Disappeared three years ago, on January 26, 2019, the legendary composer, pianist, singer and arranger would celebrate his 90th birthday on February 24. To pay tribute to him, Radio France presents three concerts around his film music between Thursday and Saturday, with three approaches: vocal, symphonic and jazz.

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Natalie Dessay, the Orchester philharmonique de Radio France, the Rite of the Tympanum, Camille Bertault, Macha Méril… Various personalities and formations join together to pay tribute to Michel Legrand over three evenings. Three prestigious concerts for two anniversaries. To commemorate both the second anniversary of his disappearance on January 26, 2019 and the 90th anniversary of his birth on February 24, Radio France is organizing a mini-festival under the banner “Michel Legrand makes his cinema”.

The famous composer, who shone in the writing of film music (in the service of filmmakers such as Jacques Demy and Jean-Luc Godard) and in jazz, and who also distinguished himself in song, pop and classical music, is naturally honored through various aesthetics.

Thursday January 27, the singers Natalie Dessay (who sang Legrand a lot and recorded a disc with him) and Camille Bertault, as well as the actress Macha Méril who was the last wife of Michel Legrand, give their voices to the concert of the Orchestra Radio France Philharmonic. The latter will be placed under the direction of Mathieu Herzog, with the reinforcement of soloists known in the world of jazz, including the trumpeter Claude Egea. On the program, songs from the scores that Legrand composed for the cinema, but also songs that he co-signed with Claude Nougaro in particular.
The concert is broadcast live Thursday from 8 p.m. on France Musique, but also in livestream video on Arte concert (you can also find the link at the bottom of the concert web page on the Radio France website).

Singer Natalie Dessay in rehearsal at the Maison de la Radio (January 2022) (CHRISTOPHE ABRAMOWITZ)

Friday, January 28, the Orchester philharmonique de Radio France this time offers a purely symphonic concert around the many film scores (A Summer of 42, Cléo from 5 to 7…) of the French composer. The formation will be led this time by Bastien Stil, with the help of instrumental soloists from jazz in particular.
The concert is broadcast live Friday evening from 8 p.m. on France Musique, but also on video via Arte Concert (link also at the bottom of the event web page).

Saturday evening, the tribute to Michel Legrand ends with the tasty jazz big band Sacre du Tympan, founded and directed by Fred Pallem. Jazz was the great passion of the composer of the soundtrack of the Ladies of Rochefort. Some of his songs have become standards. Fred Pallem has decided to revisit cult themes from Michel Legrand’s repertoire, but also some rarities. Alongside the Rite of the Tympanum, a 21-string orchestra will bring its particular colors. It will be conducted by Mathieu Herzog, already at the pulpit of the concert on Thursday evening.
The evening is broadcast live Friday from 8 p.m. on France Musique, but also on video (link available at the bottom of the event web page).

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