Happy new ear : )

Songs of the Auvergne

Kent Nagano & Dawn Upshaw
Songs of the Auvergne - Chants d'Auvergne



1. Pastourelle (E passo dé dossaï; Ah! viens près de moi), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 5)
2. Oï Ayaï (Oh! yayaï), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 2)
3. Obal, din lo Coumbèlo (Au loin, là-bas dans la vallée), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 5, No. 1)
4. Postouro, sé tu m'aymo (Bergère, si tu m'aimes), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 5, No. 5)
5. Uno jionto Postouro (Une jolie bergère; Regret), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 5, No. 7)
6. Lou Coucut (Le coucou), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 6)
7. Jou l'Pount D'o Mirabel (Au pont de Mirabel), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 1)
8. Chut, Chut, (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 4)
9. Baïlero, (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 5)
10. Lo Fiolairé (La fileuse), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 1)
11. La Delaissado (La délaissée), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 2, No. 4)
12. Tè, l'Co, Tè! (Va l'chien, va!), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 5, No. 6)
13. Passo pel prat (Viens par le pré), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 2)
14. Lou Boussu (Le bossu), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 3)
15. Brezairola (Berceuse), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 4)


Dawn Upshaw: Soprano
Performed by Orchestre De L'Opera De Lyon
Conducted by Kent Nagano

Dawn Upshaw's voice has that innocent wondering vulnerability all too little known amongst the knowing and blowsy ranks of the majority of operatic divas. Upshaw's approach is a shade more mature than Davrath (my first recommendation - on Vanguard - despite its saturated sound colours). She has an alto accentuation and a darker tincture than Davrath's demoiselle tone. This is well illustrated by a comparison of Upshaw and Davrath in L'Aïo dè rotso in which Upshaw’s warm lower register has the benefit of outstanding orchestral playing. Superb shepherd fifing from the Lyon woodwind principals - seething with eccentric character. The same qualities light up the playing in Ound'onouren Gorda? and the various Bourrées. There is some astoundingly sensitive clarinet playing in N'aï pas iéu de mio.

    I have not compared times but Upshaw leans towards very slow tempi in the andante songs (of which there are many). The classic Baïlèro is sweetly handled. The effect is enhanced by Upshaw's voice switching from left to right channel to mimic the bergère hillside dialogue patent in the sung words.

    Upshaw can still show a pretty pair of heels for example in Chut Chut where the smile in her voice is unmistakable as also in superb Hé Beyla-z-y dau fé with its spirited donkey bray and real kick. The summer ooze rather moderates the effect in the dog-calls of Tè l'Co tè and in the sprightly Obal dins lou Limouzi (superbly rustic drum sounds here) but she serves us well in Brezairola and Per l'èfon - both lullabies. Davrath however manages the fonder ardent smile of the child mother.

    Nagano's orchestra is presented in a more spread soundstage unlike the irresistibly unnatural close-up adopted by Vanguard for Davrath. The sound is clear and unassertive; prepossessing but without the high candle power of the Davrath Vanguard set.

    When will we get all the other regional sets, I wonder. Bayo and Leroux gave us the Basque Songs (Naïve and Gallo) but there are shelves full of his other arrangements!


    This is a good set, very well recorded and with the merit of Dawn Upshaw's voice a central attraction. Will be preferred by those who like a leisurely Delian approach to their Canteloube songs.

   Rob Barnett


Songs of the Auvergne

Jill Gomez
Songs of the Auvergne 
Arranged by Joseph Cantaloube


1. Trois Bourrées, (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 1, No. 3): L'aïo dè rotso
2. Trois Bourrées, (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 1, No. 3): Ound' onorèn g
3. Trois Bourrées, (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 1, No. 3): Obal, din lou
4. Jou l'Pount D'o Mirabel (Au pont de Mirabel), (Chants d'Auvergne, Ser
5. Chut, Chut, (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 4)
6. Lou Boussu (Le bossu), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 3)
7. Postouro, sé tu m'aymo (Bergère, si tu m'aimes), (Chants d'Auvergne,
8. La Delaissado (La délaissée), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 2, No. 4)
9. L' Antouèno (L'Antoine), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 2, No. 2)
10. Baïlèro, (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 1, No. 2)
11. Passo pel prat (Viens par le pré), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No.
12. Lo Fiolairé (La fileuse), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 1)
13. Brezairola (Berceuse), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 4)
14. Pastourelle (E passo dé dossaï; Ah! viens près de moi), (Chants d'Auv
15. Lou Coucut (Le coucou), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 4, No. 6)
16. Tè, l'Co, Tè! (Va l'chien, va!), (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 5, No. 6)
17. Malurous qu'o uno fenno, (Chants d'Auvergne, Series 3, No. 5)


Jill Gomez (soprano),
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,
Vernon Handley (conductor)
When the distinctive beauty of Jill Gomez 's voice comes over so well on record, I am surprised that the companies have not recorded her more. One remembers that it took them a surprisingly long time to wake up to the voluptuous qualities of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa's voice, and it is to Dame Kiri that one turns most readily for a direct comparison in Canteloube's Chants d'Auvergne. But where Dame Kiri with sumptuous accompaniment from the ECO under Jeffrey Tate on her two Decca records (SXDL7604, 3/83 and 411 730-I13H, 11/84) presents Canteloube's five books of folk-settings in sequence as published, Gomez arranges her 15 songs (roughly half the total) in a well-balanced grouping covering all five books.

With the recording beautifully capturing the bloom on Gomez's voice and fresh, sympathetic accompaniment from Vernon Handley and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, it makes a collection in its way just as delightful as Dame Kin's. Broadly, the Gomez/Handley collaboration brings performances clearer and more direct, less concerned to squeeze out the sensuous qualities of these outrageously opulent but lusciously enjoyable arrangements. So the most famous song, Bailèro, is more simply done than with Dame Kin but still warmly expressive with a ravishingly beautiful final stanza. With Jill Gomez I am reminded more readily that this was the tune that Walton borrowed for the music accompanying Burgundy's speech at the end of his Henry V film music. Some may still feel (as with Dame Kin) that a more earthy approach is better, but I like the way that Handley brings out in the crisp rhythms of the woodwind writing the echoes of folk-bands or medieval music, and that goes with delectable pointing by Gomez in the quick or witty songs with their sharp pay-offs. They are generally faster and lighter than with Dame Kin, and I am not surprised to learn that Gomez has been specifically instructed on Auvergne pronunciation by Paulette Hutchinson, born in the Clermont-Ferrand region.

