2 February 2024

THE MORNING LIST

This week, a selection of seven books on music: a biography of Clara Schumann by musicologist and teacher Brigitte François-Sappey; an autobiography of Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, drummer of the rap group The Roots; the new issue of the magazine Schnock with a special file devoted to the singer Véronique Sanson; fifty years of friendship and history between musician Michel Portal and photographer Guy Le Querrec; the electro epic from the phonographic company Ed Banger Records; a collection of interviews by JD Beauvallet with personalities from the pop-rock scene; an overview of all Bruce Springsteen songs to date.

A militant biography of Clara Schumann

An eminent musicologist who has, among other things, taught at the Paris Conservatoire, Brigitte François-Sappey is now taking up the pen again to write a biography of Clara Schumann (1819-1896), an exceptional virtuoso but a creator who is hindered (by her status as a mother and wife), with the appearance of artistic rehabilitation, well in the tone of feminist activism which tries to rebalance the balance of the sexes in the consideration of the musical legacy. Moreover, Brigitte François-Sappey does not hesitate to use the first person to express her point of view. For example, on the motivations of the two great composers who nurtured a passion for Clara: “Schumann and Brahms, the ‘beautiful souls’ whom I love and revere”, she writes, “had no other ‘categorical imperative’ in life than to grow their genius. »

Also symptomatic of the current era, this shift in “intertextuality” – between the works of the young Clara and her future husband – to sexuality period. Hunted behind the expression of a “sublime gift” (which the minor did to her eldest, according to Robert Schumann) then evoked in an unexpected and improbable incest relationship (the father and the daughter appearing in the eyes of the musical world as a ” couple “), the question does not matter to us. The interest of this highly documented biography resides above all in the freedom which leads the musicologist to report “this life of Janus (Who) is unique in its sum of happiness and misfortune combined” jumping briskly out of the chronological frameworks that she has nevertheless set herself. P.Gi

“Clara Schumann, a romantic icon”, by Brigitte François-Sappey, Le Passeur Editeur, 326 p., €17.

Music according to The Roots drummer Questlove

Mo’ Better Blues was the title of the Spike Lee film, which told, in 1992, the life of a jazz musician trapped between his search for musical sensations and his love affairs. It is also slang for “more better blues”literally “more better blues”the search for the absolute blues. Mo’ Meta Blues, it would be this absolute beyond the possible. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is the drummer of the rap group The Roots, which he claims is “the last surviving hip-hop group” since like the pioneers of the 1970s, they compose with musicians, play their loops and rap, Black Thought is also an esthete of rhyme, figure of speech and punchline, not a mumbler of the “mumble rap” generation. “.

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