“Even if there were a hundred accordion-players playing together, you would still be able to hear Lydie Auvray standing out. Her sound has verve and mellowness; her intelligent and impulsive playing can make one easily forget that this instrument, even in the Musette variant, has its limits. In Lydie's play those limits seem far away. ” Th.Bayer
Love brought the Frenchwoman to Germany, and she brought her instrument along with her. The chanson singer and accordion player celebrates her 20th album.
The first few notes of her new CD "3 Couleurs" prove that the lively musician has lost none of her fire. Even in a group of 100 accordion players, one could still distinguish Lydie Auvray's sound: nonchalant yet highly emotional, impulsive playing that seems to expand the instrument's limits.
When Auvray moved to Berlin in 1974, few were familiar with the musette accordion style. At most, people knew it from French detective "Maigret" films. Together with her boyfriend, Auvray played small night clubs: if she was lucky, 20 minutes for 10 German marks (about five euros or $6.60). But she was happy nonetheless. "It was my Bohemian period," she raves.
The "Lydie" signature
Lydie Auvray taught Germans that the accordion isn't just for sailor songs and schmalzy folk music. Be it waltz, tango or chanson, the Frenchwoman's accordion crosses the world's genres, proving just how diverse the instrument can sound in the right hands. All of her pieces bear the "Lydie" signature, composed by Lydie herself or in close cooperation with her band members. In performance, she often adds her own warm, deep voice.
Auvray's new CD boasts 13 pieces with a diverse range. The tango takes a lead role - temperamentally played in "Tangomère" and with a melancholy bent in "Julia," which also gives a tip of the hat to the whimsical mood of the film classic "Amélie." Added to the mix: digressions into jazz, Balkan excursions and waltz journeys.
In one instrumental piece, the accordion imitates the sound of the ocean, underscored by drums and percussion in their own unique tone. In "Dis-Moi Grand-Mère" (Tell me, Grandmother), an old woman tells her granddaughter about her childhood, and in the chanson "Nostalgie," the listener impulsively walks along the Seine with Lydie Auvray on a rainy afternoon.
At home in Cologne
The passionate musician is also interested in topical themes, composing, for instance, the dirge "Complainte" in the wake of the nuclear catastrophe in Fukashima.
She's remained true to this method on her latest CD, "3 Couleurs" (Three Colors). The title is not a reference to the three colors of the French flag, but to the three different manners in which she performs: with her veteran "Auvrettes" band she formed 30 years ago, with her trio, and since 2012, as a solo artist.
Tango, Balkan and chanson
A bonus track fulfills one of Auvray's greatest wishes: recording a song with her daughter Canelle on CD. The high, clear voice of the 18-year-old is a strong contrast to her mother's dark timbre, lending intriguing nuances to their rendition of "Dis-Moi Grand-Mère."
"3 Couleurs" was produced in Cologne, where Auvray has lived since 1988. She loves the open-mindedness of the city's people, she says, and one can also clearly see the French influence there. Her own influence is apparent; hardly anyone else has revolutionized accordion playing in Germany in the way Auvray has.
Suzanne Cords, December 2012, Deutsche Welle
With this CD, titled "3 Couleurs" (3 Colors), the artist Lydie Auvray celebrates her 35 year career, materialized through hundreds of concerts, television appearances and film, and at least a dozen albums as group leader.
Accordionist, singer and composer, the French Auvray – from the mid-70s living in Germany – is well supported by her group: "Auvrettes"; and the apparent harmony is confirmed by the fact that the group is celebrating the 30th year of its foundation. The musicians who work with Lydie Auvray (accordion) are: Harald Heinl (drums), Eckes Malz (piano and percussion), Gigu Neutsch (bass) and Markus Tiedemann (guitars). The last three are also the authors (or co-authors) of six of the 13 tracks that make up the program of this CD, the rest being composed of Auvray.
Three of the 13 tracks are songs – pretty interesting (especially as text) – interpreted by the artist herself, in French (the text of the booklet is in French and German). Particularly significant is the song "Dis-moi grand-mère" (Tell me grandmother), the ecological content and naturalist; not for nothing that the piece is also recorded in a second version (bonus track) sung in duet with Cannelle Picot. The other guest on the album is cellist Ulrike Zavelberg.
The program covers various genres and therefore different moods. In addition to the songs mentioned above, you can listen to songs inspired by traditional dances – the tango in the foreground – or nostalgic flavor "varietée", but also more modern rhythmical pieces, in particlar, there seemed effective tracks 1. ("Et apres") and 7. ("Tarengo").
In short, the CD offers us music that we might call "easy listening", or simple but well made and non-trivial, pleasant taste and interpreted; a certain music of "evasion" ... but containing the messages to be reckoned with, even to meditate!
Reviewed by Alessandro Mugnoz – June, 2014.
Today we often get to know artists accidentally, by chance, bombarded as we are by mass media communications.
I got to know Lydie Auvray, thanks to her beautiful photos, ever present in music magazines and websites, but only recently did I connect those images to her music and it was a pleasant surprise. I understood the harmony between her face, her expressive form, her physical presence and her music.
Class and simplicity, lightness and a musical depth to every note, brightness and nostalgia at the same time: these are some of the characteristics of the stars of folk or if you prefer, world music.
These are the characteristics that often have been extolled from the accordion by great accordionists from every era, thus forming the stereotype of the instrument in the hearts and minds of people. These are the characteristics of Lydie Auvray, of her image and of her music, of herself as an artist, singer and accordionist.
Lydie Auvray makes her accordion sing and sings with her accordion: this is how she expresses herself and the soul of her instrument.
On her CD Lydie Auvray Trio (Westpark Music 2009) you can find all of this, or rather all of this which makes the accordion loved all over the world.