But I confess that my favourite in this collection—a near thing when there are so many sweet meats—is the song in which Jill Gomez and Vernon Handley draw out a sensuousness even more luxuriant than on Dame Kin's record, la delaIssádo, the forsaken girl. That was the equivalent in Book 2 of what Bai'lêro had been in Book I, and for once it is more than just a less effective sequel. With outstanding sound the LP makes a specially welcome issue at mid-price. Notes and full text are included. E.G.



Baïlèro (5)

Chants d'Auvergne

Victoria de los Angeles
Chants d'Auvergne



01 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 1, La pastrouletta e lou chibalie
02 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 1, Bailero
03 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 1, Trois Bourree, L'aio de rotso
04 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 1, Trois Bourree, Ound' onoren gorda
05 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 1, Trois Bourree, Obal, din lou Limouzi
06 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 2, L'Antoueno
07 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 2, La Pastrouletta e lou Chibalie
08 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 2, La delaissado
09 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 2, Lo calhe
10 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 3, Lo fiolaire
11 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 3, Passo pel prat
12 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 3, Lou boussu
13 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 3, Brezairola
14 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 3, Malurous quo uno fenno
15 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 4, Oi Ayai
16 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 4, Pour LEnfant
17 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 4, Chut Chut
18 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 4, Pastorale
19 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 4, Lou Coucut
20 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 5, Obal Din Lo Coumbelo
21 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 5, La-Haut Sur le Rocher
22 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 5, He! Beyla-z-y-Dau Fe
23 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 5, Te LCo Te!
24 - Chants d'Auvergne, series 5, Uno Jionto Postouro


Victoria de los Angeles: Soprano
Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux
conducted by Jean-Pierre Jacquillat
I used to work in this place with a huge collection of at least 3000 LPs, containing some of the most famous recordings in the history of classical music recording. Unfortunately, this collection was largely in disuse, literally and sinfully left to collect dust (and I know many of you out there will pay tons of money for some of these LPs, for example, the other Melodiya Borodin Quartet Shostakovich cycle).

Among these records was the LP ASD 2826 from EMI, 1973, which contained on side 2 just nine of these Songs of the Auvergne, sung by the always regal Victoria de los Angeles. For a long period of time, during lunchtime, I would dig out this LP and put it on, letting the gorgeous sounds of the breathtaking Baïlèro, et al. wash my weariness away.

The plain of the Limagne To this day, only just over a year later, I would never forget this heavenly recording, with its luscious sounds of string, oboe, Madame de los Angeles (I wish I could meet her), and harp... of course when this CD appeared, with the LP's Millet painting inset on the cover, I snapped it up without hesitation. Now, when I listen to this Baïlèro, I still sometimes put my hand on my heart, and sigh in relief that such beauty still exists in this sometimes awful world (or in my case then, awful workplace).

Auvergne sits close to the centre of France, a volcanic region dominated by the Massif Central, an ancient extinct volcano. The fertility of the area is without doubt; the landscape ranges from volanic landscape to great expanses of rich forest. Auvergne is the land of the Arvernes, originally from Gaul, who were driven to the Massif Central by the Romans in CE 120. Among their legacies is a treasure trove of folksong, from which Joseph Canteloube found his material for these orchestral songs.

The music portrays the land with startling faithfulness, and in Mdm de los Angeles' voice, heartfelt love. Who wouldn't hear the lush landscape, the breathtaking nostalgia in the Baïlèro? Or how the music brims with the life of grandiose landscape in the Pastorale of Book IV/5 (track 18). The Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux is totally in the service of de los Angeles, patiently following her every nuance - the rubato is so subtle as to be completely natural, breathlessly floating with her tenderly passionate voice.

Victoria de los Angeles The nature of the songs range widely in feeling and atmosphere; what makes this such a classic performance is the equally diverse range of style de los Angeles employs. The Three Bourrées are full of gaiety, her voice springing with rhythmic vibrancy. Memorable is the wonderful shift of tempo and tone - from forlorn expectancy to youthful joy - in the second bourrée, Ound' onorèn gorda ("Where shall we go and graze") - de los Angeles' marvellous way with the rhythms of the word-setting is absolutely delicious! She can be flirtatious (La Pastrouletta è lou Chibalié ("The Shepherdess and the Gallant") but also supremely, lyrically sorrowful (La Délaïssádo).

Humour is cast in many styles - the clownishness with which she portrays Lou Boussu ("The Hunchback" - 12) and Lou Coucut ("The Cuckoo") have a Gershwinesque playfulness to them; then there is the mischievious glee of Chut, chut ("Hush, hush" - 17), turning boyish for Hé! beyla-z-y dau fé ("Hoy! give him some hay" - 22) and she is somehow sensuously vibrant in Oï, ayaï (15), with its orchestral piano accompaniment, depicting the fussy Marguerite getting out of bed.

But still, I think the most impressive are the plain beautiful songs - in addition to the Baïlèro, one must listen to the magnificent Passo pel prat ("Come through the Meadow" - 11), with de los Angeles in queenly voice, and the lullaby of the Brezairola ("Cradle Song") as well as the aptly titled Pour l'enfant (For the child - 16), shining with violins - such lovely lovely sounds. Is there another voice who can mix such motherly love, sensuous tenderness with such heart-welling, soft confidence?

The orchestra's majestic accompaniment is spectacular yet unshowy, their colours seeming to spring forth straight from the land (try in L'Antouèno). Obal, din lo coumbèlo ("Away down there in the valley" - 20) positively soars with Mdm de los Angeles' epic, lyric magnificence, gliding and even pulling along the sweep of the Orchestre. It all brings tears of joy to my eyes in the face of her tremendous art. Thank you, Victoria de los Angeles.

(-: by Chia Han-Leon :-)


Baïlèro (4)

Chants des Pays Basques...

