Histoire(s) du Cinéma is the complete soundtrack of legendary French art filmmaker/director Jean-Luc Godard's acclaimed eight-part video series on the history of cinema seen from his own idiosyncratic, witty perspective. Issued as a deluxe box-set, five compact discs are packaged together with four hard-bound books containing the full transcript of Godard's French narration with English and German translations, more than 300 stills from the video series and an interview with Godard by American film historian Jonathan Rosenbaum.
It is a spectacular sonic adventure. Music and Godard's own narration intermingle with the taped voices of poets, all of which drifts over the complex weave of sound that also includes snatches of dozens of classic films. Featuring the voices of Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Anne-Marie Miéville, Alfred Hitchcock, André Malraux, Ezra Pound, Paul Celan -- to name but a few -- and the music of Paul Hindemith, Arvo Pärt, Ludwig van Beethoven, Giya Kancheli, Béla Bartók, Franz Schubert, Igor Stravinsky, Johann Sebastian Bach, Dmitri Shostakovich, Anton Webern, Keith Jarrett, John Coltrane, Leonard Cohen, Otis Redding, Dino Saluzzi, David Darling, Ketil Bjørnstad, and others, this mammoth box set from ECM New Series is a tour-de-force.
"If you "see" the soundtrack without the images, it will have an even greater impact…" -- JLG
"surpassing the dream of all remix artists…" -- Le Monde
"Despite the absence of moving images - which have to be imagined, dreamed or fantasized (although each volume contains a very fine sheaf of stills), - we are at last in the presence of the best possible edition of these Histoire(s). Obviously this set enables us to assess the immensity of the work Godard has once again accomplished in the field of sound…It seems likely that in the next century, every cultivated person will feel compelled to have these CD-books as a portable audio memory, an accompaniment to every moment of their private life and the collective upheavals that seem imminent…A prophetic as well as historical work…" -- Thierry Jousee, Cahiers du cinéma
"Now that one can concentrate on the sound, one understands better how the world is sound for Godard and, above all, that sound is a world in itself. One has the strong impression that music is really everywhere in the air, if only one had ears to hear it. Everything that rings and swings, resounds and intones has its fixed position in the world's orchestra. The world is instrumentalized. -- Michael Alten, Süddeutsche Zeitung
"For fans of the films of Jean-Luc Godard, the soundtrack to an immense video project by the great French director, creating an impressionistic portrait in sound." - Gramophone