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Musics of Auvergne

The Essentials

The ‘Auvergnats’ of Paris are notably known for having created bal-musette music, which generations of people have danced to. Musette was the name that Parisians gave to the bagpipe called “cabrette” in Auvergne. It arrived in post-revolution Paris with the first emigrants from that south central region of France and was joined later on by the accordion introduced by Italian immigrants. An emblematic example of this association was the Bouscatel-Peguri duet in the early 20th century. In “Les Costauds de la Lune” –‘the moonlight tough guys’, referring to the hoodlums who haunted the Bastille district– the cabrette player Michel Esbelin and the accordionist Didier Pauvert have invited by Patrick Desaunay on banjo and guitar. Waltzes, bourrées, a polka and a nostalgic “regret” make up this first CD, with both melodies played in Auvergne and hit songs by great Parisian masters, including those of the 1950s, such as Jean Vaissade. The second CD, “La Valse des Ombres” (the Waltz of Shadows) features Michel Esbelin again –yet not only playing the cabrette but also the violin– with occasional contributions from accordionists Claude Quintar and Didier Pauvert. “Traditional” bourrées rub shoulders with an ensemble of pieces ranging from the “Parisian” repertoire to mountain shepherd songs. Alongside waltzes and polkas, this album presents scottishes and mazurkas. The bagpipe subtleties and the glissando or vibrato ornaments enable listeners to fully enjoy the great refinement of this rich repertoire.