María Bayo
Chants D'Auvergne
Chants Des Pays Basque



Chants Des Pays Basque

1. Lurraren Pian
2. Egun Batean
3. Chorietan Buruzagi
4. Nik Badut Maiteñobat
5. Chori Erresiñoula

Chants D'Auvergne

6. La Pastoura Als Camps
7. Bailero
8. Trois Bourrées: l'Aio Dè Roiso/Ound`Onorèn Gorda/Obal Din Lou Limouzi
9. Pastourelle
10. La Delaissado
11. Deux Bourrées: N'Ai Pas Iéu de Mio?/Lo Calhé
12. Lo Fiolairé
13. Lou Boussu
14. Brezairola
15. Malurous Qu'o Uno Fenno
16. Lou Coucut
17. Postouro Sé Tu M'Aymo


María Bayo: Soprano
Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife
Dirección: Victor Pablo Perez
"The big challenge in these songs is to retain the essence of folk-song, that ingenuous quality it has, keeping well clear of grandiose excess, artificiality or versophistication, which is the danger with such a rich orchestra. And yet the singer must be faithful to the score too, which certainly specifies certain dynamic levels, certain dirninuendos and crescendos, and great intensity. That is the difficult thing, marrying those two aspects together successfully."
 ..."I was very keen to record the chants d'Auvergne. I had gone on a tour of Japan with the Auvergne Orchestra performing these pieces: it was a great success, though what counted most was the enthusiasm I felt for these works. From the point of view of technique, they suit my voice. They rather centre on the mid range, as you would expect from music of folk origin, but they do have real substance. In the end, though, it is the evocative power of the music that draws me to it: the sense of breadth, fresh air, of simplicity in the midst of the grandeur of nature, of song born of love. These settings blend the simplicity and beauty of the melodies with colourful, rich orchestral writing, very much in the tradition of French orchestration."

For a Spanish singer the challenge of singing in the Auvergnat dialect presented fewer problems than for, say, an American or an Australian. "There are just a few consonants that are different in that dialect, the sounds mostly being the typical Latin language sounds, sharing features with French, Spanish, Italian and so on. Actually it was probably harder hitting the right tempo. One has to remember that the songs are based on folk rhythms, often ones intended for dancing. So apart from studying the dialect I visited the region, immersed myself in its landscapes, its rhythms, its people. I realized that the songs are much more than just descriptive: they have great human depth, the ageold wisdom of the people.

Unlike other recordings of these popular pieces, Bayo and her conductor Victor Pablo Perez ... add the rarely heard Basque folk-song arrangements. "When I was studying the chants d'Auvergne, I was struck by the fact that a musician from abroad -as Canteloube was - should have made arrangements of the folksongs of my own land, songs I had often sung when I was studying at music school in Pamplona. What I said for the Auvergne songs goes for these ones too: in addition to the orchestra's richness there are also the rhythms and the 'sauciness' of the words to be borne in mind. Though in the case of the Basque songs there was no special difficulty involved since I have known them all my life."

Chants d'Auvergne

Chants d'Auvergne
Kiri Te Kanawa



CD 1

1 - Chants D'Auvergne 1-1 La Pastoura als Camps
2 - Chants D'Auvergne 1-2 Bolero
3 - Chants D'Auvergne 1-3 Trois Bourrées
4 - Chants D'Auvergne 2-1 Pastourelle
5 - Chants D'Auvergne 2-2 L'Antouèno
6 - Chants D'Auvergne 2-3 La Pastrouletta ?lou Chibali
7 - Chants D'Auvergne 2-4 La Delaïssado
8 - Chants D'Auvergne 2-5 Bourrées
9 - Chants D'Auvergne 3-1 Lo Fiolair
10 - Chants D'Auvergne 3-2 Passo pel Prat
11 - Chants D'Auvergne 3-3 Lou Boussu
12 - Chants D'Auvergne 3-4 Brezairola
13 - Chants D'Auvergne 3-5 Malurous qu'o uno Fenno

CD 2

01 - Chants d'Auvergne 4-1 Jou l'pount d'o Mirabel
02 - Chants d'Auvergne 4-2 Oi ayai
03 - Chants d'Auvergne 4-3 Per l'èfon
04 - Chants d'Auvergne 4-4 Tchut, tchut
05 - Chants d'Auvergne 4-5 Pastorale
06 - Chants d'Auvergne 4-6 Lou Coucut
07 - Chants d'Auvergne 5-1 Obal, din lo coumbèlo
08 - Chants d'Auvergne 5-2 Quand z'eyro petitoune
09 - Chants d'Auvergne 5-3 Là-haut, sur le rocher
10 - Chants d'Auvergne 5-4 Hé! Beyla-z-y dau fé
11 - Chants d'Auvergne 5-6 Postouro, sé tu m'aymo  Tè, l'co, tè!
12 - Chants d'Auvergne 5-7 Uno jionto postouro
13 - Chants d'Auvergne 5-8 Lou diziou bé

14 - Villa-Lobos - Bachianas brasileiras No.5 Aria (Cantilena)
15 - Villa-Lobos - Bachianas brasileiras No.5 Dansa (Martelo)
Kiri Te Kanawa: Soprano
Composed by: Traditional, Joseph Canteloube
Performed by: English Chamber Orchestra
Conducted by: Jeffrey Tate
In cultural terms, the word globalism has both positive and negative meanings. On one hand we are free to experience ideas, music and art from all over the world. On the other, it implies the spread of the mediocre, and the mass-produced.

Musicologists at the turn of the twentieth century such as Bartok in Hungary and Joseph Marie Canteloube in France saw this force over-running small, isolated pockets of culture. They feared that the music of these musically rich communities would be lost in the tide of progress.

They and many others set out to gather the folk music of their regions, record them, catalogue them and preserve them for posterity. Some, such as Bartok then based many of their compositions on their collected treasures, developed and modified almost beyond recognition. Others, especially Canteloube, were much more faithful to the original.

Joseph Marie Canteloube was born in Annonay, central France, in 1879. The area, known as the Auvergne, is known for its rich soil, its Massif Central, an ancient extinct volcano and its expanse of dense forests. Its people are descendents from the Arvernes, a fiercely independent group of people who escaped to the area from the Romans in 120 AD.

Canteloube fell in love with the music of these peasant folk in his childhood and as an adult he returned to the area to collect their songs. He also collected music from many other regions of France and Spain, including Catalonia, Alsace, Languedoc and teh Basque region. He editied a massive volume called the Anthologie des chants populaires francais and wrote extensively promoting regionalism. He saw the dangers of globalism even before the term had been invented.

But he is best known today for his collection of 30 folk songs from his own homeland which he called Chants d'Auvergne or Songs of the Auvergne. They have the charm and simple beauty of folk songs set to his own piano or more commonly orchestral accompaniment and many have become concert hall staples.

