Formidable: French Chansons | Channel Classics CCS43321

Formidable: French Chansons


Label: Channel Classics

Cat No: CCS43321

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Expected Release Date: 29th October 2021



‘I have had French chansons in my head for as long as I can remember: on a scratchy car radio or a cassette player, in the back seat for hours on end on the way to the Vendée or Dordogne, or softly issuing from a gramophone record in my father’s study below my bedroom, probably a compilation such as Vive La France or Jean Ferrat sings Aragon.

‘When I started to learn the piano and got into the habit of singing along, it was obviously French chansons that I picked up by ear and sang entirely phonetically. Julien Clerc with his franglais of
This Melody, and Brel with his La chanson des vieux amants. The French teachers at my secondary school put me in for the Concours de la Chanson, which I promptly (and nearly by accident) won. And all of a sudden, the path opened up for me to become a professional singer or pianist, or at any rate a musician. It led me primarily into the world of classical singing, in opera, lied and oratorio, in which I felt there was much to discover for my further development.

‘But the chanson was never far away. Indeed, at almost each stage of my musical development it appeared to grow with me. (...)’

– Thomas Oliemans, voice & piano

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