Isabelle Georges sings Bécaud
Rich, strong, timeless songs
Twenty years ago, Gilbert Bécaud passed away. This extraordinary composer and true showman, left a work rich and varied, ranging from songs to musicals and classical music.
This diversity of genres inevitably seduced Isabelle Georges, artist, singer, dancer, author, actress and composer. Between swing, jazz, java, blues and bossa nova, she pays tribute through arrangements tailored by Bruno Fontaine, to the man who performed thirty-three times at the Olympia, in Paris and the beauty of Pierre Delanoë, Charles Aznavour, Louis Amade and Maurice Vidalin’s lyrics.
A firework of words, songs ! A woman who sings a man who loved them so much!
“He has the courage to be excessive and to show himself as he is to the end… madness, which is the true miracle of childhood and that grown-ups hide like a shame.” Jean Cocteau
With Bécaud, one quickly leaves the words of excess – ogre, colossus, star, goinfre… Isabelle Georges speaks about a gladiator, but she does not mime him when she sings him. She did not seek out his great ghost, his vast silhouette, or his high mask. She remained this free mezzo, always indocile to the borders but soft of intentions, prompt to the escapes and faithful to all her journeys…
We know some who bang their skulls on the ceiling while rising up to Gilbert Bécaud’s exclamations, who run out of breath while riding behind her voracity of emotions… Isabelle does not come to play the athletes of the song. She respects too much the little girl who was once amazed by C’est en septembre, she is too much a sister of the joyful candor that united the young Bécaud and Aznavour venturing together in songwriting, she has too often, in her career as a musician, discovered new nuggets in his work.
Her most beautiful tribute to Gilbert Bécaud is perhaps there: she draws from the songs and not from the legend, from the composer’s work and not from the singer’s photos. This makes her a necklace of elegance, delicacy, miracles – not the best of Saturday radio…
Isabelle knows in him a three-dimensional artist, all in volumes, curves, textures. She loves musical comedy, classical singing or swing, and finds so much to nourish herself in this repertoire, which is in turn romantic, jazz, learned, Broadway, Parisian. She has discovered it, layer after layer, from Maman’s records to her research for shows exploring the heritage of French song. Then, during the vast introspection forced by the confinement, she almost bumped into him, a giant hidden by his misty shadow, an artist with a path studded with admirations, challenges, desires, ambitions, who composes standards for American variety, composes an opera, composes sophisticated simplicities…
Of course, she shared songs with Frederik Steenbrink, her life and stage companion for several years. And she invited Bruno Fontaine, pianist and arranger who, like her, wanted to return to the beginning of Gilbert Bécaud’s imprint, when a freedom is established in a song, without concern for resemblance or orthodoxy.
This leads Isabelle Georges to speak, or rather to write three songs of homage to Bécaud, to his art, to his adventure, to his soul. Then, one perceives better what fraternity unites them. Freedom, always, and intoxication, adventure, passion, sharing – these are synonymous.
Journalist, author and specialist in French song
A free mezzo, always indocile to the borders but soft of intentions, prompt to the escapes and faithful to all its journeys...