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26 March 2021

Musical treasures | The Alan Parsons Project: Tales of Mystery and Imagination

von Raphaël Rippinger

The Philharmonie team presents its musical treasures.

Raphaël Rippinger Archivist
The Alan Parsons Project: Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Charisma/20th Century Fox, 1976.

[English version below]

‹Musek wa se mat enger agreabeler Iddi zu Poesie kombinéiert gëtt. Musek ouni esou eng Iddi ass einfach nëmme Musek.›
Edgar Allan Poe: Letter to Mr. B–. 1831.

Dëst Zitat vum E. A. Poe gëtt virgedroe vum verstuerwenen Orson Welles um Track 6, dem ‹Prelude› vun The Fall of the House of Usher, um Album Tales of Mystery and Imagination vun The Alan Parsons Project, deen 1976 erauskomm ass.
Den Alan Parsons, berüümt fir seng Aarbecht als Tountechniker op de Beatles Abbey Road (1969), Let it Be (1970) a Pink Floyd hirem Album The Dark Side of the Moon (nach ee vu mengen All-Time Favoritten, erauskomm 1973), huet zesumme mam Eric Woolfson 1975 The Alan Parsons Project gegrënnt.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
war hiren éischte Studioalbum. D'Nimm vun den Artisten, déi un dëser Produktioun matgeschafft hunn, liese sech wéi de ‹Who is Who› vu Museker aus de spéide 70er Joren. Well d‘Produktioun vum Album strengstens geheim war, wousst kee vun den involvéierten Artiste genau u wat fir engem Projet si genau do matgeschafft hunn.
Am Joer 1987 gouf den Album nei gemastered fir dem CD Maart dee grad entstane war, an der Evolutioun an der Technologie gerecht ze ginn. E 5.1 Remix ass deemno konsequenterweis am Joer 2016 op Blu-ray erauskomm.

Den Alan Parsons huet dem Edgar Allan Poe säi Wierk zum Liewen erwächt an ass wäit iwwer ‹einfach Musek› erausgaange wéi am Poe sengem Zitat vun 1831. Tales of Mystery and Imagination ass en Album dee fir ëmmer a menger Erënnerung wäert liewen!

Interessant Tatsaach: De Prelude vun "The Fall of the House of Usher" war eng alternativ Versioun vum Claude Debussy sengem "La chute de la Maison Usher", orchestréiert vum Bandmember Andrew Powell. Et ka behaapt ginn dass dëst déi alleréischten Opnam vun dëser net fäerdeger Oper vum Debussy ass un där hien tëscht 1908 an 1917 geschafft huet.

 

‹Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry; music, without the idea, is simply music…›
Edgar Allan Poe: Letter to Mr. B–. 1831.

This quote by E. A. Poe is read by the late Orson Welles on track 6, the ‹Prelude› of The Fall of the House of Usher in one of the Tales of Mystery and Imagination by The Alan Parsons Project, released in 1976.
Alan Parsons, famous for his sound-engineering work on The Beatles’ Abbey Road (1969), Let it Be (1970) and Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon (another one of my all-time favorites from 1973), formed The Alan Parsons Project together with Eric Woolfson in 1975.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination
was their first studio album. The lineup of artists who participated in the production, shrouded in the greatest secrecy, reads like the who’s who of late 70s musicians and none of the artists involved knew exactly what they were hired for.
The album was remastered in 1987 to accommodate for the new and growing CD market and evolution in technology. A 5.1 remix was issued in 2016 on Blu-ray.

Alan Parsons has breathed the pulsing beat of life into the body of Edgar Allan Poe's work, and this goes way beyond ‹simply music› as E.A. Poe's put it in his quote from 1831. Tales of Mystery and Imagination is an album that will live in my memory forever!

Interesting fact: The opening prelude to The Fall of the House of Usher was an alternative orchestration by band member Andrew Powell of Claude Debussy's La Chute de la Maison Usher and can be claimed to be the first ever recording of an unfinished opera that Debussy worked on between 1908 and 1917.