Classical Up Close: Nick Phan and La Bonne Chanson'WQXR's Classical Up Close'
Originally Aired: Thursday June 21, 2018
Behind some of the most beautiful French songs ever written is the story of a broken marriage, sexual confusion, and an alcohol-and-drug-infused romp across Europe.
You’re invited to explore some of the most colorful characters of Paris’s La Belle Epoque in a special night of poetry and music in The Greene Space. Tenor Nicholas Phan and pianist Myra Huang lead this literary and musical journey, recounting the story of writer Paul Verlaine and his much younger lover, Arthur Rimbaud, the era’s quintessential enfant terrible.
David Ebershoff, author of the novel The Danish Girl (made into an Oscar-winning film), will read selections from Rimbaud’s poetry as well as correspondence between Verlaine and Rimbaud, bringing their story to life.
You’ll hear about their scandalous affair, the poetry it inspired and how the songs of Claude Debussy, Reynaldo Hahn and Gabriel Faure helped bring those poems to the elite salons of Paris and beyond.