Canteloube arranged the 30 songs into 26 musical works, in four volumes. The most famous is surely the Bailero a breathtakingly nostalgic work that evokes the beauty of the landscape of the Auvergne. Others are lively (Lou Coucut - The Cuckoo), flirtatious (La Pastrouletta e lou Chibalie - The Shepherdess and the Suitor) and supremely sorrowful (La Delaissado).

The songs are in thick Provence dialect known as langue d'Oc and includes many nonsense words and passages. Quite a feat to sing authentically. Sufice to say that this is perhaps Kiri Te Kanawa's greatest recording. She sings it to perfection.

Dame Kiri, as she is now known, was born in New Zealand to an Irish mother and a Maori father, descended from a great Maori warrier Te Kanawa. Her musical talent was evident from childhood, and in 1966 won a scholarship to study in London. She became world famous when she was chosen to sing at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in 1977, and has since performed everything from high opera, to Maria in Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story and simple Maori tunes.

Kiri Te Kanawa has a powerful, almost regal voice that is also sweet and approachable, perfectly suited to the words of the French peasant. She does not let musicality overcome the humanity of these songs, and brings a freshness to them that makes 90 minutes extremely listenable. 

Baïlèro (3)


Chants d'Auvergne

Frederica von Stade
Canteloube: Chants d'Auvergne, Vol. I



1 - Baïlèro
2 - Oï, ayaï
3 - La delaïssádo
4 - Passo del prat
5 - Té, l'co, té!
6 - Pour l'Enfant
7 - Bourrées: I. N'aï pas iéu de mîo  II. Lo calhé
8 - Lou coucut
9 - L'Antouéno
10 - Chut, chut
11 - Brezairola
12 - Uno jionto postouro
13 - Lo fiolairé
14 - Bourrées: I. L'aïo dè rotso  II. Ound'onorèn gorda?  III. Obal, din lou Limouzi
Frederica von Stade: Mezzo Soprano
Composed by: Traditional, Joseph Canteloube
Performed by: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by: Antonio de Almeida 
Frederica von Stade is an internationally known mezzo soprano, known as much for her charm and beauty as for her singing. She possesses what critics have called one of the warmest voices of her generation and has tackled a wide range of repertoire throughout her career. Several contemporary composers have written roles for her. She also spends time championing music education.

Born in 1945 in New Jersey, her father was killed by a land mine in the waning days of World War II, weeks before her birth. Her family traveled and periodically lived abroad in her youth because her mother worked as a secretary for the Central Intelligence Agency. This included extended stays in Italy and Greece. Typically, she spent summers in Far Hills, New Jersey, with her grandmother. She first saw an opera at the age of 16.

Von Stade attended Convent of the Sacred Heart school in suburban Washington., D.C., then spent a year studying music in Paris, working as a nanny and bartender to earn her way. She attended Mannes College of Music in New York, where she studied with teachers including Paul Berl and Otto Guth. After graduation she joined New York's Metropolitan Opera company, and made her debut on January 10, 1970, in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (The magic flute). "I was totally green, stagestruck and nervous about being wrong, and I wasn't really a trained musician," she told Brian Kellow of Opera News in a 1995 interview. "[Y]ou just sat in that rehearsal room for five hours and didn't read a paper or a magazine or knit or do anything. You sat and listened. You watched and learned and assimilated."


Chants d'Auvergne

Joseph Canteloube
Chants d'Auvergne



1. La pastoura als camps (The Shepherdess in the Fields) - 2:47
2. Bailero - 5:14
3. L'aio de rotso (Spring Water) - 3:09
4. Ound' onoren gorda? (Where shall we find our flock?) - 2:34
5. Obal din lou Limouzi (Down in Limousin) - 1:15
6. Pastourelle (Shepherdess) - 3:19
7. L'Antoueno (Antoine) - 3:16
8. N'ai pas ieu de mio (I have no girl) - 4:41
9. Lo calhe (The Quail) - 1:43
10. La delaissado (Deserted) - 4:08
11. Passo pel prat (Go through the meadow) - 3:23
12. Lou boussu (The Hunchback) - 2:25
13. Brezairola (Lullaby) - 3:15
14. Malurous qu'o uno fenno (Unfortunate he who has a wife) - 1:33
15. Jou l'pount d'o Mirabel (By the Bridge of Mirabel) - 4:00
16. Oi ayai (Oh! Ah!) - 3:03
17. Lou coucut (The Cuckoo) - 1:52
18. Quand z'eyro petitoune (When I was little) - 2:57
19. La-haut, sur le rocher (Up there, on the rock) - 3:48
20. Uno jionto postouro (A pretty shepherdess) - 2:41
21. Lou diziou be (They said) - 1:21

Véronique Gens: Soprano
Composed by: Traditional, Joseph Canteloube
Performed by: Lille National Orchestra
Conducted by: Jean-Claude Casadesus 
Once you accept the fundamental premise -- Joseph Canteloube's Chants d'Auvergne are gussied-up folk songs -- they become the cutest little things in the world. Of course, not everybody can accept the premise since it involves accepting, first, that the folk song is a legitimate vehicle for high culture, and second, that a little sentimentality never hurt anybody. For listeners for whom Schubert's lieder are the only possible songs, Canteloube's Chants will seem far too close to kitsch for aesthetic comfort. But listeners who can accept the artless beauty of the tunes and the warm orchestral syrup in which they are encased, Canteloube's Chants are just the thing when Puccini's Madame Butterfly becomes too much.

There have been many terrific recordings of Canteloube's Chants d'Auvergne over the years, but this recording by soprano Véronique Gens accompanied by Jean-Claude Casadesus leading the Orchestre National de Lille can takes its place among the best. With many impressive recordings of repertoire from Rameau through Mozart to her credit, Gens may at first seem an unlikely choice for performing gussied-up folk songs, but her darkly lustrous and deep-chested tone, along with her birth in the Auvergne region make, her a natural for the part.

And indeed, while one can tell immediately that the singer is Gens, one never gets the sense that she's condescending to the repertoire, but rather doing exactly the repertoire she wants to do and enjoying herself completely while doing it. Casadesus is a faithful accompanist, but this is emphatically Gens' show and, for those who can accept the fundamental premise, pure pleasure. Naxos' sound is rich, deep, warm, and round. 

~ James Leonard, Rovi 

Joseph Canteloube (1879-1957): Chants d’Auvergne

The mountainous province of Auvergne, its name derived from the Gallic tribe of the Arverni, victorious under Vercingétorix in resistance to Julius Caesar, has held an important position in the history of France, from its conquest in 1190 by Philippe Auguste. In the Middle Ages there remained a careful balance of power between local feudal lords, until Auvergne became crown territory in the sixteenth century. The region has its own patois and its own cultural traditions. It was from Auvergne that the family of Marie-Joseph Canteloube de Malaret stemmed. He himself was born in 1879 at Annonay and spent his childhood in the countryside of Malaret, in the south of Auvergne. It was there that he found his first interest in folk-song. As he later wrote ‘Les chants paysans s’élèvent bien souvent au niveau de l’art le plus pur, par le sentiment et l’expression, sinon par la forme’ (The songs of the peasants very often reach the level of the purest art in feeling and expression, if not in form). In 1900, after the death of his mother, he went to Paris, where he had piano lessons with Amélie Daetzer, a pupil of Chopin. Two years later he began his study of counterpoint with César Franck’s pupil Vincent d’Indy, later entering the Schola Cantorum that d’Indy had established, an institution of sound musical principles, but one that deliberately avoided the regulations and formalities of the Conservatoire. The Schola Cantorum gave particular encouragement to the development of regional musical
traditions, an aim that was to suit very well the views of the monarchist Charles Maurras and Action française. Here Canteloube studied fugue, composition and orchestration, meeting another disciple of Franck, Charles Bordes, whose mismanagement of the affairs of the Schola later led to his own bankruptcy and resignation, and the composer Déodat de Séverac, a regional composer of similar ambitions to his own. He was later to write biographies of both Vincent d’Indy and Déodat de Séverac.

Joseph Canteloube never won any great outstanding success as a composer, although his music was heard in Paris. Among his first compositions was a setting of Verlaine’s Colloque sentimental, for voice and string quartet, followed by other works for voice and instrumental ensemble. His opera Le Mas, largely written by 1913, was staged in Paris only in 1929, a second stage work remained incomplete, and a third, Vercingétorix, had a prompter staging in Paris in 1933. He wrote a relatively small number of orchestral works and chamber music, devoting time increasingly to his folk-song researches. During the Occupation he was in Vichy, working for the Pétain Government on the revival of interest in folkmusic, an aim that had, for him, and for others associated with Action française, an ethical, social and political importance.

Since his death in 1957 Canteloube has become widely known for his folk-song arrangements, in particular his Chants d’Auvergne for voice and instrumental ensemble, a series of five publications, the first two written in 1924, the third and fourth in 1927 and 1930, respectively, and the last in 1955. These settings, which have won increasing popularity, aptly present the original songs, with orchestral accompaniments that often suggest the instruments of the countryside. The songs, enhanced rather than damaged by their setting, speak for themselves.

Keith Anderson
Marie-Joseph Canteloube de Malaret (21 October 1879 – 4 November 1957)



Joseph Canteloube, Chants d'Auvergne
Pastré, dè dèlaï l'aïo, as gaïré dé boun tèms?
Dio lou baïlèro lèro, lèro, lèro, lèro, baïlèro, lô!
È n'aï pa gaïre, è dio, tu?
Baïlèro lèro, lèro, lèro, lèro, baïlèro, lô!

Pastré, lou prat faï flour, li cal
gorda toun troupel!
Dio lou baïlèro lèro, lèro, lèro, lèro, baïlèro, lô!
L'erb es pu fin' ol prat d'oïci!
Baïlèro lèro, lèro, lèro, lèro, baïlèro, lô!

Pastré, couci foraï, en obal io lou bel riou!
Dio lou baïlèro lèro, lèro, lèro, lèro, baïlèro, lô!
Es pèromè, té baô çirca!
Baïlèro lèro, lèro, lèro, lèro, baïlèro, lô!

Baïlèro - Madeleine Grey, (11 June 1896 - 13 March 1979) recorded ca. 1930

Shepherd across the river, you don't seem to be afraid, 
sing the Bailero, etc.
Indeed I'm not, and you too,
sing the Bailero, etc.

Shepherd, the meadow is in bloom,
come over here to 
sing the Bailero, etc.
The grass is greener on this side,
you come here, Bailero, etc.

Shepherd, the stream separates us, and I can't cross it,
sing the Bailero, etc.
Then I'll come and get you further down,
Bailero, etc.

Chants d'Auvergne ("Songs from the Auvergne") is a collection of folk songs from the Auvergne region of France arranged for soprano voice and orchestra by Joseph Canteloube between 1923–1930. The best known of the songs is the "Baïlèro". The songs are in the local language, Occitan.
The first recording, of eleven of the songs, was by Madeleine Grey in 1930. The songs are part of the standard repertoire and have been recorded by many singers.


Canteloube's "Chants d'Auvergne" are an extraordinary musical compilation of an extraordinary musical culture. The Auvergne region was subject to many cultural influences, including Celtic, Roman, and Moorish, as well as later European influences, and this shows in both language and music. Canteloube wished to preserve the music and language of the folk traditions in the Auvergne, but wished to preserve them in a living, musical form, rather than in scholarly notations in bound volumes. The results are the five series that he published, between 1923 and 1955. As an arranger, his own touch and musical influences are clear, but he found this appropriate to the way that folk music evolves through the influences that it meets--much the way that the music he arranged was influenced by the many cultures it encountered.

