You haven’t truly experienced the classic songs of Jacques Brel until you’ve heard them in the original Yiddish. Well, not the original Yiddish, but the Parisian songstress Isabelle Georges is an international chanteuse with the rare gift, one that she shares with Germany’s Ute Lemper, of making her meaning and her message eminently understandable no matter what language she happens to be singing in.
Her latest album, Oh La La! Has her singing in French and English, in styles from the Hot Club-ish “Je t’attends” to such Franglais standards as Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” delivered more rhythmically than usual, and a dramatic reading of Charles Trenet’s “Que reste-t-il de nos amours (I Wish You Love)” that starts slow and wistful in the verse but then explodes into tempo in the refrain. Having sung “Ne me quitte pas” in high Yiddish (as “Loz Mikh Nisht Aleyn” you’d think she would return the favor and sing “Bei Mir Bist du Schoen (Sheyn)” in French, but, no, she makes it sound just great in the original language.
The Citiview New York
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