Thursday, 3 July 2014

Edith Piaf: Carnegie Hall 1959


Here's a poser. Did she or didn't she?
Stephen Temmer, who recorded the 1956 and 1957 Piaf recitals here, said that she did--more than this, he said he was there. So did the assistant director, who I interviewed in 1998, and who gave me a partial set-list. The recital, he said, was reduced from 27 songs to just 17, with no interval. Piaf is said to have opened with 'C'est pour ca', and performed 12 of the songs in English or English and French, including 'When The World Was Young'. She also sang 'Milord' all the way through in English, and closed not with the usual 'Hymne a l'amour' or 'Monsieur St-Pierre', but with 'Les Neiges de Finlande'. Also there was 'Gypsy', the English version of 'Le gitan et al fille'.
Now, however, the Carnegie Hall site has a link which states that this concert was cancelled, by way of an announcement placed in the New York Times on 15 March.
Was it? Were Temmer and the assistant director mistaken? Did Piaf suddenly find the strength to continue, just days after coming out of hospital after a 4-hour operation during which she almost died?
It would be interesting to know!

No comments:

Post a Comment