Henri Rene and His Orchestra
RCA LPM-1033 1955
The work is symphonic in nature and perhaps not as arty or "splashy" as the cover suggests. By way of example listen to the track that puts Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Memory" to music. If any track on this album is expected to have "flare" to it, I guess it would be the Dali track.
From the back cover: Passion in paint, passion in music…how differently they are expressed, and yet how closely akin are they! Music has color and paintings have rhythm, and both convey to us beauty and emotion.
Here, as far as I know, is the first attempt to link popular paintings with what is usually called "popular" music. I am not sure I know precisely what popular music is: I am certain that these original rhapsodies by Henri René are music which everybody can enjoy, which everybody can understand and from which everybody can experience an emotional lift.
Henri René has, of course, not attempted any literal description of the paintings. That would be impossible in music. Ha has given us impressions. These very sensuous mood of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus to the famous and still controversial Duchamp Nude Descending the Stairs, a painting which no longer "describes" or"tells a story" but is all impression and emotion. What you have here, therefore, is amood music album with many moods.
Many of the paintings treated musically by René are familiar favorites. Several of them can be seen in our country. To see others you will have to travel as far as Florence, Madrid and Paris. To enjoy René's music you don't have to travel at all: you can "see" the paintings from your armchair.
This latest work of Henri René follows a series of highly successful albums composed, arranged and conducted by him in his own individual style. That style is Continental, which is quite natural considering that René has spent much of his life abroad. Among the albums which have become best sellers are Listen to Henri René and Music for Romance…
Here, then, is passion in paint translated into passion in music. Whatever you play the album one "painting" at a time or whatever you play the whole album together I think you are in for a new kind of enjoyment."
George R. Marek
Director of Artists and Repertoire
Copyright 1955, Radio Corporation of America