Magazine article Gramophone

'Barbara'

Magazine article Gramophone

'Barbara'

Article excerpt

'Barbara'

Pierre (a). Cet enfant-la (b). Septembre (c). Mes hommes (d). Du bout des levres (e). Vivant poeme (f). A mourir pour mourir (g). Y'aura du monde (h). La-bas (i). C'est trop tard (j). Au Bois de Saint-Amand (k). Vienne (l). Dis, quand reviendras-tu (Say, when will you return?) (m). Les amis de monsieur (n). Attendez que ma joie revienne (o). O mes theatres (p). Valse de Franz. Nantes (q). Ce matin-la (r). Le bel age (s). Plus rien. Remusa (t). J'ai tue l'amour. Ma plus belle histoire d'amour (u)

Alexandre Tharaud pf with (a) Tim Dup, (b) Dominique A, (c) Camelia Jordana, (d) Juliette, (e) Vanessa Paradis, (f) Jean-Louis Aubert, (g) Radio Elvis, (h) Benabar, (i) Jane Birkin, (j) Albin de la Simone, (k) Rokia Traore, (lp) Juliette Binoche, (m) Hindi Zahra, (n) Guillaume Gallienne, (o) Luz Casal vocs (hqru) Michel Portai cl (l)Renaud Capucon, (j) Herve Joulain vn (ahl) Louis Rodde, (m) Francois Salque vc (dho) Stephane Logerot db (a) Olivier Marguerit kybds (o) Francois Lasserre gtr (adqt) Roland Romanelli accordion (bor) Modigliani Quartet

Erato (B)(2) 9029 57591-5 (78' * DDD)

The great French singer-songwriter Barbara died 20 years ago this November at the age of 67. Alexandre Tharaud, then in his late twenties, was among the many who gathered, three days later, for her funeral, and in a booklet essay recalls how, once the TV cameras were switched off, the crowd at her graveside spontaneously sang her best-known songs one by one. 'We kept singing', he writes, 'as if we wanted it to go on forever.' The idea of recording a tribute, he adds, came to him at that moment, and now, to mark the anniversary of her death, we have this beautiful set, which forms his often very personal response to her work.

As usual, Tharaud confounds expectations and the two discs here, each of which is actually a self-contained album, approach Barbara's music in very different ways. With collaborators drawn from classical and popular music, film and theatre, the first presents a sequence of covers which offer shifting perspectives on Barbara's songs. The arrangements are Tharaud's own, and the disc begins and ends with 'Pierre', transformed into a piano prelude that glances in the direction of Bach and the introduction to Hahn's 'A Chloris'. The song itself, addressed to a (probably) imaginary lover, becomes gloriously homoerotic when sung by Tim Dup at the disc's midpoint, one of many wonderfully effective numbers here.

Juliette gets down and dirty with 'Mes homines'. …

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