Composer Claude-Bénigne Balbastre came at the end of the French Baroque keyboard tradition that produced François Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau. Composed in 1759, these pieces look back toward the tradition of French harpsichord music, with its individual piece titles designating various members of the French nobility and their individual personalities. Thirty years after Couperin announced the reunification of French and Italian tastes, they show only light influence of Italian style; the clearly diatonic, periodic Allegro tune of "La Laporte," track 16, is the exception. Nor does Balbastre attempt to take after the intellectual density and harmonic complexity of Rameau's keyboard music. Instead his little musical portraits have a mostly pleasant, pastoral mien, with harmonic touches that are unusual and evocative rather than difficult.
In 1986, despite his good fortune in Hollywood, Georges Delerue would never turn his back to French cinema. Two years after Le Bon Plaisir, he responded to the film director Francis Girod's call for Descente aux Enfers (Descent Into Hell), a psychological thriller set under the sun and heat of the Caribbean and dealing with a married couple at the breaking point - an alcoholic husband (Claude Brasseur) and his 20 years younger wife (Sophie Marceau) - who will unexpectedly manage to get reunited through tragedies and secrets, despite the guilt and sorrow involved.