Sunday, February 10, 2013

Radio appearence in France

Last Monday, the French radio programme ‘Plaisirs d'amour’ invited me to play a 20 minute program and have a short interview with the MC, Mr. Frédéric Lodéon.  

As the title of program is ‘Plaisirs d'amour’ (Pleasures of Love) and the date is close to St.Valentine's day, I specially prepared a romantic program with various styles of music.

F.Schubert: Liebesbotschaft (transcription by F.Liszt)
F.Chopin: Ballade No. 3
I.Albéniz: Triana (from Iberia)
J.Lenoir: Parlez-moi d'amour (transcription by K.Fukuma)

I made the transcription of ‘Parlez-moi d'amour’ a few years ago and have played it several times on special occasions (usually as an encore), but on Saturday it was broadcast for the first time in public media, so I would like to tell a little story about it.

In fact, I came across with this song shortly before the release of my Toru Takemitsu album in 2007, whilst studying the composer's life. I read in a book that during the second World War Takemitsu was forced to work at the military base to help soldiers instead of teaching classes in junior high school (age 13-15). One day a probationary Japanese officer gathered him with a few other ‘young workers’ and let them listen to his favourite French chançon on a gramophone (phonograph). That was ‘Parlez-moi d'amour’ sung by Lucienne Boyer.

The young boys had never heard Western music until then, and young Takemitsu was overjoyed by what he heard and realized then and there that his future was to be a musician.

I immediately searched for the recording of it and found the following video clip on YouTube.

Listening to the beautiful and tender voice of Boyer, I imagined the scene of young Japanese boys captured and fascinated by 'Western culture' during the War, and I was deeply moved. Then I decided to make a transcription of it and play it at the end of my lecture recitals on Toru Takemitsu, telling this beautiful story.

Actually I wanted to tell this story in the radio interview, but Mr. Lodéon asked me about totally different subjects and there wasn’t time to place it. (well, never mind... (^_^;))

Anyway, I wish you a happy St.Valentine's week!