- Paul Mauriat
Paul Mauriat (
Marseille, 4 March 1925– 3 November 2006in Perpignan) was a French orchestra leader, specializing in light music. He is best known in the United Statesfor his hit (#1 for 5 weeks in 1968) recording of André Popp's ""L'Amour est bleu" ("Love is Blue")", originally recorded by Vicky Leandros.
Mauriat grew up in
Marseillesand began leading his own band during the Second World War. In the 1950s he became musical director to at least two well-known French singers, Charles Aznavourand Maurice Chevalier, touring with them respectively.
In 1957, Mauriat released his first EP "Paul Mauriat", a four track RGM release. Between 1959-1964 Mauriat recorded several albums on the Bel-Air record label under the name Paul Mauriat et Son Orchestre, as well as using the various pseudonyms of Richard Audrey, Nico Papadopoulos, Eduardo Ruo and Willy Twist, to better reflect the international flavour of his recordings. During this period, Mauriat also released several recordings with "Les Satellites", where he creatively arranged vocal backing harmony for such albums as "Slow Rock and Twist", (1961), "A Malypense" (1962) and "Les Satellites Chantent Noel" (1964).
Mauriat composed the music for several French soundtracks (also released on Bel-Air) including "Un Taxi Pour Tobrouk" (1961), "Horace 62" (1962) and "Faits Sauter La Banque" (1964).
He wrote his first song with
André Pascal. In 1958 they were prizewinners in the Coq d'or De La Chanson Francaise with "Rendez-vous au Lavendou". Using the pseudonym of Del Roma, Mauriat was to have his first international hit with "Chariot", which he wrote in collaboration with friends Franck Pourcel(co-composer), Jacques Plante(French lyrics) and Raymond Lefevre(orchestrator). In the USA the song was recorded as "I Will Follow Him" by Little Peggy Marchand became #1 on the Billboard charts in all categories for 3 weeks. In 1992 the song was featured prominently in the film " Sister Act" starring Whoopi Goldberg. More recently, Eminemincluded some bars in his song, "Guilty Conscience".
Between 1967 and 1972 he wrote a lot of songs for
Mireille Mathieu; "Mon Credo" (1 335 000 copies sold), "Viens dans ma rue", "La premiere etoile", "Geant", etc. (to name but a few) and contributed 130 song arrangements for Charles Aznavour.
In 1965 Mauriat established
Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriat, and released hundreds of recordings and compilations through the Philipslabel for the next 28 years. In 1994 he signed with Japanese record company Pony Canyon, where he re-recorded some of his greatest hits and wrote new compositions. Mauriat recorded many of these albums in both Paris and London, utilising several English classical musicians in these recordings.
In 1969, Mauriat started his first world tour, visiting countries like
United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Braziland other Latin American countries.
For several decades, some of Mauriat's compositions served as a musical tracks for the soviet TV programs, such as "In the world of animals" (V mire zhivotnykh) and "Kinopanorama" and others.
Many of Mauriat's recordings are recompositions of other composers' songs and music. Mauriat relied heavily on strings and synthesiser to create interesting music. The arrangements are usually very bright and busy with sensible use of the percussive section to deliver a grand style of performance. In his 70s and 80s live concerts, Mauriat often used singers to provide backing for numbers such as "Penelope", "Love is Blue" and the "World Melody" section he arranged for his 1980 and 1982 concerts.
Mauriat gave his final performance in 1998 in
Osaka, but his orchestra keeps touring around the world and has twice traveled to China. Among his best known recordings are "L'amour est bleu", "El Bimbo", "Toccata" and "Penelope".
In 2002 writer and commentator,
Serge Elhaikreleased an official authorised biography Une vie en bleu of Mauriat's life ( [http://82-41-218-99.cable.ubr13.edin.blueyonder.co.uk/~alex/] ).
Mauriat's former lead pianist,
Gilles Gambus, became the orchestra's conductor in 1999 and led successful tours of Japan, China, and Russia. Gambus had worked with Mauriat for more than 25 years.
In 2005, classical French Horn instrumentalist,
Jean-Jacques Justafreassumed conductorship of the orchestra, and led successful tours of Japan and Korea in late 2005.
November 3 2006, Paul Mauriat died at the age of 81. Le Grand Orchestre de Paul Mauriatno longer formally exists, but Paul Mauriat fans will be proud of the many recordings Paul Mauriat made.
Awards and Recognitions
He is one of the artist with the largest recording catalogs featuring more than 1000 titles just from his Polygram era (1965-1993) almost all of them are available on CD, mostly in Japan. Was awarded with the Grand Prix from the French recording industry, a MIDEN trophy and in 1997 won the prestigious distinction "Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres" from the French Ministry of Culture. He have sold over 40 Millions albums worldwide and made 28 tours to Japan from 1973 to 1998.
In the early-mid 80s, Paul Mauriat appeared in several Japanese coffee and wine commercials, which featured orchestral background music from his world-class orchestra.
As well as significantly recording with his orchestra, the Paul Mauriat name continues in a range of saxophones, known as P. Mauriat Saxophones. They are marketed as being very well regarded by professional musicians throughout the world.
Discography (released as Paul Mauriat)
* [http://www.pluto.dti.ne.jp/~pmclub Paul Mauriat Official Fan Club]
* [http://gillesgambus.over-blog.com/ Gilles Gambus Fan club]
* [http://www.peter.com.tw/mauriat/mauriat_home.htm Peter's Paul Mauriat Page]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_2qty7GptU Paul Mauriat - Love Is Blue]
* [http://www.pmauriatmusic.com/about_paul_mauriat.htm P. Mauriat Saxophones]
* [http://www.monteverdemusic.com N. American home of P. Mauriat Saxophones]
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