I was born in love with you

The diva's impeccable French graces these less well-known [song] songs, which are beautifully recorded to convey a real night-club feel

Author: 
Adrian Edwards

I was born in love with you

  • I was born in love with you
  • Dans ses yeux
  • Je vivrai sans toi
  • What are you doing the rest of your life?
  • I was born in love with you
  • Dis-moi
  • (Les) enfants qui pleurent
  • (The) Moon and I
  • Celui-là
  • (Les) Moulins de mon coeur
  • You must believe in Spring
  • (La) valse des lilas
  • Afterthoughts
  • (Les) Parapluies de Cherbourg, Les parapluies de Cherbourg
  • Between yesterday and tomorrow

Sopranos in particular seem to be drawn to the songs of Michel Legrand, with their long, languorous melodies and pretty turn of phrase. Kiri Te Kanawa recorded a selection under the composer's direction for Teldec (11/92) and Jessye Norman included three songs on an earlier CD for Philips (4/92), conducted by John Williams. Her lastest collection is refreshingly unhackneyed. The booklet doesn't reveal where these less well-known songs originate, though I understand that Legrand composed most of them to perform himself in the '60s and '70s; a rarity, 'Dis-moi', from a French film Un peu de soleil dans l'eau froid, is not indexed by Halliwell. With Legrand as an imaginative and resourceful accompanist, his keyboard fancies are uniquely his own, and this beautifully recorded programme has much in its favour.
The star herself, singing in impeccable French, can occasionally take one aback with a sudden rush of lung-power, sometimes on a word, sometimes on a phrase, mitigating against the relaxing night-club milieu created so successfully by the ambience of the recording. Not that such grandeur is always inappropriate, as in the song Celui-la, where the majesty of the melody brings to mind that stately tune at the beginning of Ravel's Left-Hand Concerto. Among the overlooked gems are the charming 'Dis-moi' mentioned above, with its quintessential Legrand melody and lyrics by Francoise Sagan, the slow waltz, Les enfants qui pleurent, and a couple of songs with lyrics by Legrand's favourite team, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, which deserve the popularity of their famous collaboration, The Windmills of your Mind.'

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