| February 28, 1972 at L'Olympia in Paris by Paul Houdebine & Henri Lousteau|
Chemins de Terre
Celtic music, Folk music, Music of Brittany, Celtic rock, Celtic fusion
Brian Boru, Renaissance of the Celtic Harp, Symphonie Celtique, Chemins de Terre, Reflets
À l'Olympia (Also called At the Olympia and Olympia Concert) was Stivell's first live album, recording at L'Olympia. It was released by Fontana in 1972.
This live concert was divided into two parts: the first acoustic folk, the second part being electric folk in a style then known as Celtic rock. The evening is a musical tour around the Celtic fringe, from Brittany northwards. It was broadcast live on one of the three radio stations in France (seven million listeners live on Radio Europe 1) Alan Stivell was accompanied by Dan Ar Braz on guitar, Michel Santangelli (the future drummer for Jacques Higelin) on percussion, Gabriel Yacoub, René Werneer, Pascal Stive, Gérard Levasseur, Serj Parayre and Michaël Klec’h.
Stivell à l'Olympia sold a staggering 1,500,000 copies in just over a year (more than 2 million thereafter) and put both Stivell and Breton music on the cultural map once and for all
1972, the year of its release, was one of radical ferment at home and abroad. The widespread revolt of May 1968 had generated a "back to the earth" movement amongst French students and intelligensia. The entry of Britain and Ireland into the EEC was seen by radicals in Brittany as the long-awaited opportunity to bring the Celtic nations together and make the ancient dream of Celtic unity a reality. Alan Stivell was closely identified with these trends, even at times hailed as a champion of one or the other cause, but he was himself, as he often later claimed, uneasy about taking on the role of a musical freedom fighter. His deep fascination with cutting edge technology, fuelled by his early love of science fiction put him at odds with any "back to the earth" idealism. Despite the hopes he shared with many of his fellow Breton for a Celtic cultural revival and unity, he always sought to avoid being straight-jacketed by a narrow traditionalist outlook.
The electric ambiance of Alan Stivell and his musicians quickly spread like wildfire in France: Stivell had just launched the first "Breton wave". Music from Brittany also became extremely popular and the song Tri Martolod, which is still playing on the radio and in our memories, became the battle flag for an entire generation.
Lyrics and musics are traditionals arranged by Alan Stivell except "The Wind of Keltia" written by Alan Stivell and Steve Waring.Alan Stivell - lead vocal, Celtic harp, tin whistle (Irish flute), bombard
Gabriel Yacoub - guitars, dulcimer, banjo, backing vocals
René Werneer - fiddle
Pascal Stive - organ
Gérard Levasseur - bass
Henry Delagarde - cello, flute, bombard
Dan Ar Braz - electric guitar
Michel Santangeli (29 August 1945–30 September 2014) - drums
Serj Parayre - percussions
Mikael Klec'h - flute, bombard
Producer – Frank Giboni for Fontana Records
Engineer – Paul Houdebine
Engineer Assistant – Henri Lousteau
Fontana 6399 005 [original French release]
Fontana 6325 321 [France, Italy]
Disques Dreyfus 834-289-2 [French CD release of 1988]
1The Wind of Keltia3:42À l'Olympia (Alan Stivell album) Wikipedia
3The Trees They Grow High3:04