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Post your favourite Vladimir Cosma tracks!

Loïc D

Monkeying with libraries
His late sixties / early seventies work is also worth listening. Especially if you like the kazoo.

In "Clerambard (les demoiselles de provine)" from 1969, the kazoo plays a staccato melody, with legato slurs at the end of the phrases (just a note for mock-up). More kazoos become active during the song, sometimes a diatonic third above the melody, sometimes contrapuntal lines.
This melody will stay with you for a very long time. Listener beware!

Freely moving fat electric bass, not so tight Hammond stabs and a loose drummer accompany this infectious melody.

Some beautiful brass enters the field after 45 seconds. From then, an intricate rhythmic melodic texture, with call & response elements appears. The song finishes off with an abrupt perfect cadence, a rising fourth.
(no need for Neo-Riemannian theory to comprehend it)

You will be left with a smile on your face. 1:48 pure enjoyment!

This tune has been featured in hundreds of programs and TV ads here in France.
It indeed stays very long in your brain :)
 

Maarten

Member
More Kazoos. "Le Ballet Des Allégories. (1971)" is in a way, Vladimir's 'Freak Out'.
category: weird music but very intriguing. Sitar, beautiful choir parts and kazoos!

 

Maarten

Member
This tune has been featured in hundreds of programs and TV ads here in France.
It indeed stays very long in your brain :)
Nice to know. Never heard of Cosma before this thread, although I saw the family movies "L'Animal" & "Rabbi Jacob" in the seventies & "Diva" as an arthouse-hit in the early eighties.
 

Oakran

New Member
Every new post that gets added to this thread only confirms (to me, I mean) what I’ve been thinking all along. Actually, it’s more serious than that: I’ve never held Cosma in high regard, but having listened to the above videos, I can't but conclude that he’s even a lot worse than I already thought he was. There's never been another VI-C thread that has so much kitsch-y, uninteresting, idiotic and third-rate music on display as this one.

I also notice again how poorly performed, recorded and produced all this music is. Really-really bad recordings. To be fair to Cosma, he’s not the only European film composer (I use the term loosely so as to include Cosma) to have suffered this fate. Up until a decade or two-three ago, most European film music — except when it was written by a composer of international stature (and even that was no guarantee for a decent sound production) — was recorded, or so it would appear anyway, in the direst of conditions, using under-rehearsed, amateuristic-sounding orchestras and players, and with only the barest of production budgets.

- - -

It’s possible that I don’t ‘understand’ French cinema. I doubt it though. I grew up with it. (I can ride on my bicyclette from my home to the borders of France — singing Yves Montand’s “À Bicyclette” while I’m at it —, if I want.) So, I’m pretty confident that I know and understand French cinema (and its music) as well or as poorly as anyone here. Which is precisely why I object with such vehemence to Cosma. If this thread had been about Sarde, Portal, Delerue, Legrand, Petit, Solal, Françaix, Yared, etc. … my contribution to it would have been entirely different.

_
Nice troll.
Cosma is great ! The kitsch part of his music is exactly what makes it brilliant unlike your posts ;) I think he did the best he could with what was possible at the time and it seems totally unfair to judge the recording quality in comparaison to what's possible today.. If we still speak about him 40 years later I think there's a reason.
Cheers
 

re-peat

Senior Member
Touchy bunch, the Cosma Fan Club. I didn’t know that. Dare to refrain from joining in their adulation for the Master and they call you a ‘con’ and a troll and tell you you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Look, vraiment désolé and all that, but I just don’t like Cosma’s music. That is my right, isn’t it? Most participants here seem to like his music very much, and that's fine, but I don’t. What’s the problem?

And based on the examples that have already been posted, I fully expect that the next dozen Cosma clips will only affirm my opinion. Because I simply do not hear any hint of a remarkable talent in any of the material posted thus far, I’m sorry. Trite tunes à volonté, banal harmonies in abundance, run-of-the-mill arrangements, barely adequate performances, a few gimmicky production ideas, and well-below-average recordings. That’s what I hear. Nothing exceptional, nothing memorable, nothing that I’m prepared to call good music.

And I’m sure Cosma “did the best he could”, that much is obvious, but that’s alas also precisely why his output is such a miserable and pitiful affair.

The man might be considered a national treasure in France, and I’m prepared to respect that (because deep-down I am a Gallophile), but I refuse to consider him a great composer.

