One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Michel LEGRAND (b. 1932) and Jacques DEMY (1931-1990)
Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964)
(symphonic version, world premiere)
Geneviève Emery - Marie Oppert
Guy Foucher - Vincent Niclo
Madam Emery - Natalie Dessay
Roland Cassard - Laurent Naouri
Madeleine - Louise Leterme
Denis Leloup (trombone); François Laizeau (batterie); Claude Egea (trompette); Pierre Boussaget (contrebasse rythmique); Pierre Perchaud (guitar)
Orchestre National d’Ile-de-France/Michel Legrand
rec. Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, 11-14 September 2014
Video: NTSC System 16.9 Disc Format: 1 DVD 9
Sound: Stereo PCM 2.0/Dolby Digital 5.1
ERATO DVD 2564 611764 [100:00]

The original 1964 film of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg was one of the most successful films in France drawing some 1.25 million admissions. It starred Catherine Deneuve as Geneviève and Nino Castelnuovo as Guy. Almost operatic, the dialogue was all sung as recitative. Michel Legrand’s music was regarded very highly especially that haunting song ’Je ne pourrai jamais vivre sans toi’ sung as the two young lovers are parted when Guy is drafted to serve as a soldier in the Algerian War.

Now Les Parapluies has been recreated as a symphonic presentation with the same-sized orchestra as used in the film. It is placed on-stage with the actors/dancers performing in front of it. The sets are merely rough card cut-outs with simplistic monochrome drawings on them. All of these plus smaller date-of-action cards are carried on and off-stage by the actors themselves.

The opening scene with colourful umbrellas opened and twirling with the boys and girls in raincoats and sailors jauntily dancing sets the scene. We learn that Geneviève is desperately in love with Guy. Both are still virtually in their teens and her mother Madam Emery (Natalie Dessay) is concerned especially since her umbrella-selling business is none too secure. The great Dessay is a commanding presence throughout especially in the poignant scene when she learns that the rich shy Roland Cassard that she fancies, prefers her daughter. In this version the actor playing Cassard is suitably much older than Geneviève but it is he who marries the pregnant Geneviève after she panics because she feels abandoned by Guy when she hears so little from him in North Africa. Guy returns to learn what has happened and goes into a decline losing his job and his self-respect but is saved by Madeleine who had cared for his ailing aunt and now wants to save him from himself. They marry and have a son. Inevitably Geneviève returns to Cherbourg and bumps into Guy but he spurns her advances and he and Madeleine exit happily leaving a saddened Geneviève.

All this is convincingly told through dance and recitative song. This is a moving retro tribute to a ground-breaking major French film. It could not have been an easy viewing when it first appeared yet drew huge audiences.
 
Ian Lace
 

 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger