Posts Tagged ‘Michel Legrand’

Michel Legrand, 1932-2019

January 26, 2019 Leave a comment

Composer Michel Legrand died on January 26, 2019, in hospital in Paris, France, after a short illness related to a pulmonary infection. He was 86.

Michel Jean Legrand was born in Paris, France, in 1932, the son of composer-conductor Raymond Legrand and his wife, Marcelle Ter-Mikaëlian, who was the sister of conductor Jacques Hélian. Legrand studied music at the Conservatoire de Paris from age 11, working with Nadia Boulanger among others, and as both a composer and a pianist. He achieved early career success in 1954 age 22 when his original jazz album I Love Paris became a surprise hit in Europe. He released numerous more albums in the 1950s, including the popular Paris Jazz Piano in 1959, and then established himself as a jazz composer, pianist, and bandleader in the United States, working with jazz stars such as Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Lena Horne.

Legrand dabbled in film music from the mid 1950s onwards, but achieved his first significant success in 1960 when he scored director Jean-Luc Godard’s groundbreaking A Woman Is a Woman (Une Femme Est Une Femme) in 1961. Legrand quickly became a key musical component of the French New Wave, working for Godard and other directors such as Jacques Demy and Agnès Varda, among others, on such classics as Lola (1961), Vivre Sa Vie (1962), Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962), La Baie des Anges (1963), Bande à Part (1964), and La Chinoise (1967). His score for Demy’s 1965 musical film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg earned him his first Academy Award nomination, and from that point on Legrand split his time between Hollywood and Europe, working on both big-budget American and films and more artistic French fare. Read more…

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SUMMER OF ‘42– Michel Legrand

April 11, 2016 1 comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Screenwriter Herman Raucher wrote his autobiographical script in 10 days as a tribute to his fallen comrade Oscy who lost his life in the Korean War. He was initially unable to sell the script to any studio, so it languished for many years until producer Robert Roth found a dusty copy lying in an agent’s office. He fell in love with it and resolved to bring this story to the big screen. He hired director Robert Mulligan (To Kill A Mockingbird) and decided to cast the parts of the boys with unknowns. Also, following in the steps of Love Story (1970) Raucher expanded the story into a book that was published as a prelude to the film. Well it became an instant hit and the film’s promotion had “Based on the national best seller” added to its advertisement. For the cast, Jennifer O’Neil was cast as Dorothy with the three boys Gary Grimes (Hermie), Jerry Houser (Oscy) and Oliver Conant (Benjie). Read more…