The Jacques Brel foundation comes out in a restored version the Knokke concert in 1963, the farewell to L’Olympia in 1966, and the interview in 1971
More than 40 years after his death (October 9, 1978), Jacques Brel remains with Trenet and Brassens “the” reference of French song. Unparalleled passion, boundless passion, and extraordinary talent. The release in restored audio and HD video versions of two of his most legendary concerts, as well as a cult interview, remind us of the unsurpassed aura of this flagship artist in French heritage.
The Casino of Knokke-le-Zoute in Belgium occupies a very special place in the career of Jacques Brel. On July 22, 1953, he began there in a singing competition, for which he finished the twenty-seventh and penultimate … not everyone can be a visionary …
Thereafter, the singer performs faithfully every year as if to ward off this bad start. On July 23, 1963, ten years almost to the day after these unpromising beginnings, he delivered a fiery performance and once again showed his total commitment, and his unrestrained passion for the stage. It’s the very first time that he sings Mathilde in concert. His great successes are applauded, such When we only have love.
The image and sound have been completely restored, at the initiative of the Jacques-Brel Foundation. And it is a real pleasure to see and hear the singer in this performance hall on a human scale, where each applause seems to come close to the stage. The great Jacques gives himself as at each of his concerts, that is to say as if it were to be the last, and his performance on Bigots once again suggests an artist who was not cheating
And precisely, the farewell concert at L’Olympia is the second major element of this set. On October 28 & 29, 1966, Philippe Marouani films these legendary evenings, where Jacques Brel says goodbye to the stage and his audience, when he is at the height of his glory.
The reason for this sudden interruption is due to this intransigence with himself: at the beginning of summer 1966, during a concert in Laon, he realizes that he mechanically doubled a verse during the interpretation of the fifth piece Old. Fearing to lose his spontaneity, he therefore chose to stop touring, but honoring his last contracts until May 16, 1967 in Roubaix, the date of his real last concert.
However, these official farewells to L’Olympia in October 1966 remain Jacques Brel’s last great recital. After a breathtaking finish with I f, Next, The flat country and Madeleine, the singer returns seven times to greet nearly 2,000 standing spectators who shout “Do not leave us”.
The pearl in the box is undoubtedly the famous interview filmed by Marc Lobet, in color, that Jacques Brel gives to Henry Lemaire at his friend Franz’s, in Knokke again, in 1971. For 32 minutes, we discover a hard-hitting, defending Brel his convictions and ideas with humor, in complete freedom. Many sentences from this interview have become cult.
The Jacques Brel Foundation continues to welcome the public in its cinema hall in Brussels to present its films and project them on the big screen, with a substantial choice of languages and subtitles: Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hebrew, German, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, English, Polish and French!
Proof, if any, of the international renown of this artist who is no exaggeration to qualify as one of the greatest, and who remains more alive than ever.
Brel à Knokke / Farewell to L’Olympia / Brel parle (interview) – released on May 22 (Universal / Fondation Jacques Brel) – Blu-ray + 2CD or 2 DVD + 2CD version
The Jacques Brel Foundation website