Carla Bruni's Postcards From Paris

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0120140521

Former First Lady of France and singer songwriter Carla Bruni presents the first of three programmes where she tells her musical story, plays her favourite songs and celebrates the music of Paris.

Recorded in the same Champs-Élysées studio where she produced her most recent album, Little French Songs, the programme features French, Italian and English music by Serge Gainsbourg, Francoise Hardy, John Lennon, The Velvet Underground, The Rolling Stones and Lucio Battisti.

The Italian-born, globetrotting model's music career began in 2002, when she released "Quelqu'un M'a Dit" (in English, "Someone Told Me"), a surprise hit, which sold two million copies in Europe. "It was wonderful to see how successful the album became, considering the fact that we produced it to be completely confidential."

Carla describes her musical upbringing in Turin: her mother, Marisa Borini, was a concert pianist who practiced seven hours a day and her father, Alberto Bruni-Tedeschi, composed twelve-tone music. The family moved to Paris when Carla was seven, and she credits her French Grandmother for instilling a love of the French language in her at an early age. "My maternal language would be Italian, but my great maternal language is French. Since I was raised by her most of the time, I probably got printed by French in my heart and soul."

As one of the highest earning models of the 90s, Carla reflects on being at the forefront of the fashion world, when she often walked the catwalk in unforgettable outfits, including a Vivienne Westwood fake fur g-string. "There was a lot of travelling, which was my dream when I was young. Modelling was an easy way of achieving independence."

Carla's time as the singing First Lady of France from 2008-2012 was not without controversies, including the feverous newspaper reaction to the Class A drug references in her song 'Tu Es Ma Came'. "If they make a little fuss, who minds? Not me," she says.

0220140528

0220140528

Former First Lady of France and singer songwriter Carla Bruni presents the second of three programmes where she tells her musical story, plays her favourite songs and celebrates the music of Paris.

Recorded in the same Champs-Élysées studio where she produced her most recent album, Little French Songs, she chooses music by Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Barbara, Francoise Hardy, Charles Trenet and Serge Gainsbourg.

In Little French Song, Carla insists that France has a lot to be proud of musically. "I was talking about the impact or impression that French songs will give to the rest of the world." Carla celebrates the emotional complexities of the French song. This is music from the heart with strong narratives, drawing from elements of poetry. Performed live, French songs create a bond where the audience often feel privy to the artist's life; such is the confessional nature of this music.

Carla's favourite French music takes us through Trenet's nostalgic Paris via Jacques Brel's magnetic music hall shows. She describes Edith Piaf burning while she sings and singles out her idol Barbara's stark confessionals.

She recalls seeing Serge Gainsbourg every night during his residency at the Casino de Paris, where he fell down stairs with the help of a stunt double.

Carla also plays some of her own music, including Dolce Francia, her Italian version of Charles Trenet's Douce France and her cover of the rare Serge Gainsbourg song La Noyee.

With the writer Norman Lebrecht.

0220140528

Former First Lady of France and singer songwriter Carla Bruni presents the second of three programmes where she tells her musical story, plays her favourite songs and celebrates the music of Paris.

Recorded in the same Champs-Élysées studio where she produced her most recent album, Little French Songs, she chooses music by Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Barbara, Francoise Hardy, Charles Trenet and Serge Gainsbourg.

In Little French Song, Carla insists that France has a lot to be proud of musically. "I was talking about the impact or impression that French songs will give to the rest of the world." Carla celebrates the emotional complexities of the French song. This is music from the heart with strong narratives, drawing from elements of poetry. Performed live, French songs create a bond where the audience often feel privy to the artist's life; such is the confessional nature of this music.

Carla's favourite French music takes us through Trenet's nostalgic Paris via Jacques Brel's magnetic music hall shows. She describes Edith Piaf burning while she sings and singles out her idol Barbara's stark confessionals.

She recalls seeing Serge Gainsbourg every night during his residency at the Casino de Paris, where he fell down stairs with the help of a stunt double.

Carla also plays some of her own music, including Dolce Francia, her Italian version of Charles Trenet's Douce France and her cover of the rare Serge Gainsbourg song La Noyee.

With the writer Norman Lebrecht.

03 LAST20140604

Former First Lady of France and singer songwriter Carla Bruni presents the final instalment of her three programmes where she tells her musical story, plays her favourite songs and celebrates the music of Paris.

Recorded in the same Champs-Élysées studio where she produced her most recent album, Little French Songs, she chooses music by Claude Nougaro, Stromae, Barbara, Charles Aznavour, Marianne Faithfull, The Clash and Ornella Vanoni.

The programme opens with live recordings from Carla's recent show at The Olympia, one of Paris's oldest surviving music halls, which has hosted performances by France's biggest chanteurs, including Leo Ferre, Charles Trenet and Edith Piaf. "When you sing at the Olympia, I think something else is happening. The ghosts of all the people that played and sang there come back, or maybe they just never left."

Carla describes her adopted city of Paris as "romantic and nostalgic," singling out its parks, the booksellers along the Seine and the cafes of Montparnasse as her favourite haunts. She also revisits her cameo role as a tour guide at the Rodin Museum in Woody Allen's 2011 film Midnight In Paris. "I think it was a loving ode to Paris and Woody Allen could film it the way somebody who's not French could see it."

Paris has a rich musical heritage, a pioneering centre for Classical music in the 19th Century, Jazz In 20th Century and electronic music in the 21st century. New French artists are bringing a global perspective to their music, singing in English to reach worldwide audiences.

When recording her first English language album, No Promises in 2006, Carla set the poetry of W.B. Yeats, Dorothy Parker, W.H. Auden to music, with the help of her friend and Paris resident Marianne Faithfull. "She knew absolutely all the poets I was singing. I would call her my professor when I went to see her for poetry lessons."

Carla is not only a fan of the English language, but she is keen to explore the UK too. "I could live in England by the minute," she says. "I would love to visit the castles in Scotland and to see Ireland. I'd love to visit with the kids and my man.".