996 ORB remix Pandaharmonium.

The PCO was the brainchild of the English composer and multi-instrumentalist Simon Jeffes (1949-1997). You can read more about this fascinating band on [...] but the music speaks for itself.
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on 19 April 2012
Perfect collection of tracks that you can enjoy relaxing. Some of the tracks are so familiar you don't realise how many times you might have heard them before in movies or even commercials.
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