March 23, 2018

‘Clair de lune’ NEW VIDEO: pianist and acrobat reach for the moon

Dancing in the moonlight for the Claude Debussy centenary on Sunday 25 March. Listen to the new track.
Clair de lune hawking

Dancing in the moonlight: for the Claude Debussy centenary on Sunday 25 March, French pianist Alexandre Tharaud has joined forces with acrobat, dancer and choreographer Yoann Bourgeois for a breathtaking new video and recording of the composer’s most beloved classic, Clair de lune. The Alexandre Tharaud single will be available on Erato (Warner Classics) through streaming platforms and digital download.  Listen here.

In the mesmerising short film, an ordinary man seems to defy the laws of gravity as he leaps and bounds off a trampoline, reaching ever higher. He spins and twirls his way across an unadorned white staircase leading nowhere, like fingers dancing across piano keys.

Yoann Bourgeois, one of France’s most in-demand contemporary dancers, met with pianist Alexandre Tharaud – whose mother was a dance teacher at the Opéra de Paris – to collaborate on this unique interpretation of Clair de lune that captures the dreamlike whimsy in the most famous movement of Debussy’s Suite bergamasque, inspired by Paul Verlaine’s poem by the same name (English translation, simply: ‘Moonlight’).

Instantly recognisable and irresistibly romantic, Clair de lune is one of the most popular piano compositions of all time, heard in recent years in films such as Twilight and Ocean’s Eleven. This new rendition unites two of today’s greatest French creative minds in a strikingly modern performance of this iconic French music.

Alexandre Tharaud said: 'Debussy's music is in essence universal. Clair de lune seems evident; it flows naturally.

'I thought of Yoann for Clair de lune because his art is based on weightlessness, the body in flight. And Yoann is a dreamer.'

Yoann Bourgeois added: ‘To create – to be creative – is to draw a door on the wall, and then open the door. Clair de lune opens this door wide to transport us to a time where time doesn’t pass. We become children again when we listen to this music. When artists explore ideas together, we become like childhood friends. Alexandre [Tharaud] simply closed his eyes and we found each other, on the other side of the door.’