Bailero is from the first book, and is perhaps the best known. In this simple, pastoral song, a shepherd and a girl call to one another across the stream that divides them. The verses end with the refrain "bailero, " a common element in many Auvergne songs (equivalent to the "wally, wally, " or "fa la la" refrains in some English songs). The instruments evoke the sounds of nature, using winds and the flute... ~ Anne Feeney, Rovi

Joseph Canteloube
CANTELOUBE: Songs of the Auvergne - Madeleine Grey, soprano
First Recording - 1930 - Columbia 78rpm Set MM-758. Digital Transfer by F. Reeder

Songs of the Auvergne
Madeleine Grey, soprano
With Orchestra
conducted by M. Elie Cohen

01 L'aio de rotso (Water from the spring)
Ound' onoren gorda? (Where shall we stay?)
Obal din lon Limouzi (Down in Limousin)
02 Bailero (Shepherd's Song of Upper Auvergne)
03 N'ai pas ien de mio (No friend have I)
04 Lo Calhe (The Quail)
05 Bresairola (Lullaby)
06 Malurous qu'o unno fenno (Unhappy he who has a wife)
07 La Fiolaire (La Fileuse)
08 L'Antoneno (L'Antoine)
09 Passo pel prat (Viens par le pré) (Come by the field)

Columbia 78rpm Set MM-758 (LX 1263 - LX 1269)
Recorded in February, 1930



“Dramatic and benevolent landscapes shape human culture; often internalizing grassroots values and humanist principles. This is the essence of the Auvergne, a topographically, agriculturally and discrete region of France ‒ where people and exceptional food are elemental.
Here in the geographic centre of France ‒ and in many ways its heartland ‒ you will find yourself immersed in the “far from the madding crowd” Massif Central, a refuge of extraordinary natural beauty, stunning panoramas, ancient granite and crystalline rock ‒ and over 80 dormant volcanoes.
A land of ancient pilgrimage routes, crater lakes, hot springs, centuries of French history and heritage, Romanesque churches, medieval castles and Renaissance palaces, life here is harmonious and interconnected.
Known for its heritage of gastronomy and culinary arts, the Auvergne gives a new depth of meaning to the “slow food movement”; while at the same time providing the enlightened traveller with a cornucopia of nature-based activities.”


Musiques de Basse-Auvergne

Les Brayauds
Musiques de Basse-Auvergne

"Eau forte"


1     Leve-toi et danse     3:03    
2     Les mariniers     2:47
3     Bourree de Thiers et de Saint-Gervais     3:45
4     Poussiere d'ange     4:05
5     Je viens a vous     2:53
6     Sous les lampions     2:43
7     Charmon     3:13
8     Dimanche matin     1:50
9     Le petit train d'Alaska; Promene-moi     3:16
10     Coustich; Lo marion plora; ...     6:42
11     Valse a Ulysse     2:03
12     Dessous le rosier blanc     4:08
13     Polka piquee d'Allard     1:47
14     Chancelade     3:44
15     Monette     3:23
16     Blanche     4:01


Eric Champion - diatonic accordion
Didier Champion - hurdy-gurdy, vocals
Ivan Karveix - bagpipes, big bagpipes, clarinet
Francois Breugnot - violin
Frédéric Bonnefoy - diatonic accordion
Alain Bausse - bagpipe
Magali Champion - vocals
Jean-Luc Cappozzo - bugle, trumpet

Traditional music of the Lowlands of Auvergne performed on accordions, bagpipes, and a hurdy-gurdy.


L'association "Les Brayauds"



L'Âge d'Or de la cornemuse d'Auvergne

L'Âge d'Or de la cornemuse d'Auvergne

Enregistrements historique 1895-1976
Réalisateur: Eric Montbel


01. Victor Allard. Joseph Aigueperse - Allard La Grondo   02:27
02. Antoine Bouscatel - Sur Lo Cans D'andouno Bouscatel   02:30
03. André Vermerie - Vermerie Roc Carlat   01:15
04. Antoine Bouscatel. Jean Sanit - Bousca Polka   02:30
05. Martin Cayla - Cayla Bour Familles   02:58
06. Victor Allard, Guéniffet - Allard Corn Marmignol   02:02
07. Antoine Bouscatel - Bousca Tyrol   02:57
08. Antoine Bouscatel, Fredo Gardoni - Bousca Flor De Ginesta   02:49
09. Jean Bonal, Jean-Marie Guyot - Bonal Portas Chopina   01:46
10. Pierre Ladonne - Ladonne Bourrée À   01:30
11. Jean Bergeaud - Bergeaud Marc Nuptiale   03:41
12. Antoine Bouscatel? - Bousca Marche   02:51
13. Victot Allard, Joseph Aigueperse - Allard Aiguep Escloupett   01:45
14. Leon Chanal - Chanal Regret   02:01
15. Antoine Bouscatel - Bousca Regret M Nuptial   02:46
16. Lo Merle - Le Merle Bourrée   01:08
17. André Vermerie - Vermerie B Du Merle   01:12
18. Antoine Bouscatel, Fredo Gardoni - Bousca Cantal Mignonett   02:47
19. Martin Cayla - Cayla La Demenon L N Nobi   03:06
20. Pierre Ladonne - Ladonne Jolie Musette   01:21
21. Jean Bergeaud - Bergeaud Mourailhado   01:18
22. Antoine Bousca, Emile Gineston - Bousca Polk Piquée   02:55
23. Jean Bonal, Jean-Marie Guyot - Bonal Valse D'auv   02:21
24. Antoine Bouscatel, Jean Sanit - Bousca Scottish   02:27
25. Antoine Bouscatel - Bousca Dans Le Verger   03:21
26. Antoine Bouscatel - Bousca La Calha   02:40
27. Alexander Cros - Cros Tournijaire   02:37
28. Jean Bergeaud - Bergeaud La Rapide   01:40
The cabrette (French: literally "little goat", alternately musette) is a type of bagpipe which appeared in Auvergne, France in the 19th century, and rapidly spread to Haute-Auvergne and Aubrac.

The cabrette consists of a chanter for playing the melody, and a drone. Though descended from earlier mouth-blown bagpipes, bellows were added to the cabrette in the mid-19th century. It is said that Joseph Faure, of Saint-Martin-de-Fugères en Haute-Loire, first applied a bellows to the cabrette. Faure, a carpenter stricken with lung disease, was inspired when he used a bellows to start a fire.
Antoine Bouscatel (1867-1945)
"le roi des cabrettaires"

Histoire de la Cabrette



Musique de Haute-Auvergne

Trio DCA
Musique de Haute-Auvergne



1. leu n'ai cinc sos / Crève de sèt / Pòrta chopina
2. Sòm, sòm, minon, minauna / Suite de polkas piquées
3. D'où venez-vous Pierre / Bourrée du merle
4. Mazurka de "l'Anglard" / Mazurka du Cheix / Suite de polkas piquées
5. Dejos lo rosièr blanc
6. Valse Tyrolienne d'Auvergne
7. Polka à Alfred Mouret
8. Je te ferai danser boiteuse / La Vicoise / Bourrée de Brézou
9. La curé de la chapelle
10. Scottish à "Laurent-Eric" / Bourrée auvergnate
11. Valse modale / La Rosalie
12. La Caille / La Calha / Crosada d'Alpuech
13. Fridefont
14. Le 26 du mois d'avril
15. Bourrée du Papèt / Aqui per aquela posca
16. Quand ieu n'èri pichinèla / Si vous saviez jeune fille