_
 

DarkestShadow

Senior Member
Touchy bunch, the Cosma Fan Club. I didn’t know that. Dare to refrain from joining in their adulation for the Master and they call you a ‘con’ and a troll and tell you you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Look, vraiment désolé and all that, but I just don’t like Cosma’s music. That is my right, isn’t it? Most participants here seem to like his music very much, and that's fine, but I don’t. What’s the problem?

And based on the examples that have already been posted, I fully expect that the next dozen Cosma clips will only affirm my opinion. Because I simply do not hear any hint of a remarkable talent in any of the material posted thus far, I’m sorry. Trite tunes à volonté, banal harmonies in abundance, run-of-the-mill arrangements, barely adequate performances, a few gimmicky production ideas, and well-below-average recordings. That’s what I hear. Nothing exceptional, nothing memorable, nothing that I’m prepared to call good music.

And I’m sure Cosma “did the best he could”, that much is obvious, but that’s alas also precisely why his output is such a miserable and pitiful affair.

The man might be considered a national treasure in France, and I’m prepared to respect that (because deep-down I am a Gallophile), but I refuse to consider him a great composer.

_
Did he steal your toys when you were a kid?

I'm not part of the Cosma fanclub... just saw a few production music pieces years ago that I liked... didn't listen for years, just checked the first track linked and love it, that's it.

I'm sometimes fairly rude but you are in a totally different galaxy of poison. I never read so much pure hate against any composers work (except perhaps HZ over at *the forum* LOL).

Well, I hope he will buy you a new toy at some point. Luckily he is still alive according to google. Maybe send a letter or so...
 

re-peat

Senior Member
Well, you’ll have to excuse me, I suppose. With the same fire that I write enthusiastically about a composer or music which I love — and there are countless VI-pages that contain examples of that —, I will write negatively about a composer whose work I don’t like. Two sides of the exact same passion. And it’s got nothing to do with 'pure hate' or a “galaxy of poison” or trolling, it simply has to be like that for me, or it would be untruthful. (And I don’t see why that is considered such an unacceptable stance.) I simply cannot listen to Cosma’s music and then dismiss the thing politely with a few indifferent, moderately disapproving but always civil words, I just can’t. It’s too bad for that. (In my strictly personal opinion, that is.)

Oh, wait, if I am totally honest, I have to add that there is one piece of music here for which I feel what is indeed correctly described as hate. I’m talking about that pseudo-Celtic piece of not-even-muzak posted on the previous page. Anyone who produces that (and sells it as ‘Celtic Mysteries’) deserves nothing less than to have a galaxy of poison poured out over him/her.

The only argument that can make me change course in this thread, is if someone finds me a piece of good Cosma music. (And trust me, if I’ll hear it, I’ll acknowledge it.) Until then, I stick with what I’ve said. If that upsets anyone, tant pis.

_
 

Mr Pringles

Active Member
To each his own, but reading again your initial post seems like you're vomiting on Cosma's work gratuitously. I mean, I also have a negative opinion on some established composer's work like Einaudi or Tiersen that many rave about. I find their music too cliché. But it's not like they were horrible and famous for some strange reason only God or the Universe would understand. I'm not touched by it, so be it. It doesn't mean it's garbage though. It's all about having a balanced and respectful opinion.
 

Loïc D

Monkeying with libraries
Well, you’ll have to excuse me, I suppose. With the same fire that I write enthusiastically about a composer or music which I love — and there are countless VI-pages that contain examples of that —, I will write negatively about a composer whose work I don’t like. Two sides of the exact same passion. And it’s got nothing to do with 'pure hate' or a “galaxy of poison” or trolling, it simply has to be like that for me, or it would be untruthful. (And I don’t see why that is considered such an unacceptable stance.) I simply cannot listen to Cosma’s music and then dismiss the thing politely with a few indifferent, moderately disapproving but always civil words, I just can’t. It’s too bad for that. (In my strictly personal opinion, that is.)

Oh, wait, if I am totally honest, I have to add that there is one piece of music here for which I feel what is indeed correctly described as hate. I’m talking about that pseudo-Celtic piece of not-even-muzak posted on the previous page. Anyone who produces that (and sells it as ‘Celtic Mysteries’) deserves nothing less than to have a galaxy of poison poured out over him/her.

The only argument that can make me change course in this thread, is if someone finds me a piece of good Cosma music. (And trust me, if I’ll hear it, I’ll acknowledge it.) Until then, I stick with what I’ve said. If that upsets anyone, tant pis.

