Categories
Music

Remembering Michel LeGrand

Ever since I was a boy, my ambition has been to live completely surrounded by music. My dream is not to miss out anything. That’s why I’ve never settled on one musical discipline. I love playing, conducting, singing and writing, and in all styles. So I turn my hand to everything – not just a bit of everything. Quite the opposite. I do all these activities at once, seriously, sincerely and with deep commitment.

Michel LeGrand

Michel LeGrand (1932-2019) wrote the scores for more than 250 films including The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) starring Catherine Deneuve and Yentl (1983), a creation of Barbra Streisand.

He recorded more than 100 albums, with Maurice Chevalier, Kiri Te Kanawa, Sarah Vaughan and Lena Horne among others. Many performers covered his music including Frank Sinatra and Sting.

It’s remarkable that one person could create so much beauty.

The Guardian Obituary

Categories
Music

Bing Crosby Singing in French

Bing Crosby (1903-1977) sings mainly in French about Paris in this wonderful album. Crosby recorded the album in Paris on May 16, 1953. The orchestrations were by Paul Durand (1907-1977) who wrote Je suis seule ce soir which is in the soundtrack of Midnight in Paris. Crosby’s accent isn’t great but it really doesn’t matter. The love comes through.

Apple Music

Categories
History

Daniel Cordier, French Resistance Hero (1920 – 2020)

Alan Cowell writing in The New York Times:

[Cordier] had been shocked to see German soldiers photographing one another at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. But as he headed toward a covert encounter with a fellow operative at a cafe on the Champs Élysées, he was even more stunned to see an old Jewish man and a child with yellow stars on their overcoats.

“The shock of this vision plunges me into an unbearable shame,” he wrote in the memoir, “Alias Caracalla.”

At first he wanted to rush up to the people he saw and embrace them to seek forgiveness, he wrote. At that moment, though, he recognized, walking toward him, the operative he was scheduled to meet. It was an epiphany: “His presence leads me back to reality: I am not in Paris to care for my conscience.”

Categories
Podcasts

Bill Gates Has a New Podcast – It’s Good

Bill Gates has a new podcast with actress Rashida Jones called “Ask Big Questions.” The first episode came out on November 17, 2020. The first guest is Dr. Anthony Fauci. They discuss what we can expect in the months ahead as we live with COVID-19.

Gates and Fauci are good friends and on the same page. I enjoyed the inaugural episode and look forward to future episodes.

The second episode focuses on inequality in the United States and asks if inequality is inevitable. The episode airs on November 23, 2020.

Categories
Audiobooks History

‘Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations’

Retired Admiral William H. McRaven was involved in high profile special operations missions, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. 

Admiral McRaven narrates his audiobook entitled Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations skillfully. I felt as though I was sitting in my living room hearing a brave, articulate person tell tales that made me feel proud to be an American. This is among the best audiobooks in my library.

You can get a sense of the author in this podcast.

Categories
History

George Will: Holocaust Museum Showcases Lessons for Today

George Will writing in The Washington Post on the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington:

Nothing — nothing — is unthinkable, and political institutions by themselves provide no permanent safety from barbarism, which permanently lurks beneath civilization’s thin, brittle crust.

This is why the Holocaust is the dark sun into which this democracy should peer.