Michel Legrand & The Cinema [Import]
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LIVE FROM PARIS
THE BEST OF 50 YEARS FILM MUSIC BY MICHEL LEGRAND
It is difficult to pin the multi-talented Michel Legrand down into
one single category. This amazingly versatile singer, songwriter,
composer, arranger, conductor and producer has enjoyed a whirlwind
career, excelling in an impressively broad range of domains from
film soundtracks and French 'chanson' to jazz and classical music.
An international star, who has won as much respect in the United
States as he has in Europe, Legrand is an insatiable musician whose
creativity and ambition appear to know no bounds.
'Melody is the mistress of music', he is fond of saying. Accompanied by the Orchestre National d Île-de-France, Michel Legrand is going to prove it again tonight by giving us the pleasure of rediscovering, in their symphonic dress, his most beautiful film scores. And all of this together with the Quebec star Mario Pelchat and the kind participation of some of the big names in French song: Maurane, Liane Foly, Patrick Fiori and many surprise guests. For the programme for this evening, the composer has compiled a sumptuous panoramic traveling view, spanning over fifty years of 'Legrandish'
cinema. Namely, an anthology of vibrant music written for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Yentl and Ice Station Zebra. As the icing on the birthday cake, the maestro will provide us with a bunch of his most famous songs like Summer '42, The Windmills of my Heart and How long to die my Youth. A title that looks very much like a profession of faith.
BONUS: Behind the Scenes - A documentary including interviews with Michel Legrand and other performer as well as backstage and rehearsal footage of the concert
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This DVD captures the full, nearly two-hour, concert he did in Paris in 2009. The 79 year-old genius conducted the concert with fifty years of his film music - from his first film scores with French "new wave" directors to the "populist films like the previously mentioned Yentl. There was a full orchestra plus a smaller jazz rhythm section and - at times - the musicians form a "big band". Throughout the performance Legrand conducts and often plays the piano part. On many of the upbeat numbers he improvises. And then - on songs like "Papa Can You Hear Me?" from Yentl he sings. Not well I might say, but the guy wrote the songs so bear with him. The vocals, luckily, are not all by the composer. Five French singers - 2 men; three women... none of who were familiar to me - are there. One female - Maurane - belts out the Streisand vocals from Yentl.
The sound is great and the images are sharp. The direction, however, can be distracting. The camera never lingers on one shot or angle for more than five seconds! This may work well in pop "music videos" but it is fairly annoying (not to mention dizzying) to the viewer.
The DVD also contains an excellent 54-minute "Behind the Scenes" documentary which literally "shadows" Legrand from early rehearsals to his entrance on the stage for the performance. There are interviews with the other singers as well as Legrand's son plus a one-on-one with him. The interviews are all in French so you need to turn on the "English Subtitles" option. Though there is very little talking in the concert presentation, it would help to use this feature then as well as the titles of songs displayed on the screen are translated with the subtitles.
Those who know Legrand's music well will want this DVD. Those who only know the more popular ones will learn about some more. And any piano jazz fan will love watching the "maestro" play. I certainly did.