“I started reading Serge’s words without any music at all in a theater with the wonderful Michel Piccoli and Hervé Pierre,” Birkin reminisced.

One journalist suggested that Birkin could pair the lyrics with classical music, and though Birkin thought the idea seemed “a little pretentious,” she accepted an offer to perform with the Montreal Philharmonic. With music from the composer Nobuyuki Nakajima, Birkin said, “it wouldn’t be boring, pretentious, or the sort of thing people do when it’s their last lap of their career.”

The result is Le Symphonique, a record that focuses on Serge’s early career, orchestral versions of songs he penned for Birkin like “Jane B” and “Baby Alone in Babylone,” and the music they made after they separated. “I haven’t stopped in a year,” Birkin said of touring with the record. - [Vanity Fair]

Last year, Jane Birkin released Birkin/Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique, a tribute to her late husband and collaborator, Serge Gainsbourg, which puts 21 of his songs to orchestral arrangements by Nobuyuki Nakajima. She brought the Le Symphonique tour to NYC on Thursday night (2/1), playing Carnegie Hall. Surprise guest for the evening was Rufus Wainwright who joined her for "Ces Petits Riens" and "La Chanson de Prevert."

Some of Gainsbourg's best-known songs -- including their hit duet "J'Taime...Moi Non Plus," as well as "Initials BB," and "Lemon Incest" -- were saved for an instrumentalencore medley. Her daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg, (who plays NYC at Panorama) was in the house as well but did not take the stage. A detailed setlist is below

The Symphonic Works of Serge Gainsbourg with Jane Birkin at Carnegie Hall


photos by P Squared

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