_
I definetely wouldn’t accuse you of trolling, your contributions on the forum tells the opposite.
And you are right to express you dislike about Cosma’s music.
Again, the guy seems humble about his stuff and it is definitely (mostly) simple music for (mostly) simple movies (lots of comedies).
He’s probably more talented than what his music tells, probably not as much as Delerue, Sarde, Jarre and the likes.
But he was not hired for this.

As to the poor production, I agree that the quality was subpar in France. The lack of a proper scoring structure - compared to UK, Germany or Italy - has always been a concern here.
And the closure of Studio Davout has left Paris without a decent large scoring stage.
 

lychee

Active Member

re-peat


I don't think you're trying to be mean (or at least I hope), but when you use words like "insultingly idiotic, never-funny, badly-acted movies, drenched in insultingly bad and very annoying music", it may sound insulting for all those who like this artist and the French comedy (I confess to be one of those).

After that I don't ask you not to express yourself on your disenchantment with Cosma, but I think that you should, as the French expression would say "put water in your wine", that is to say calm things down and use less crude words.
Being frank is good, but sometimes you have to know how to be less so as not to hurt your neighbor.

Without wanting to sound insulting in my turn, it can seem pretentious to say "this sucks, but this is good" (these are not your words, but I will shorten), especially as questions of taste are and will remain subjective forever.
 

Stevie

Senior Member
You know, the funny thing is, I don't get mad at Re-Peat at all, because I highly respect his opinion in many regards. Yes, his words were harsh, but I don't mind.
I still can enjoy Vladimir Cosma. After music is always a personal thing. Some like his music, some don't.
Let's move on :)
 
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molemac

Active Member
Well, you’ll have to excuse me, I suppose. With the same fire that I write enthusiastically about a composer or music which I love — and there are countless VI-pages that contain examples of that —, I will write negatively about a composer whose work I don’t like. Two sides of the exact same passion. And it’s got nothing to do with 'pure hate' or a “galaxy of poison” or trolling, it simply has to be like that for me, or it would be untruthful. (And I don’t see why that is considered such an unacceptable stance.) I simply cannot listen to Cosma’s music and then dismiss the thing politely with a few indifferent, moderately disapproving but always civil words, I just can’t. It’s too bad for that. (In my strictly personal opinion, that is.)

Oh, wait, if I am totally honest, I have to add that there is one piece of music here for which I feel what is indeed correctly described as hate. I’m talking about that pseudo-Celtic piece of not-even-muzak posted on the previous page. Anyone who produces that (and sells it as ‘Celtic Mysteries’) deserves nothing less than to have a galaxy of poison poured out over him/her.

The only argument that can make me change course in this thread, is if someone finds me a piece of good Cosma music. (And trust me, if I’ll hear it, I’ll acknowledge it.) Until then, I stick with what I’ve said. If that upsets anyone, tant pis.
Touchy bunch, the Cosma Fan Club. I didn’t know that. Dare to refrain from joining in their adulation for the Master and they call you a ‘con’ and a troll and tell you you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Look, vraiment désolé and all that, but I just don’t like Cosma’s music. That is my right, isn’t it? Most participants here seem to like his music very much, and that's fine, but I don’t. What’s the problem?

And based on the examples that have already been posted, I fully expect that the next dozen Cosma clips will only affirm my opinion. Because I simply do not hear any hint of a remarkable talent in any of the material posted thus far, I’m sorry. Trite tunes à volonté, banal harmonies in abundance, run-of-the-mill arrangements, barely adequate performances, a few gimmicky production ideas, and well-below-average recordings. That’s what I hear. Nothing exceptional, nothing memorable, nothing that I’m prepared to call good music.

And I’m sure Cosma “did the best he could”, that much is obvious, but that’s alas also precisely why his output is such a miserable and pitiful affair.

The man might be considered a national treasure in France, and I’m prepared to respect that (because deep-down I am a Gallophile), but I refuse to consider him a great composer.

_
you call yourself a Gallophile . Do us a favour and watch Diner de con without smiling when the music kicks in . I loved it so much when I went to see the movie, I wrote a Hollywood/Miramax film score influenced by it . Maybe you aren’t old enough to have experienced the wonderful films of Jaques Tati and his music too and understand the simplicity and slapstick nature of French humour. Also watch Diva and listen to Cosmos promenade . Both classics of the 80s. Having said that , I agree with you on a lot of his stuff, especially when it comes to the overuse of Kazoo 🤮
 
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Maarten

Member
Maybe it's Time now, to make a 'Braaam' sound with a lot of Kazoos.
A Hans Zimmer & Vladimir Cosma combi nobody can resist!
 

lychee

Active Member
... So Cosma would be the one who inspired Ennio Morricone? :laugh:



More seriously, the music can take different forms, go from sad to joyful, from tragic to comic and be in perfect harmony with the image.
We could not assemble The Imperial March of John Williams to the film "Le Diner De Con", obviously that would not fit.
Also, I do not see why the so-called comic music could not take a good place in our hearts, even if it is played on kazoo.
 

