Clément Doucet 1894 - 1950

Started by pjme, March 24, 2024, 04:59:22 AM

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Born in Brussels in 1894, Clément Doucet died on October 15, 1950. Known for his duet with Jean Wiéner at the cabaret Le Boeuf sur le Toit, a gathering place for Jean Cocteau, