To celebrate the 25th season of A Propos on CBC Radio, we wanted to do something special, something different, something we’ve never done before. With that in mind, host Jim Corcoran chose 10 essential francophone songs and asked 10 of his favourite singers and songwriters to recreate them. Through the month of April, videos of the recordings will be released on CBC Music. You can watch the first three recordings below.
A Propos is a CBC Radio program featuring the sounds of Quebec and the francophone world, with a special emphasis on songwriters. As host, Corcoran has been seeking the best francophone songs to introduce to CBC listeners for 25 seasons now. Over the years, he has translated the lyrics of more than 500 songs to communicate the beauty of the poetry to his listeners. Keeping his ear to the ground, he has supported and featured talented songwriters as they were surfacing, and then continued on to become popular award-winning stars.
In a special and intimate recording session, the 10 artists Corcoran chose reimagined the 10 songs, made them their own and offered unique performances. They were recorded in CBC Montreal’s Studio 12, supported by some of Quebec’s best musicians, in an informal setting — au naturel.
Jérôme Minière performs Jean Leloup's 'L'amour est sans pitié'
When singer songwriter Jérôme Minière came to Montreal from Orléans, France, one of the first artists he listened to was Jean Leloup, one of Quebec's most outstanding artists. So Minière was quite pleased when Corcoran asked him to perform Leloup’s “L’amour est sans pitié” (Love has no mercy), initially recorded in 1990. Minière created a contemporary and personal interpretation of this unforgettable song.
[Audio] Listen to Corcoran’s translation of “L’amour est sans pitié.”
Sylvie Paquette performs Jérôme Minière's 'Poussière d’or'
Minière is definitely one of A Propos' most cherished artists. His personal approach to music, his inspired lyrics and his creativity has made him one of Corcoran’s favourites. To perform one of Minière 's songs, Corcoran approached singer-songwriter Sylvie Paquette. She began her artistic career almost 25 years ago and has been broadcast on A Propos from the very beginning. Here is Minière’s song “Poussière d’or” (Gold dust), rekindled by Paquette’s remarkable voice.
[Audio] Listen to Corcoran’s translation of “Poussière d’or.”
Marie-Pierre Arthur performs Geneviève Paris's 'Pas de mots'
Geneviève Paris is an amazing guitarist and singer who had a flourishing career in the 1990s and has written some memorable songs. She was in her early 30s when she wrote the song “Pas de mots” (There are no words), chosen by Corcoran as one of his essential songs. Gaspé’s Marie-Pierre Arthur was barely 10 years old at that time, and when Corcoran asked her to perform this song, more than 20 years later, she remembered it well and accepted the challenge. She transformed the song and created a brand new version, confirming she is one of Quebec’s most talented singer-songwriters today.
[Audio] Listen to Corcoran’s translation of “Pas de mots.”
Come back next week, as we’ll continue our celebration of A Propos’ 25th anniversary on CBC Radio, and feature three other exclusive videos of essential francophone songs.
Jim Corcoran celebrates 25 years of A Propos with special stream
A Propos celebrates the beginning of its 25th season