PedroPH

New Member
To be fair to Cosma, he’s not the only European film composer (I use the term loosely so as to include Cosma) to have suffered this fate.
_
Why do you have to use the term "European" loosely to include Cosma? Isn't he Romanian? How is Romania only "loosely" an European country? Am I missing something?
 

re-peat

Senior Member
I was toying with the the idea myself, a few days ago, to post “My Name Is Nobody” as a good example of light-weight, catchy tune BUT written by someone who actually has special gift to write those type of things. (And they’re very difficult to write.)

On paper, Cosma would be among my favourite composers: his stylistic range knows no limits, he doesn’t look down on the more “low-brow” popular types of music, he’s eclectic in the best possible way, he enthusiatically embraces every possible style or genre, he’s as versatile as any … and these are all things I greatly admire in a composer. (And I have a particularly strong fondness for people who do light music well.) But … the mammoth-sized problem here is: Cosma, in my view, doesn’t have the gift for great musical composition. He doesn’t have any talent for remarkable musical ideas or melody. Not like Ennio Morricone had. Not like John Barry had, not like Burt Bacharach had, not like Henry Mancini had. These four had that wondrous (and extremely rare) gift in spades, Cosma, unfortunately, doesn’t even have the tiniest seed of it.

He can write a half-decent tune, sure, like most of us can, and on a good day something might flow out of his pen that approaches a modicum of enjoyability, but it’s never going to be something truly extraordinary. The great melodies of those four other composers are just that: truly extraordinary.

Many things, and some very essential ones among them, in the art of composing music require skill, knowledge and technique. But there are also two things which require something else — talent — in order to reach outstanding musical heights. Unnurturable, undevelopable, unteachable and unlearnable talent. And those two things which require talent (rather than skill) are: melody and musical idea. Without a real talent for these, a composer may be as well-trained, educated, dedicated and passionate as can be, his or her output will never rise above the workmanlike. It may be interesting, profound, clever, sophisticated, enjoyable and even successful, but it won’t have that spark of special inspiration which makes the heart of all great music pump.

Of the three Strauss brothers, only Johann had The Gift. The other two could also write a perfectly shaped and serviceable polka, waltz or gallop, no problem at all, but only Johann, when inspired, could write melodies that can cast a spell on their audiences. He had the talent to inject his music with that spark. He could write melodies that transcend style, purpose, time and place, melodies that have a catchyness that is not contrived and never cheap but genuinely inspired (and therefore everlasting), melodies that have that elusive, almost magical quality with which they completely win over new audiences (all over the world) generation after generation after generation.

Unfathomably special talent that is. And Cosma doesn’t have it. He is very much like one of the other two Strauss brothers. He can try all he wants, does his better-than-best, but he will *never* write a great melody.

And regrettably, he doesn’t seem to know it himself, because if he did, he wouldn’t rely on ‘tunes’ as much as he does in his music. See, to my ears, Cosma’s music doesn’t so much expose whatever talent for music he might have, it exposes — and to a rather painful degree — the talent which he doesn’t have.

_
 
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Rob

stale member
Why do you have to use the term "European" loosely to include Cosma? Isn't he Romanian? How is Romania only "loosely" an European country? Am I missing something?
Piet's using the term "composer" loosely, not "European", that's what you missed :)
 

lychee

Active Member
I was toying with the the idea myself, a few days ago, to post “My Name Is Nobody” as a good example of light-weight, catchy tune BUT written by someone who actually has special gift to write those type of things. (And they’re very difficult to write.)

On paper, Cosma would be among my favourite composers: his stylistic range knows no limits, he doesn’t look down on the more “low-brow” popular types of music, he’s eclectic in the best possible way, he enthusiatically embraces every possible style or genre, he’s as versatile as any … and these are all things I greatly admire in a composer. (And I have a particularly strong fondness for people who do light music well.) But … the mammoth-sized problem here is: Cosma, in my view, doesn’t have the gift for great musical composition. He doesn’t have any talent for remarkable musical ideas or melody. Not like Ennio Morricone had. Not like John Barry had, not like Burt Bacharach had, not like Henry Mancini had. These four had that wondrous (and extremely rare) gift in spades, Cosma, unfortunately, doesn’t even have the tiniest seed of it.