Anne-Lise Foy - vocals, vielle a roue/hurdy gurdy
Hervé Capel - melodeon
Dominique Paris - cabrette/bagpipes
This album showcases three musicians with respectable credentials in French folk music teaming up to produce an energetic recording featuring mostly dance tunes, with a few songs added to the mix for good measure. Almost entirely acoustic, performed by Dominique Paris (cabrette), Hervé Capel (chromatic accordion) and Anne-Lise Foy (vielle-à-roue, vocals), this music might surprise listeners new to French folk music with the power the players produce. The bulk of this album is dance music, after all, and there are few groups capable of generating more power than a group of inspired dancers and the musicians who drive them.

The dance tunes and sets include bourées, mazurkas, polkas and waltzes, allowing the three to demonstrate their ensemble talents, with the three instruments putting out intertwining melody lines one moment, then blending together to turn the power up a notch, like different parts of the same organism. Solo pieces offered by Dominique Paris ("Valse Tyrolienne d'Auvergne" and "Bourée du Papèt / Aqui per auela posca") and Hervé Capel ("Le curé de la chapelle") contain some lively and beautiful work, and are a great opportunity to hear the individual voices of their instruments. Anne-Lise Foy, besides illustrating how she has gained a reputation as one of the finest vielle-à-roue players in Europe, handles the vocal chores nicely on five tracks. Guest Denis Gasser adds some beautiful touches on acoustic guitar here and there. He's also credited with synthesizer, but his work on that instrument is extremely subtle, never drawing the music out of the traditional folk vein.

These players show that they have a deep respect and love for the traditional music of France, with very little "envelope pushing", but this is by no means a dry, scholarly document. They're having fun as well, and it's very apparent.

Les musiques de Haute Auvergne reconnues pour leur puissance, leur richesse, leur style et leur originalité, avaient depuis longtemps besoin d’être replacées dans une actualité incontestable, pour que les références du début du 20ème siècle cèdent le pas à des démarches créatives. La chose est faite et ce trio possède toutes les qualités requises pour redonner un engouement à ces musiques. Trio DCA : Une musique comme on l’a toujours attendue et trop souvent rêvé. 



Musique D'Auvergne

Musique D'Auvergne


A1 Bourrées "À Deux Violonsé     3:23   
A2 Mazurka Et Brezon Valse     4:48   
A3 Le Faitou     2:40   
A4 Pendant La Messe Et Scottish Valse     2:11   
A5 La Vicoise     1:30   
A6 Réveillées, Chansons De Quête     3:40
B1 Obal Din Lo Ribieyro, Regret     4:02   
B2 "La Caille" Et "Lo Couquignotte"     1:57   
B3 Suite De Marches     2:42   
B4 Suite De Bourrées "Ai Vist Lou Loup"     2:05   
B5 "La Tsabro" Et "Bourrée Des Nuages"     2:20   
B6 "Plant Un Cao", Scottish     4:20


Bagpipes [Cabrette], Hurdy Gurdy, Bells [Sonnailles], Vocals - Bernard Blanc
Bass [Fender] - Gérard Lavigne
Melodeon, Violin, Mandolin, Vocals, Bells [Sonnailles] - Jean Blanchard
Piano, Guitar - Denis Gasser
Violin, Viola - Philippe Fromont
Vocals, Hurdy Gurdy, Spinet - Emmanuelle Parrenin
A very nicely polished ensemble of good Auvergne tunes, several of them familiar, with a group of excellent musicians, notably Jean Blanchard and Bernard Blanc. There's a bit of piano in places, but mostly good solid French trad. Very enjoyable.

Emmanuelle Parrenin sings here, but this Gentiane album is not like her sophisticated masterpiece "Maison Rose", it's raw french folk. Good to bring to the wooden house lost in the forest.

Gentiane was an occasional group. The musicians who converge in this recording came from different horizons. They met to make a project with which they had encariñado themselves: a disc of folk music of Auvernia, being different itself from the rest of the recordings in type of adjustments and the respect to the styles and the instruments. Before the success achieved by the recording they acted occasionally, but their particular commitments ruined the possible continuity of the group.
In order to understand the evolution of the members of Gentiane it is necessary to consider some aspects. In the first place, the two matrices of folk are mentioned French are Paris and Lyon with their respective clubs of folk. To these it is necessary to add to the musicians bretones who arrive from the hand and Alan Stivell and the French nucleus of bluegrass. Soon the ramifications are interlaced. The members of Gentiane have participated in different groups folk like the Chantarelle, the Bamboche, the Chifonnie, Him Bourdon, Confrerie DES fous, Melusine, Forlane, New Ragged Company, Plume ET goudron, Lyonnesse, Connection and Equinoxe, among others.
~Manuel Domínguez.


Viva Brasil

Tania Maria - Viva Brasil


01. Florzinha (Petite Fleur) (Sidney Bechet - Tania Maria Correa Reis)
02. Tá Tudo Certo (Tania Maria Correa Reis) / Mas Que Nada (Jorge Ben Jor)
03. Sebastiana (Rosil Cavalcanti)
04. Encanto Meu (Tania Maria Correa Reis)
05. Vem Pra Roda (Tania Maria Correa Reis)
06. It's Only Love (Tania Maria Correa Reis - Leslie Carter)
07. One Note Samba (Antonio Carlos Jobim - Newton Mendonça)
08. Não Se Avexe Não (Francisco Anysio - Haydee Paula)
09. Amei Demais (Tania Maria Correa Reis)
10. Sangria (Tania Maria Correa Reis)
11. Conceição (Jair Amorim - Dunga)


Tania Maria (vocals, piano, synthesizer);
Cacao (saxophone, flute, clarinet);
Marc Bertaux, Carlos Werneck (bass);
Stephane Huchard (drums);
Mestre Carneiro (percussion).
Want to know how to say "wow" in Portuguese? Try Tania Maria. That says it all.

