“Barbara”, the album-the mission of Alexandre Tharaud

Photo: Guillaume Souvant Agence France-Presse
The pianist Alexandre Tharaud in a tribute show to Barbara at the 41st festival Printemps de Bourges festival in April

It coincides exactly. 20 years of the death of Barbara. The 20-year gestation of his project Barbara. Literally, for the classical pianist Alexandre Tharaud, it started by the end, November 27, 1997, at the cemetery of Bagneux, the day of the land of Barbara, passed away a few days before. A time trigger. A key moment in the great story of love that binds to life the great musician to the great Barbara and his great songs. A love story between a fan and his idol “, as Alexandre Tharaud says without restraint, to his or her end of the wire liner. As in the song that Barbara sang at the end of each recital : My most beautiful love story.


“It is part of an emotion and of a communion,” says-t it. In the booklet that accompanies Barbara, the double album that devotes the pianist, with his friends singers, the repertoire of the one he calls ” the genius of the French song “, Tharaud tells how, gently, around the tomb, the people began to sing, first Say, when to come back to you ?, and other immortal. The Duty, he tells the following : “In the subway, coming back home, I told myself that I would have had to come to the funeral with my little Walkman was a teenager. And save those voice of anonymous. I was angry, I had missed the point. And I swore then that one day, I’d do a drive with people like that. “

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To do useful work


His career in the classical music world has grown up to international fame, but Tharaud has never forgotten his promise. “It happened slowly, gradually. It would happen to me, in a festival where I was doing seven or eight shows, have a white card, and I took advantage of it to invite friends singers. Invariably, there was Barbara in the program. “Anonymous burial to accomplices known, convivial evenings in this album-homage, there has been a” natural extension “. The album has a nice sound for the 20 years of the departure of Barbara, it is far from the commerce of the anniversary. “I would have very well been able to get it two years ago, three years ago. But there was so much of it had nothing for ten years, except in books ; I thought it was my duty to do so. I never imagined that there would be all these other tributes this year… “


It is, in this, less an album-tribute album-mission. “There is, for me, highlights this point : as a classical pianist, I will be selling drives in the world. Unlike the singers of French song, with rare exceptions. I know that a little all around, people are going to get this disc because it is mine. And through me, through the work of interpretation of my guests, through this program of which I chose the title and made the arrangements, people are going to discover Barbara. This is what makes me the most pleasure : to do useful work. “


The requirement of withholding

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Difficult to imagine a work more thorough, more attentive. The admirer and the exceptional musician fed one another. As it goes away in the directory — This child-there, in September, To die to die are not, a priori, the essential Barbara : you can’t find in Göttingen, or The black eagle, the way is thin, delicate : “I had a lot of time in the studio, I have recorded tracks on all sorts of keyboards in addition to piano, the Hammond, the Wurlitzer, the Fender Rhodes, synth. But the more I added, the more I took off. With Barbara, it must be a kind of minimalism. Otherwise, she fled. “


The same requirement was used for the interpretation of Dominique A, Bénabar, Radio Elvis, Juliette, Vanessa Paradis, Albin de la Simone and the other selected friends : “To sing Barbara, it takes a bit opposite of the song. Get away from Barbara for a better find. “This is what makes Juliette Binoche in “saying” Vienna. Or Hindi Zahra when she sings Say, When Will You Return ?, adaptation exercise surprisingly fluid. “We can’t embody Barbara. We can only attempt to give the desire to people to go to it. “A single concert will be decanted of this double album : Alexandre Tharaud and his guests will perform this Saturday at the Great hall Pierre Boulez with the Philharmonic of Paris. You have just time to catch a vol, But all the time in world for these exquisite re-reading… and find Barbara.


Alexandre Tharaud and guests, Erato/Warner Classics