He can write a half-decent tune, sure, like most of us can, and on a good day something might flow out of his pen that approaches a modicum of enjoyability, but it’s never going to be something truly extraordinary. The great melodies of those four other composers are just that: truly extraordinary.

Many things, and some very essential ones among them, in the art of composing music require skill, knowledge and technique. But there are also two things which require something else — talent — in order to reach outstanding musical heights. Unnurturable, undevelopable, unteachable and unlearnable talent. And those two things which require talent (rather than skill) are: melody and musical idea. Without a real talent for these, a composer may be as well-trained, educated, dedicated and passionate as can be, his or her output will never rise above the workmanlike. It may be interesting, profound, clever, sophisticated, enjoyable and even successful, but it won’t have that spark of special inspiration which makes the heart of all great music pump.

Of the three Strauss brothers, only Johann had The Gift. The other two could also write a perfectly shaped and serviceable polka, waltz or gallop, no problem at all, but only Johann, when inspired, could write melodies that can cast a spell on their audiences. He had the talent to inject his music with that spark. He could write melodies that transcend style, purpose, time and place, melodies that have a catchyness that is not contrived and never cheap but genuinely inspired (and therefore everlasting), melodies that have that elusive, almost magical quality with which they completely win over new audiences (all over the world) generation after generation after generation.

Unfathomably special talent that is. And Cosma doesn’t have it. He is very much like one of the other two Strauss brothers. He can try all he wants, does his better-than-best, but he will *never* write a great melody.

And regrettably, he doesn’t seem to know it himself, because if he did, he wouldn’t rely on ‘tunes’ as much as he does in his music. See, to my ears, Cosma’s music doesn’t so much expose whatever talent for music he might have, it exposes — and to a rather painful degree — the talent which he doesn’t have.

_

I hope you don't like My Name Is Nobody, because it would be a shame to criticize Cosma when you might think that this song was made by him.

It's too long a speech to define your science of music, to end up just saying that you don't like Cosma (which I heard).
Except that music is not an exact science and that on this question everyone will have their opinion, which will go in your direction or towards the opposite total.

No one is wrong, no one is right, so I'm not going to dwell on the subject and debate something that is useless to debate (tastes and colors).
I respect the fact that everyone has their opinion, but you have to be careful to express it as if it would be everyone's, in short, show humility.
 

re-peat

Senior Member
I mentioned it before that what I write is my strictly personal opionion, didn't I? I’m not going to repeat that in every post, if you don’t mind.

And I’m as humble as the next man or woman — much humbler even, I dare say — when in the presence of really good music, but Cosma’s ain’t that. Sorry. I don’t feel the slightest urge or obligation to talk with humility and respect about that man’s output. There is, in my world, no system of musical or even broader aesthetic parameters, not even the most forgiving or lackadaisical frame of reference, with which Cosma’s music can be allotted even the flimsiest soupçon of quality. It’s vapid, mediocre and, to me, quite offensive garbage. All of it.

The reason why this post has a slighty nastier tone than my usually cordial, civil and friendly manner of conversation, is because I just listened to a fragment of that “Astérix est là” song again. What horror. People must have been condemned to L’Île du Diable for much smaller offences.

I also disagree quite strongly with “no one is wrong, no one is right”. A statement like that goes against my every musical sensibility. Because it implies that all quality in music is attributed, rather than intrinsic. Which is an utterly absurd idea to me. I believe — strictly personal opinion, this — great music easily rises above the intellectual lazyness, cowardice and complete idiocy of the “de gustibus et coloribus …”-dogma.

The evaluation of quality stops being subjective where that quality transcends the limitations of personal taste. Taste is subjective, yes, absolutely, but quality isn’t. Recognizing that human expression or creativity can, when in the presence of an exceptionnal talent, reach a level far above the limited demarcation abilities of our personal preferences — and the faculty to recognize it when it does —, has nothing subjective about it. People, like you, who insist that all artistic evaluation is subjective, confuse subjectivity with the inability to recognize that true greatness eludes the narrowmindedness of subjective evaluation.

True greatness however is, of course, a completely misplaced and irrelevant topic to bring to a Cosma thread. I apologize for that.

_
 
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