In the ongoing work of exploring the French repertoire that the Quai des Brumes trio has been doing for years, after the first CD “Chansons Boîteuses“, largely dedicated to the “chanson“, and in particular to the years of the Front Populaire (1936-1938) as well as to the multicultural atmosphere of pre-war Paris, we came across the cultured and refined repertoire of the Mélodie Française. These compositions, mostly from the 19th century, cleverly built on poetic texts of the highest quality (Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine, Alfred de Musset and others) were a mine of ideas and creative suggestions similar to what the songbooks of the jazz “standards” repertoire represent for American jazz musicians.
The few years of peace between the Franco-Prussian war, the tragedy of the Paris Commune and the First World War, which became known as the Belle époque, coincided with a burst of creativity and experimentation rarely seen in the following periods. These were the years when impressionist painting and composers such as Fauré, Ravel and Debussy explored the refractions of light and time on the human spirit. “Au bord de l’eau“, on the water’s edge, beloved place of the Impressionists, thus became an ideal point of view for observing the illusions that flow before our eyes. The world of Marcel Proust, who dedicated many pages to music and painting, is not far away.
We have combined the gipsy tones of the Quai des Brumes trio with the finesse of string quartet writing, and we have found in the AMF String Quartet four accomplices with great musical insight. The songs of Gabriel Fauré and his contemporaries, among whom the immense talent of composer Cécile Chaminade undoubtedly stands out, have been rhythmically reworked in particular, while respecting the harmonic delicacies that distinguish them.
We hope that they will inspire in you the love that we have felt, in every moment of our work, for the magic of this largely undiscovered repertoire.
Federico Benedetti – clarinet, arrangements
Tolga During – guitar
Roberto Bartoli – double bass
Pierclaudio Fei – violin
Massimo Mantovani – violin
Julie Shepherd – viola
Giacomo Grespan – cello