Mercoledi Musicale

Jacques Loussier (1934 – 2019)

It seems far too often these days that my Mercoledi Musicale posts are in memorium in their nature. Many of the great musicians that I grew up with are leaving the scene but fortunately their music making remains. The remarkable French jazz pianist Jacques Loussier left us last week at the age of 84. He had retired from perfoming in 2011 when he suffered a stroke during at performance at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr.

Laurent developed a fondness for Loussier and his brilliant takes on the works of Bach back in the 1990s and many of the recordings made by the Loussier Trio were, and still are, never far from our changer. The original Trio sold over 15 million records and performed in the range of 3000 concerts in the 15 years they were together. The original trio disbanded in the mid-70s but Loussier revived the group in 1985 for the tricentennial celebrations of Bach’s birth. Their most popular recording was this take on JSB’s Air on a G String.

At the age of eleven he heard a piece from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach and fell in love with it. In an interview, he recalled ” … I found I loved to play the music, but add my own notes, expanding the harmonies and playing around with that music.” Though best known for his take on and obvious love for Bach he found inspiration in Satie, Vivaldi, Mozart, Handel, and Chopin.

He also composed the soundtrack scores for over 100 film and television including one of my favourite early TV series: Thierry la Fronde. Though I have to confess that my fondness for the adventures of the King’s Outlaw had more to do with Jean-Claude Drouot’s chest hair and buns than Loussier’s theme music. Ah the innocence of youth!

March 13 is Ear Muff Day – and given the temperature outside it would appear a goodly number are celebrating those appendage warmers.

Author: Willym

A senior with the heart of a young'un

4 thoughts on “Mercoledi Musicale”

  1. Sad news! I had not heard this. I love the Jacques Loussier Trio, especially its jazzy Bach.

    And Thierry La Fronde! Talk about a blast from the past! I loved this show when I was little. It was part of CBC TV’s “after school” viewing package for kids for years. After “The Forest Rangers” there would always be some (usually dubbed from French) adventure story of derring-do. like Thierry La Fronde, or from England, Robin Hood with Richard Greene, or a Quebec series about (if memory serves) La Verendrye or someone? I seem to remember Zorro too.

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