Country : France Label : Aparté Genres and styles : Classical / Modern Classical / période romantique Year : 2024

Cyrille Dubois/Tristan Raës – Louis Beydts (1895-1953) : Melodies and Songs

· by Frédéric Cardin

This album is one of the finest surprises of 2024. Hardly anyone remembers Louis Beydts, but he was an in-demand collaborator in Parisian circles between the two world wars (1920s and 1930s). Perhaps because he was drawn to vaudeville and cinema after meeting Sacha Guitry, academic snobbery eventually relegated him to oblivion. Yet he skilfully enhanced the films of Autan-Lara, Gance, Lehmann, Feyder and Guitry with his accompanying scores. He also wrote some brilliant orchestrations for André Messager’s operettas. But in his secret garden, he cultivated a more intimate art: that of Melody (classical French song). And thanks to a real talent, he wrote some very beautiful ones, even genuine gems that absolutely must be rediscovered.

Listening to this superbly concocted album, one discerns in Beydts a delicate sculptor, who excels in small, simple forms, but often cheerful or melancholic and above all full of elaborate micro-details. They stand out if you take the trouble to pay attention.

Beydts’ melodies often take clever, surprising detours, only to deposit the listener on a reassuring harmonic cushion. He plays with our expectations without denying us the desired reward. A playful attitude, but in a reserved, respectful way. 

Beydts’ music is a gourmet’s music. You’ll admire melodic curves remarkable for their naturalness and grace, extraordinarily flowing harmony and enchantingly unexpected modulations, the mark of a most assertive sensibility. And this exquisite composer continues to offer us the pleasure of choice.

  • Paul Landormy

Listening to this top-notch album is a real pleasure. One is lulled by an elegance reminiscent of Reynaldo Hahn, while being surprised here and there by a naughty Poulenc-like gaillardise. 

Cyrille Dubois, tenor, and Tristan Raës, piano, are impeccable. A labor of love and conviction that is totally convincing.

Irresistible. 

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