The Painter’s Daughter

timnabrOne of those albums that time forgot: Chansons et violons by Timna Brauer, daughter of Austrian painter Arik Brauer who also was a co-founder of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. Realized in 1999 with the Elias Meiri Ensemble, Chansons et violons serves as an homage to the holy trinity of Brassens, Brel and Piaf; classic French song material showcased chamber music style – piano, cello, violin –, a cool concept suffering a bit from Miss Brauer’s every so often all-too dramatic renditions. Nonetheless the albums’s opener, a classy swingin’ version of Georges Brassens’ Je me suis fait tout petit, lacks all the phoney grandiloquence and has that certain finger snippin’ grandeur reminiscent of Cristina Branco‘s most enchanting French language excursions. Fine art for sure.

Timna Brauer – Je me suis fait tout petit

Under the Radar (11): Cristina Branco

When a literary heavyweight and Nobel Prize candidate like António Lobo Antunes writes lyrics for you, you’re playing Pop’s pantheon. On her 11th album Fado/ Tango (also released as Não Ha Só Tangos em Paris, for whatever reasons), Portuguese fadista Cristina Branco fuses the solemn Fado heritage of predecessors like Amália Rodrigues with Tango’s seductiveness, also frenchifying her spectrum with a fine cover version of Brel’s Les Désespérés, and a jaunty musical setting of L’Invitation au Voyage from Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. High in the charts in Portugal last spring, this one found far too few listeners in the rest of the world. Bandoneons rule!

Cristina Branco – Les Désespérés
Cristina Branco – L’Invitation au Voyage