Music alumnus holds tribute concert to Michel Legrand

(Photo by Jiselle Casucian/The Varsitarian)

RODEL Colmenar, an alumnus of the Conservatory of Music, led a string quintet from the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra during a tribute to the late French jazz composer and film scorer Michel Legrand, at Alliance Française de Manille in Makati.

Colmenar, who graduated in 1986, arranged their repertoire of Legrand’s music for the ensemble and took part in the concert as pianist and conductor.

“The melody [of the songs] is not the usual melody we hear on the radio,” Colmenar told the Varsitarian. “It’s so full of emotion… I enjoyed every song.”

The line-up for the evening included some of Michel Legrand’s biggest hits, like “Papa Can you Hear Me?” and “The Way He Makes Me Feel” from Barbara Streisand’s romantic musical “Yentl” and “The Summer Knows” from the American film “Summer of ‘42.”

“[French] music is diverse. They’re into classical, and the style of their pop music is influenced by classical [music],” Colmenar said. “There’s something in their music, especially Michel Legrand’s.”

Legrand is a celebrated and multi award-winning film scorer, pianist and composer in a wide variety of genres. In his nearly 65-year career, he composed scores for more than 250 films, recorded and collaborated with titans in jazz such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane and garnered three Oscars and five Grammys, among several awards.

He passed away last January at the age of 86.

The Legrand Tribute Concert was a part of Alliance Française de Manille’s and the French Embassy’s Cultural Thursdays, a monthly program that features prominent French artists.


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