Mark S., our correspondent on everything LGS, writes:
La Grande Sophie is preparing a new album with concerts starting in autumn 2015. ‘Maria Yudina’ is the first fruit of her work, issued on 8 June as a single and a video.
Maria Yudina (1899-1970) was a Russian musician who interpreted her contemporary the great composer Shostakovich. She was both among the artistic opponents of the Stalin regime and Stalin’s favourite pianist – a record of her Mozart. Piano Concerto no.23 in A major was reputedly spinning on the record player when Stalin was found dead in 1953. Her story is here and here.
An excellent film about Maria Yudina is here (in Russian with English subtitles).
La Grande Sophie’s wide education – she studied sculpture at the Collège des Beaux-Arts at Marseille – make her always interested in unusual creative artists.
The song has some characteristics of LGS’s earlier work before she turned acoustic with ‘Des Vagues et des Ruisseux’ in 2009. The intricate backing with piano prominent at the end shows how her composition skills have moved on from her rock-guitar days. The long instrumental at the end is an LGS specialism – remember ‘Ne m’oublie pas’ and ‘Ma Radio’ on her ‘Place de Fantôme’ album. As always Sophie has perfect diction.
Also just released is the film of LGS and Christine & The Queens duet of Daniel Balavoine’s 1980s classic ‘Tous les cris les SOS’, performed live at the France Inter 50th anniversary concert on 8 December 2013.
I was able to watch this performance in the UK by single-camera live-stream that night, but the film and sound quality is much better on this Youtube version. That concert also included Christine singing LGS’s ‘Sucrer les fraises’ and Sophie interpreting Christine’s then new ‘Nuits 17 à 52’.
The difference in height, which leads to viewer comments below, is magnified (if you look carefully) by Christine (Héloise Letissier) wearing flat shoes and Sophie her ‘talons’. LGS is indeed tall, as I can confirm having met her. She is 5’10”, the same height as Taylor Swift.