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A simple introduction to chanson

I'm happy to admit to eclectic musical tastes. I've already confessed to enjoying progressive rock, English folk, ambient and trance. But now it's time to admit to another string to my musical bow: chanson.

Now a very French amalgamation of cafe jazz and traditional folk styles, but dating back to the Middle Ages, chanson is still a popular form of music in the francophone world. Popular singers like Charles Trenet had careers that lasted more than half a century. It's a style of music that has an innate romanticism, and yet a practical and down to earth view of the world. And it's a style of music that gives the accordian a prominent role...

There have been attempts to translate chanson into english, but on the whole these are failures - I only have to point to the many versions of Charles Trenet's "La Mer". But still the rolling chords of chanson drift into the night, and into the hearts of its listeners.

Jenet's wonderful film "Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" is at heart chanson given form, and it's no surprise that Yann Tiersen's soundtrack is built on the musical tropes of good chanson. The CD mixes chanson with his music, and can be purchased here.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 11th, 2002 09:01 am (UTC)
... to give it the UK title, is a lovely film, watched the DVD last night (my first time watching the film) and I guessed who the "ghost man" was pretty quickly ... but some of the quirky little bits were glorious. The soundtrack was lovely, though I felt it had perhaps a touch too much Satie (or Satie-like) piano ... but then I need to go back and watch again as I think they may have been doing a little bit of "Peter and the Wolf" with pieces of music and particular characters.

Loved the garden gnome!
Dec. 11th, 2002 10:49 am (UTC)
well, you know how I feel about chanson! Nice to have someone extolling the virtues so virtuously. ;)

Did you check out my amazon list? You could probably come up with some suggestions for my chanson section. I only found one or two french titles I knew I wanted. The rest is all a mystery to me.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )