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Friday, July 25, 2008

Michel Legrand - Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964)

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a unique and, quite honestly, magical movie experience. Tough to describe, though. I mean, technically, it's a musical, but maybe it's a musical for folks who don't like musicals. I know I don't. I think I like this, though, because, in a way, the "songs" aren't really songs. Sure, the basic components of song are there, but the difference is that all of the "lyrics" are actually sung dialogue. There is no spoken dialogue and the movie never breaks out into song like traditional musicals tend to. This soundtrack is French chanson music sung in what, it turns out, is called a recitative style.

Directed by Jacques Demy with music composed by Michel Legrand, this emotional tale of love lost stars Catherine Deneuve (as Geneviève, voiced by Danielle Licari) and Nino Castelnuovo (as Guy, voiced by José Bartel). Deneuve is absolutely luminous here. She's never been more beautiful. The Wikipedia page for this film provides an excellent synopsis, so I won't even try here. It's certainly not for everyone, but, needless to say, if you love catchy French music, heavy on the melodrama, you're apt to dig this.

Check out this heartbreaking scene from the film, followed by the original theatrical trailer:

Easily the best soundtrack release this film has seen is the 1996 double-disc release by Sony France. It is the complete film soundtrack and includes six non-film bonus tracks. The first is Tony Bennett's popular 1964 take on "Watch What Happens." This is followed by Michel Legrand's jazz trio take on "I Will Wait for You" from 1991. Next are what appear to be three early 1962 rehearsal tracks featuring Michel Legrand on piano, performing with his sister Christiane Legrand, who went on to provide the vocals for the character Madame Emery, played by Anne Vernon in the film. The final track is Michel Legrand Big Band's take on "I Will Wait for You" from 1995. This release has since been replaced by a shortened single disc version.

Michel Legrand - Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964)
1. Générique (2:12)
2. Scène du Garage (2:50)
3. Devant le Magasin (1:42)
4. Chez Tante Elise (2:32)
5. Dans la Rue (0:35)
6. Au Dancing (1:57)
7. Sur le Quai (1:54)
8. Dans le Magasin de Parapluies (5:25)
9. Chez Dubourg, le Joaillier (4:11)
10. Dans le Magasin (3:19)
11. Devant le Garage (4:53)
12. Chez Elise (1:42)
13. A l'Appartement (2:49)
14. Adieux à Elise (1:51)
15. La Gare (Guy s'en Va) (2:24)
16. Dans le Magasin (4:51)
17. Le Dîner (4:33)
18. Récit de Cassard (3:41)
19. La Lettre de Guy (1:57)
20. Le Carnaval (7:58)
21. Le Mariage (1:01)
22. Retour de Guy (0:42)
23. Chez Elise (4:18)
24. Le Garage (Dispute) (1:56)
25. Guy au Café (1:46)
26. La Boîte à Matelots (3:14)
27. Duo Guy / Madeleine (2:06)
28. La Terrasse du Café (3:07)
29. La Station-Service (2:04)
30. Final (4:59)
31. Watch What Happens (2:55)
32. I Will Wait for You (Version Trio) (7:45)
33. Chez Dubourg, le Joaillier (1:41)
34. Chez Tante Elise (3:03)
35. Récit de Cassard (3:18)
36. I Will Wait for You (Version Big-Band) (9:08)

191MB ZIP archive
MP3: Variable bitrate (228.8kbps average)
Audiograbber 1.83.1 w/LAME 3.98 (--preset fast extreme)



X Esquire said...

Brilliant post. Hands down, this is the best version of this soundtrack and the only version I ever purchased years ago. If you have not seen the film, you are doing yourself a disservice as it really stands out. And yes, the Tony Bennet track alone is worth hearing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this. I really love Legrand's music.

Anonymous said...

thank you very much

Pidgey said...

Thanks for this, it's good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!

Unknown said...

Thank you very much for a possibilty to download Legrand's music. It will be a great gift for my mum, she's in love with Legrand:)

Devata said...

Thank you very much! Gr8 Legrand's music!

Portuguese in Rio said...

Do u know where I can find the lyrics of it? To sing together? Ty

Unknown said...

oh marvellous!
You made my day!

Girlfriend asked to find this and in a few minutes i found your blog. Then casually just slipping it in the playlist and voila - I am the hero of the day!

Thanks to you :)

vilstef said...

LeGrand is brilliant and wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful...thank you so very much! I have been looking for this soundtrack for are a saint!

Anonymous said...


Jessica said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, danke schon!

Gerard said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you!

You and the site are great!

Greetings from BR.

Anonymous said...

Merci beaucoup ! Thank you very much !

caryn said...

Thank you so much! <3 i've wanted this elusive soundtrack for years! god bless you :)

Kevin Sartori said...

Share has been uploaded to MediaFire and is available now!

Natalya said...

I hate to be a bother but at the end when the subtitles cut out what is Genevieve/Danielle saying? It sounds like j'tem! J'tem! But I don't speak French, so... :(

Kevin Sartori said...

Sorry, Natalya, but I don't speak French!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very, very much for sharing such sweet and emotionally powerful music.

Rita Roquette de Vasconcellos said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this! I had originally checked out the 2CD set from the San Francisco public library in the '90s, after the film had been restored and re-screened in the U.S. It's great to hear this music again!

Anonymous said...

Link still works! Thank you very much :)

David said...

Hi, any chance this can be reuploaded? It's impossible to find this in the US —the UK iTunes store has it, but won't allow me to buy!

Anonymous said...

Any possibility of a re upload?

Kevin Sartori said...

Share has been uploaded to Game Front and is available now!

Kevin Sartori said...

Share has been uploaded to and is available now!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much!