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Notebook Soundtrack Mix #5: A Tribute to Michel Legrand

A diverse mix of composer Michel Legrand’s music for film, including “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “The Thomas Crowne Affair.”
Michel Legrand
This diverse mix of composer Michel Legrand’s work for film is by no means comprehensive, Legrand’s phenomenal career spanned over sixty years. He scored over 200 films as well as theatre and musicals, won Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammys (to name a few), and worked with a myriad of famed popular musicians. He made jazz records with Miles Davis and collaborated with the directors of the French New Wave. Later in life (and by no means slowing down), Legrand focused his time on classical music, creating concertos, sonatas, and ballet. He died this February at the age of 86 just a few months after the release of Orson Welles’s The Other Side of the Wind, whose score he composed. When reminiscing on Legrand’s work I was taken back to two performances that have always resonated with me; I mused on how in both performances it is the score that lends itself to both women’s searching and defiant faces: Barbra Streisand's powerful turn in Yentl (1983) and Corrinne Marchand’s immaculate melancholy as Cléo, in Agnès Varda’s 1962 masterpiece Cléo from 5 to 7. Legrand’s impact on the landscape of film music is undeniable and therefore many timeless moments can spring to mind. That is why this mix is dedicated to a singular asset at the heart of Legrand’s work: melody. Legrand spoke of how “melody trumps everything,” and the following selections are certainly varied in style but all share that common belief. There’s the sweeping, ghostly melody of Wuthering Heights (1970) and the funk laden 1970s cool of Cops and Robbers (1973). I could not pass on Marchand’s somber and sublime “Sans Toi," and other moments include the flirtatious vivacity of Anna Karina’s “La chanson d’Angela” from Godard’s A Woman Is a Woman (1961). The mix is homage to the incredible versatility of Legrand’s work and there is a melody in it for everyone.  
1. Eva (1962), "Hotel in Venice"
2. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), "Will Wait For You"
3. A Woman Is a Woman (1961), "La Chanson D'Angela"
4. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964),"Chez Dubourg, Le Jouaillier"
5. The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), "Le Moulins de Mon Coeur - Michel Legrand version"
6. Bolero (1981), "Les Uns Et Les Autres," with Francis Lai
7. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), "Nous Voyageons De Ville En Ville"
8. Summer of '42 (1971), "High I.Q"
9. Cops and Robbers (1973), "The Sellers / Main Title (Cops and Robbers) (edit)"
10. Call Me Mathilde (1969), "La Poursuite," with Vladimir Cosma
11. Bolero (1981), "Folies Bergeres," with Francis Lai
12. Cavalcade (2005), "Solitude Nocturne"
13. The Other Side of Midnight, (1977), "The Other Side Of Midnight (Noelle's Theme)"
14. Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), "Fleur a Florence"
15. Donkey Skin (1970), "Désespoir D'amour (edit)"
16. Donkey Skin (1970), "Les Trois Robes"
17. Wuthering Heights (1970), "I Was Born In Love With You"
18. Cavalcade (2005), "Soraya"
19. Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), "Sans Toi"
20. Summer of '42 (1971), "Theme From "Summer of '42  (edit)"
Part of our on-going series, Notebook Soundtrack Mixes.

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