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À bout de souffle


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À bout de souffle
Claude Nougaro and Michel Legrand both met in 1962. Michel Legrand was THE unmissible movie music composer of the 60s, but he is first and foremost the creator of French musical after his collaboration with Jacques Demy.
Jazz inspired both, and they discovered the French New Wave, after what they created the album “Le Cinéma” released in 1962. At the same time, Claude Nougaro was shocked listening for the first time Dave Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo à la Turk” (1959), a creation completely different from usual jazz. In 1966, Claude Nougaro wrote his arrangement and breathless, he said: “I needed to run and by singing this song I realized how much important breathing was for a singer. That’s how I get the idea of put lungs on stage.” And he described a thriller scene. This song has a thunderous beat and flooding words. It deals with the desperate attempt of escape of a crook and pays a tribute to the famous Jean-Luc Godard’s movie starring Jean-Paul Belmondo playing Michel Poicard.
Pierre-Gérard Verny harmonized it, making male voices particularly important because they perform the text with that particular vocal rhythm you should be careful to practice, and perform as a speech, so it would create a better placing. Female voices’ notes are easier and consist in performing counterpoints of the different orchestral punctuation.

(Translated from French)