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New York Festival of Song: Jacques Brel and Charles Trénet Revisited

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Gildenhorn Recital Hall

New York Festival of Songs Marie LenormandLast seen on the stages of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center during the 2011-12 season with Manning the Canon, the New York Festival of Song (featuring French mezzo-soprano Marie Lenormand, right) returns with a program that celebrates two of the 20th century’s greatest balladeers, the Belgian-born Jacques Brel and Frenchman Charles Trénet. NYFOS is renowned for its intimate, original ensemble song programs consisting almost exclusively of rarely heard songs of all kinds.

The program will include some of the most famous pieces by these two artists: Brel’s “Ne me quitte pas” and “Madeleine” and Trénet’s “Que reste-t-il de nos amours” and “La mer,” along with many of their lesser-known treasures. Brel’s literate, thoughtful and theatrical songs generated a large, devoted following, initially in France and later throughout the world. Trénet, whose best-known song is “La mer,” wrote nearly a thousand songs in his lifetime and, in an era in which it was exceptional for a singer to write his or her own material, he declined to record any but his own songs.

Learn more about the NYFOS and the composers featured on this program in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library of the University of Maryland, College Park:

  • Recordings by the New York Festival of Song (accessible through the University of Maryland Libraries and Interlibrary Loan)
  • Articles and reviews of performances by NYFOS from the Washington Post and the New York Times