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                  THE GEORGES DELERUE MUSEUM
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A FEW WORDS...

HE LEFT HIS MARK ON A WHOLE GENERATION OF COMPOSERS.
HIS UNIQUE, UNFORGETTABLE WORKS HAVE TRAVELLED 
TO THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE WORLD…

A B O U T ...

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I The Theatrical Music

« For a long time I was known primarily as a composer for the theater and especially for costume pieces of the Elizabethan period. Shakespeare's theater is intense in a way that points the composer in many directions. As far as composing for Shakespeare is concerned, it is not unlike composing for the cinema. Shakespeare offers the same advantages of cinema, and none of its problems. »

(Georges Delerue - Une vie, Frédéric Gimello Mesplomb, Editions Jean Curutchet, 1998 )

 

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I The New Wave

« It had been a closed world around that time. Film music was expensive and producers not given to taking too many risks. I was lucky to have arrived on the scene at about the same time as the New Wave, which was about to reinvigorate film technique. Everything seemed to be starting over. Those in the New Wave preferred not to work with those of an older generation. Rightly or wrongly, they wanted to start over, and it was that attitude which allowed me to work on my first feature films. What pleased me most of all is that the directors of the New Wave had a real love for music. And that, indeed, was new. »

(A Conversation with Jean-Pierre Bleys, Positif, Number 389-390, July to August 1993)

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I Three Little notes


« That melody was first heard in Henri Colpi's first feature film, Une Aussi Longue Absence, 1960 (A Rather Long Absence). The lyrics were his and together, if I may say so, we

 

immortalized it. It was a huge hit in Germany and in Japan, less so in France. Cora Vaucaire sang it in the film. Yves Montand then recorded it, influenced by Simone Signoret, who had refused the starring role in the film and who wanted to make it up to Colpi. Montand's version was heard again in L'Eté Meurtrier, 1983 (One Deadly Summer) on a record turning during the marriage of the heroine, played by Isabelle Adjani.

There's a funny story connected to that. Jean Becker had asked me to do the score and also to find a way to include the song, not knowing that I had written it. »

 

(Conversation with Jean-Pierre Bleys, Positif, number 389-390, July-August, 1993)

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I Music for Television

« It's not much different from composing for films. Still, there are somewhat different problems. With film music, one writes something that can conceivably turn into music appropriate for a separate recording. But for television, when one writes as best one can for a dramatic piece or a program, it is possible to explore musical ideas often in a grander sense than in cinema. In any case, the music will be broadcast with the show and will not depend on what commercial film distributors require. For example, something dramatically intense on television can be musically accompanied by a string quartet. It works very well. I hesitate in making that musical choice in a film. In a film theater the audience does not have the same kind of intimate spectacle they have on their home TV screen. In a film theater a string quartet might not work so well. »

 

(Conversation with Laurent Boer, February 22, 1980)

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I Orchestration

« One of the great joys of composing for films is that the composer can hear his music produced almost immediately. I have written symphonic pieces that have grown dusty in drawers for the last ten years. Nothing is more frustrating for an orchestral composer than not to hear his music played! When you compose a film score, the ink of the notes is hardly dry before you're conducting it, which accounts for the rapid progress one can make in orchestrating technique. As the composer listens to his music, he corrects it right away. »

 (Notes for the Society of Authors, Composers, and Publishers of Music, January, 1992) 

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I On Music

« I can hardly distinguish between music and my life. That would be a kind of guaranteed suicide. Music provides everything: the possibility of escape, of discovering the generosity of others and discovering our own. In a foreign country, even without speaking the language, musicians understand each other. It is an extraordinary means of communicating. »

 

(La Voix du Nord, March 25, 1975)

 

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I On this Works

« I don't listen very often to my music. I am not that interested in what I've done before. When I do listen to my music, it is usually, for example, in order to solve a problem for a recording that is about to appear. When I listen to certain pieces composed at the beginning of my career I do hear a certain consistency, my own language, a manner of composing that has my signature on it. That is one of the reasons I continue to orchestrate. It makes up part of my style and personality and I like holding on to that. Still, I have to say that, in fact, there is an evolution, certainly an unconscious one. I think that is quite normal. One evolves, one changes, one sees things differently. I've changed above all, not so much in my manner of composing film scores, but in my symphonic composition. I have the impression that my music is more limpid, that I compose more simply and with more depth. »

 

(Discussion with Yann Merluzeau, Soundtrack, Number 42, June, 1992)

 

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I His Psyche

« I'm a lot more happy than I am anguished. But there must be something in me that is anguished and that I can't identify, because I am often told that I write very nostalgic music. "Oh, that Delerue nostalgia, it's well known." Well, I suppose so, but that isn't really me. Or it's something that really is me, that I am not conscious of, and that others can recognize. »

(Film Music : Georges Delerue, a documentary by Jean-Louis Comolli, 1994)

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I Something Wicked this way comes

 « The director got the time codes to me on a Friday at 4 PM. I composed through until Saturday at 3 in the morning, started again at 7 and went on to 4 that day… What is funny is that the score of that film is one of the best I've ever done. »  (Télérama, number 1834, 6 mars 1985)

 

« Jack Clayton was very happy with it. Everyone was happy with it. I got letters from Disney telling me that it was unforgettable music. Then one day I got back to Los Angeles, where I did not yet live permanently, and my music editor told me, "I need to tell you something important. They dropped your music." That was a grand disillusionment for me, and for Jack Clayton as well, a good friend who wanted to keep the music. I didn't understand what had happened. I still don't. »

(Interview with Yann Merluzeau, Soundtrack, Number 42, June, 1992)

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I On Good Luck

« It annoys me a little when someone says, "You've really been lucky". That implies that I haven't had too much to do with it. It is true that I came upon a lot of fortunate opportunities, but I did what I knew I wanted to do. That is to say, I was able to take advantage of the opportunity by also working very, very hard. I have no regrets and I am rather pleased when I look backwards over the path I've taken, but I am still the same person. Having started out in a modest family and in difficult times, I am never blasé and I still feel as though I've lived in a fairy tale. »

(Roubaix Informations, October, 1987)

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I On Bruce Beresford

« I've had a close working relationship with Bruce Beresford of a kind that I've not often had. My work with Francois Truffaut went on for year, as it did also with Philippe de Broca, but Truffaut was very reserved and our relationship was very polite and reserved. He liked me a lot and I liked him a lot, but we didn't socialize outside of work. As for de Broca, I didn't see him either all that much outside of our work. But with Bruce Beresford, I wanted to see him, he wanted to spend time with me and we had a good time together. We saw life the same way, we were very buddy-buddy. And above all he is someone I admire for his simplicity, his humor, his intelligence, and his finesse. »

(Interview with Yann Merluzeau, Soundtrack, Number 42, June, 1992)

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