In today's accordion world, from great artists to great teachers, instruments that are florescent, virtual, free bass or... mute, often the song is missing. What remains then of our past love for the accordion - que Reste-t-il de nos amours? (that he remains of our love?)
Certainly Lydie Auvray.
Review by Roberto Lucanero
Its a pleasure to review this latest CD by Lydie Auvray accompanied by her trusted “Auvrettes” and with the participation of the Indigo string quartet.
A career spanning 30 years for her and 25 for her group are condensed in this collection entitled “Soiree”, which is also available in a DVD version. This Cd was recorded entirely live at the “Kulturkirche “ in Koln on the 3rd November 2007. Soiree showcases the talents of the accordionist at her very best. Its worth noting the ability of Auvray to give something extra to every new release, to give a deeper richer meaning to her way of making music. Lydie Auvray succeeds here by celebrating her double anniversary with a live recording. With 18 tracks, the artist highlights her musical career perfectly and provides a Cd that will be appreciated by both by fans and those who are new to her music. Indeed if we only had to buy one of her recordings this would be it. The artist write that she hopes to have given, in “Soiree”, an idea of the collaboration she has had with the group over time and we can only confirm that she has succeeded in her aim. Lydie Auvray shows us, if proof were necessary, that she is able to provide music which is always pleasing and never dull; an expressive performer with a curious way of doing things, open and faithful towards the outside world and with a hint of irony and awareness, perhaps a little melancholic, that show in the look on her face, splendidly captured by the cover photograph.
Reviewed by Renato Belardinelli
One: Because she is flavouring the CD with ample amount of chilli pepper without changing its original sound.
Two: Even though she is principally not a singer, but an accordionist, she sings beautiful songs.
Three: Then when you least expect it she performs a version of “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin that provides a delicate contrast to the other complex tracks on this CD.
Four: Because “Guinguette” is accompanied by Marc Ribot on guitar and which is very pleasing.
Five: “Joschi” captivates us with its off beat tempo and tormenting melody.
Six: the sun comes out again with the African riff of “Regard”.
Seven: hearing this CD leaves a good taste in ones mouth, the sort that wants you to listen to it all over again.
Eight: what a varied CD this is; starting from Europe it touches many parts of the world without ever being unoriginal.
Nine: it imposes the accordion as leader of the group whilst leaving the compositions themselves to dazzle.
Ten: Actually – no wish for reviewing during this time of the year: summer – sun & sea…heat…who wants to sit in front of a computer? But as soon as I heard this CD I changed my mind and here I am humming it to myself. So here we are: – ten good reasons – (but could certainly continue indicate other excellent points….) to enjoy fifty minutes of good music in good company….and this is not bad at all – isn’t it?
Reviewed by Renato Belardinelli, August 2007
The phase of popularity of the tango today shows no sign of decadence and the charm of this rhythm has never been greater for the European public.
The recording scene is an evident demonstration of this, and shows that this music, with its birth in Argentina, is undamaged by today's musical phenomenon: that of the contamination.
This new disk of Lydie Auvray is devoted to the tango and it has a very symbolic title "Tango Toujours". To make a CD of tango involves, for an affirmed musician and one so well known as Lydie, many choices and potential problems.
The first is the problem of comparison with the Argentinian traditional tango and then, above all, with the Nuevo Tango of the great Astor Piazzolla.
There is also the experience of the tango-song (we think to Milva or to Horacio Ferrer). This choice completed by Lydie Auvray has been, to me, a very correct way to look at this past, to not abandon the style or the personality of the tango.
I believe that you will appreciate these motives. None of the 14 album tracks are sung and I believe, that this is a CD of European tango as it is correctly termed in the notes of the CD booklet.
In this recording, the personality of Lydie emerges and also the why, after all - this is the whole reasoning, why this CD is no "contamination".
The fourteen tangos of this CD are all very pleasant ones, desirable, even if not sung "songs" since they are very rythmic yet also melodic. They are all written by the accordionist leader (Lydie entitles the CD in the booklet "My Tangos") and also, the CD has an unmistakable stamp - in all the passages of the leader. In another critique I have already spoken of the sound of Lydie as a real sonorous identity.
To enrich the sound of this band (Die Auvrettes) there is the presence of the quartet of arcs "Indigo" where everyone is female, and in this case, also the role of special guest.
The choice of the quartet of arcs is very functional to the sonority of the " tango's" and the arrangements of the arcs (of the pianist Wolf Mayer) they result in "content" aiming for a lot of sound color rather than rhythm only, utlising the group consisting of piano, guitar, bass and drums.
Reviewed by Paolo Picchio, September 2004
This is a perfect CD of music for everybody – for a variety of temperaments, for all ages and all occasions. It can be carefully listened to (being a CD which has been produced with much care) or appreciated just as background music, or by paying more attention to the music itself and to the vocals (addressing itself to all adult listeners).
One could call the music "POP" (meaning "popular" music) based above all upon melody. The melody is of great fascination and great communication always guided by the accordion or the great voice of Lydie. In some pieces (for example "Der vierte Mann"), the rhythm and modern setting seem to contrast the prominent melody. Personally I believe that these situations can produce something outstanding with much character. Lydie is a leader: all the art applies to her personality and the sound of her accordion (always equal and steady – as if being her voice), just as well as all her vocals in French language. This has surprised me a lot: as having at her disposal an instrument such as the accordion, Lydie always adopts her tone-colour, that becomes nearly her personal identity of sonority.
One day I hope to be able to meet her personally in order to ask her about this choice.
In this CD, there is also a good part dedicated to the Latin American inspiration; but also in these pieces the "Latin American" melody is in evidence but the base remains always that of a "song". A perfect CD of music for everybody - for a variety of temperaments, for all ages and all occasions.
Reviewed by Paolo Picchio, July 2003