Les Visiteurs du Soir and Démons Productions present
Wilson chante Montand
Direction: Christian Schiaretti
Musical direction and arrangements: Bruno Fontaine
Coproduction Théâtre National Populaire
Lambert Wilson knows Yves Montand very well. Their encounter on this album sounds like an evidence. Because of their tone, first. Yves Montand and Lambert Wilson are both light-baritone with a similar range and tone. But also because they both have a great passion for words. At the beginning of the nineties, Lambert Wilson did visit Yves Montand’s repertoire with his first musicals, but his actor career on stage (Bernstein’s Candide, Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, Rodgers’s The King and I) and on screen kept him away from visiting further… Until getting the idea of an album centered on Montand’s work. He met up again with his longtime accomplice, composer and musician Bruno Fontaine, who worked with Lambert on several musicals, as well as on Alain Resnais’s Same Old Song. Wilson chante Montand contains all the French-Italian singer’s classics, like La Bicyclette, Les Grands Boulevards or Syracuse, as well as a few rarities such as Les Bijoux, composed by Léo Férré and based on a Charles Baudelaire’s poem, Casse-tête composed by Gébé and Philippe-Gérard, or Sanguine, composed by Jacques Prévert and Bob Castella. “Three songs were so moving for me that they were hard to sing”, explains Lambert. “Les feuilles mortes, Barbara, and Le temps des cerises all talk about a time long gone, about the happy days before the war, and about lost love” he adds. Bruno Fontaine’s arrangements cleverly blend the dynamics of a jazz band with the power of a symphonic orchestra, the grace of the Hermès Quatuor with the inspiration of great soloists (clarinetist Paul Meyer and cellist Henri Demarquette)… “Our reference album was Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, an album with a crooner vibe, a jazzistic pulse and a big orchestra.You won’t find any other record with such a silky design these days”. Bruno Fontaine summons melancholia in the style of Nino Rota, philharmonics depths, dark moments somewhere between Kurt Weill and Astor Piazolla, as well as soft mats in the likes of Sinatra or moments of poignant intimacy. This new reinterpretation of Montand’s work is respectful and emancipated, clever and joyous at the same time. Now, the temptation of is obvious: the next step of Wilson chante Montand adventure could be onstage…
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