LORIOT, Catherine:Russian Monmartre
Her discs should have been released
like if they are very old, cracked and rough,
with a light sound of crepitation that an old
gramophone produces. Catherine’s vocal belongs
to “eternal” category, it is bright, picturesque,
artistic. It may be that young Piaf sang like
that. That’s a beautiful young woman from St.
In Russia there are many factors against the amazing
singer: time, place, and people. The fact is that
Katya works in an absolutely unpopular genre,
French shanson. And it is well known, that what
in our country is considered to be “chanson” is
not chanson at all. One notion was substituted
for another some time ago when Russian thugs,
set at liberty, wanted their “Murka” to have an
official status, and that was a good chance to
make them fork out. And here is the result. Every
year a “Chanson of the year” show is held next
door to Kremlin, another “Lesopoval” is awarded
there, meanwhile a true chanson is left overboard,
so romantic and unprotected, chanson longing for
Paris, chanson that we didn’t know.
Catherine Loriot nee Komarova came up in Saint
Petersburg as if by order, so beautiful, bright,
professional singer with a unique authentic vocal.
Well-educated (French language, School of Arts,
conductors faculty in Culture and Arts College
– everything a Parisian needs). One can hardly
call her chanson a cover-version as Catherine
lives in every song she sings, penetrating into
musical epoch of each song with care. That’s why
French towns’ songs sound non-trivial and alive
from her lips. Continually polishing her mastery
Catherine holds successful concerts in Paris,
Nancy, Luxeuil and other French cities. The French
have made a film about the Russian singer already.
The French press, spare of compliments, has called
Catherine “a singer with Piaf emotions”.
By the year 2002 Catherine Loriot released her
first disc, “Monmartre a la Nevski”. The disc
consists of French chansonnier songs beginning
from the 30’s to our time. Now the singer’s repertoire
also includes Russian folk songs and chant (Catherine
was awarded for them at the contest “Angel Nadezhdy”
(An angel of hope)), as well as her own songs
in ethnic style. But the most important victory
awaited Catherine in 2005. For French chanson
singing she was awarded with a personalized medal
of French National Assembly. In Russia the award
passed unnoticed, but one should understand that
only few foreign singers can compete with a host
in his national music singing.
Nowadays Catherine’s vocal can frequently be heard
from prestige stages of Saint Petersburg, but
still her basic audience are French listeners.
You’ve got a chance to listen to the real French
chanson (and not only chanson) on the most romantic
evening of the year – St. Valentine’s day.
13.02.2007, Gavrila Setkin (ZVUKI.RU)