On her new CD titled "Viva Brazil", Tania Maria returns—musically at least—to her native Brazil. She combines her original compositions with some of the best known Brazilian classics. Her interpretation of "Sebastiana" is second to none. And there is her stunning arrangement of "One Note Samba". She slows the normally jumpy tempo to a sultry ballad and the result is magic.

Then there are Tania Maria's original composition, my favorite being "Sangria". Like the drink, this is a wonderful blend of flavors; jazz, funk and pop.

Tania Maria adds her own creation to the rick tapestry of Brazilian music. Her blend of African rhythms and Latin melodies result in a sound that is at once soulful and rich. The ultimate ingredient in the mix is Tania Maria's sensuous voice.

From the first drum beat of the opening selection "Florzinha/Petite Fleur" and ending with the last mellow notes of "Conceicao" Tania Maria holds her listeners under her spell.

If you are already one of her many fans then this CD is the perfect addition to your collection. If you are new to the sounds of Tania Maria then this CD is the perfect introduction. Either way, don't miss it.
Brazilian singer/pianist/composer Tania Maria launched her career in France in the 1970s and sounds as energetic as ever. One of the original crossover artists, she combines classic Brazilian rhythms and sensibility with funk, jazz, pop, and splash of rock & roll. Tania Maria is instantly recognizable: nobody would confuse her strong, lusty, distinctive voice and playful piano style (including those dissonant three-note fills) with anyone else. This CD contains one of her signature tunes, "It's Only Love," updated with Cacao's soulful sax as well as some experiments. There's a percussion-infused version of Sidney Bechet's well-known "Petite Fleur," which works so well it's the highlight of the CD, and a slow ballad take on "One Note Samba," which doesn't. The melody simply isn't interesting enough to elongate. But there are better moments here: the funky bass work and churning percussion on "Encanto Meu," "Nao Se Avexe Nao," and "Sangria," which is served up hot, with Tania Maria's fiery, Cuban-style solo and comping; the syncopated party pulse on "Vem Pr'a Roda"; and the sexy, laid-back swing on "Amei Demais." Her singing is so expressive it makes one wish that English translations of the lyrics were provided. Tania Maria's mischievous humor really comes out in her electrifying live performances, but there are hints of it here in her laughing countdown to one track and the background chorus of "Whoa!" on another. This veteran is one of a kind, and this CD is a good introduction to her sound and a must-have for fans.
~ Judith Schlesinger



Tania Maria


1 - Tranquility - Tania Maria
2 - Imagine - Lennon
3 - Bandeira Do Lero - Tania Maria
4 - Two A.M. - Tania Maria
5 - Que Vengan los Toros - Tania Maria
6 - Cry Me a River - Hamilton
7 - Eruption - Tania Maria


Tania Maria: Piano, Keys, Vocals, Composer
Willie Colon: Percussion, Conga
Eddie Durán: Guitar
Rob Fisher: Bass
Vince Lateano: Drums

Recorded at Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco, California, August 1981.
Brazilian-born Tania Maria has been a leader since the tender age of 13, when her band of professional musicians, organized by her father, won first prize in a local music contest and went on to play for dances, in clubs and on the radio. Her father, a metal worker and a gifted guitarist and singer, had encouraged her to study piano so that she could play in his weekend jam sessions, where she first absorbed the rhythms and melodies of samba, jazz, pop music and Brazilian chorinho. Since then, she has never worked in anyone else's group. Exposed early to the artistry of Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Luiz Eca, Sarah Vaughan, Anita O'Day, Tom Jobim and Milton Nascimento, she developed her own masterful synthesis of what she heard an effervescent style of piano work and rapid-tongued vocals in arrangements that fuse Brazilian rhythms and Caribbean salsa with the improvised expression that is the heart of American jazz.

Her family was poor. Her 4 sisters, also musically inclined, followed their mother's prudent warnings against making careers of such inclinations and entered the fields of dentistry, psychology, engineering and advertising. Tania Maria spent 2 years studying for a law degree, married and started a family, but by the mid '70s she had answered a calling that seems to have been waiting for her since her birth. She committed herself to performing again, moving to Sao Paulo where she sang and studied piano.

Her nightlife soon led her to Paris, her home base for several years, where she recorded several albums. At a concert in Australia, her formidable musical precision and freewheeling spirit caught the attention of American guitarist Charlie Byrd, who recommended her to Carl Jefferson, head of Concord Records. "Even then", Byrd recalls, "she put her own stamp on music. I was very impressed, Tania Maria's first America album, 'Piquant', earned jazz critic Leonard Feather's Golden Feather Award".

Although 6 years of classical study underlie her solid pianistic technique, Tania Maria's highly praised vocal skills came naturally, "I'm Brazilian", she says, "and singing is the greatest tradition we have!". Well known for ebullient scat singing, she indetifies herself primarily as a pianist. "I play percussion on my piano", she explains, rather than smooth runs up and down scales. And she often scats in unison or harmony with the notes that flow from her touch, soaring beyond the constraints of words. "The first person that I heard that did this was a Brazilian, Sivuca, and he did this with the accordion, the same thing that George Benson does with his guitar. So I was thinking, it they can do it with the accordion and guitar, why can't I do it with the piano? For me it's so easy in one way it's my trademark. You know somehow that Tania Maria is passing by!"

"There's a kind of musician that utilizes the music to pass their lyrics, because the message is not in the music, the messages is in their lyrics. I don't think I'm that kind of person. When I do my improvisations, I have the impression that I am saying something. The music conducts me to a certain space and a certain message."
"In our day, the less you talk, the more you do. I'm a little tired to listen to politicians say, oh, 'Read my lips'. It's better for me to boop-be-doo-boop-be-ooh-boo - then it's difficult to read my lips!".
Based in New York since the '80s, this extraordinary improviser best known for her fiery interpretation of Brazilian, Afro-Latin, Pop and Jazz Fusion, in a style that is uniquely her own. Tania has played virtually every important Jazz Festival in the world and has appeared on countless television and radio programmes. Tania has recorded 19 albums and in 1985 was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category "Best Jazz Vocal Performance - Female Artist". In 1995 Tania performed at prestigious venues like The Blue Note and famous festivals like Saratoga Jazz Festival, New Orleans Heritage Festival, etc... all over the world. 
When she chooses to perform live, everyone, including Tania Maria, is in for a joyful celebration of "the colors of people, the many different sounds of people". She tells us "When I play, I have the possibility to be 80 percent more on the side of happiness. The other 20 percent, it's up to the public to put in!".