Chopin, electro, Neil Young, talent midwife… Our advice on music books


Almost six hundred publications (novels, essays, biographies, etc., Francophone or translated) are on the program for the fall 2022 publishing season. Including a good number of books on music. We present a first selection – a second will be offered at the beginning of November – of works published in recent weeks.

Twenty-four “musical self-portraits” by Chopin

On February 12, 1839, Frédéric Chopin left the island of Mallorca where his health had deteriorated due to the humidity but where he could still compose. And not second-rate parts! In particular most of 24 preludesa collection that every pianist reveres and in which Jean-Yves Clément sees “the breviary of his hollow life”.

The life of Chopin, who was not a man to turn to music, unlike most of the great romantics, can only be told in private. For example, in that of a diary that we keep for ourselves. Jean-Yves Clément thus imagined what the composer could have written during the journey that ended on 1Ahem June in Nohant (Indre), refuge of his companion, George Sand.

Nourished by many reflections on the environment (natural, human, artistic), these pages make Chopin’s voice heard every day, but its richness is different. It resides in the poetic and philosophical “interpretation” of these Preludes – “twenty-four musical self-portraits” Where “twenty four variations of my loneliness”Chopin trusts here- that lead the reader from revelation to revelation. As a result, this “fake newspaper” always rings true. pierre gervasoni

Jacques Canetti, great discoverer of talents in French song

Piaf, Brassens, Brel, Béart, Gainsbourg, Reggiani, Nougaro, Higelin… Patron in Pigalle of the Théâtre des Trois Baudets and artistic director of Polydor, Jacques Canetti (1909-1997) was the greatest midwife of French song talent, a Maieutian quality that earned him the nickname of “Socrates” in the mouth of Georges Brassens.

Originally from Bulgaria, the brother of Nobel Prize winner for Literature Elias Canetti and Professor Georges Canetti, luminary of the Institut Pasteur, published his memoirs in 1978 (We are looking for a young music lover, Calmann-Levy), while this enemy of comfort had embarked on independent production after closing the door on the Philips label. Furious that he snatched Johnny Hallyday from Vogue while he let Brel slip out of Barclay. Quite a symbol.

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