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slaytonf

Michel Legrand 1932-2019

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Truly one of the world's great composers for any venue.  A lot will say he's best known for his work in movies, but if his music started there, it certainly transcended their limits.  He was a brilliant pianist, composter, producer, singer (yes, he could sing great).  But I don't propose to provide a biography which must surely be superfluous.  His music could be lush and romantic, wistful, etherial, melancholic, bright, celebratory, energetic, sparkly, joyful, spectacular.  His work with Jacques Demy on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) was revolutionary, and provided the inspiration for subsequent efforts.  My favorite of his is--well, everything he did.  I can't think of anything he composed I don't like.  He had an unerring sense of the melodic, but without pandering to convention.  Even though he had a distinctive style, everything he wrote sounded, and still does, fresh and alive.  As an example, I present Chanson D'un Jour D'eté, a song from the follow-up to Umbrellas titled The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967).  The lyrics are, of course, in French, but you don't need to know their meaning to enjoy the music:

 

 

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1 hour ago, slaytonf said:

Truly one of the world's great composers for any venue.  A lot will say he's best known for his work in movies, but if his music started there, it certainly transcended their limits.  He was a brilliant pianist, composter, producer, singer (yes, he could sing great).  But I don't propose to provide a biography which must surely be superfluous.  His music could be lush and romantic, wistful, etherial, melancholy, bright, celebratory, energetic, sparkly, joyful, spectacular.  His work with Jacques Demy on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) was revolutionary, and provided the inspiration for subsequent efforts.  My favorite of his is--well, everything he did.  I can't think of anything he composed I don't like.  He had an unerring sense of the melodic, but without pandering to convention.  Even though he had a distinctive style, everything he wrote sounded, and still does, fresh and alive.  As an example, I present Chanson D'un Jour D'eté, a song from the follow-up to Umbrellas titled The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967).  The lyrics are, of course, in French, but you don't need to know their meaning to enjoy the music:

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

Michel Legrand est mort. Michael the great is how his name translates into English. And Michel is great as one of the few Frenchmen to have a high niche in the American popular song book.

His two most beautiful songs " The Summer Knows ", theme from "The Summer of 42" as sung by Andy Williams and * "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" as sung by Shirley Bassey will always be an important part of American pop standards. The International Quality of his work is stressed by all of the various artists who recorded his music and by his lyricists for these two numbers--two New York, Academy Award winners Marilyn and Alan Bergman.

But the first breakthrough came on through Tony Bennett singing " Watch What Happens "-- One of those beautiful songs from "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg "with English lyrics by the late Norman Gimbel.

 

*BTW-- It goes without saying that Sarah Vaughan also sang all of these songs superbly and if you're not afraid of sublime Jazz Renditions take a chance with Sassy Sarah. 

By the way, the American tap dancer Who Loved France, Gene Kelly, also appeared in " Les Demoiselles de Rochefort ".

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Sorry, Princess, didn't mean to snake you.  I looked for a thread on him before I posted but didn't see anything, otherwise I'd have posted my comments on your thread.

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4 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

Sorry, Princess, didn't mean to snake you.  I looked for a thread on him before I posted but didn't see anything, otherwise I'd have posted my comments on your thread.

We were initially on the obituary thread.

But Michel deserves a thread all his own--

MERCI BIEN!

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Just now, Princess of Tap said:

We were initially on the obituary thread.

But Michel deserves a thread all his own--

MERCI BIEN!

Now I don't feel bad.

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"La Chanson de Maxence" - Jacques Perrin - "The Young Girls of Rochefort -

(Jacques Revaux chant pour Monsieur Perrin.)

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On 1/26/2019 at 7:24 PM, slaytonf said:

Truly one of the world's great composers for any venue.  A lot will say he's best known for his work in movies, but if his music started there, it certainly transcended their limits.  He was a brilliant pianist, composter, producer, singer (yes, he could sing great).  But I don't propose to provide a biography which must surely be superfluous.  His music could be lush and romantic, wistful, etherial, melancholic, bright, celebratory, energetic, sparkly, joyful, spectacular.  His work with Jacques Demy on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) was revolutionary, and provided the inspiration for subsequent efforts.  My favorite of his is--well, everything he did.  I can't think of anything he composed I don't like.  He had an unerring sense of the melodic, but without pandering to convention.  Even though he had a distinctive style, everything he wrote sounded, and still does, fresh and alive.  As an example, I present Chanson D'un Jour D'eté, a song from the follow-up to Umbrellas titled The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967).  The lyrics are, of course, in French, but you don't need to know their meaning to enjoy the music:

 

 

I have a few of his albums and need to get them out to play. Unfortunately the eight-track tape I also own, will not work in my current vehicle to play it. Thanx for the update.

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The Picasso Summer (1968) was apparently a dud of a film (I've never seen it), but the song Legrand wrote for it, "Summer Me, Winter Me" (lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman), is a winner. You can hear Streisand's recording on YouTube.

Legrand and the Bergmans also wrote the beautiful song "On My Way to You." Streisand, Nancy Lemott, and many others have sung it. Legrand really knew how to write a romantic melody.

If you want to see Michel Legrand on screen, he has a role in Cleo from 5 to 7 playing a musician.

 

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How strange, "The Picasso Summer" is such a terrible film, and, yet, it has such a beautiful song.

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ACK!  I HATE this!

Aside from some of his film work, I'm now gonna cherish his work with LAURA FYGI and my CDs!  ;)

 

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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was one of the most painful movie experiences of my life. And I can think of few Oscar-winning songs I like less than "The Windmills of Your Mind". That being said, I'm appreciative that his work brought enjoyment to so many others. 

R.I.P.

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10 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was one of the most painful movie experiences of my life. And I can think of few Oscar-winning songs I like less than "The Windmills of Your Mind". That being said, I'm glad his work brought enjoyment to so many others. 

R.I.P.

I actually liked the movie when it first came out, probably because of the absolute beauty of Catherine Deneuve. But years later I saw it on some late night movie channel in B/W, dubbed in English. That was, indeed, painful. (Guy leaving the garage and singing "Ciao, you guys")

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1 hour ago, Thenryb said:

I actually liked the movie when it first came out, probably because of the absolute beauty of Catherine Deneuve. But years later I saw it on some late night movie channel in B/W, dubbed in English. That was, indeed, painful. (Guy leaving the garage and singing "Ciao, you guys")

Were the lyrics dubbed too?

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I would love to see "The Young Girls of Rochefort" in its' original format - Cinerama.

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42 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Were the lyrics dubbed too?

Yes. 

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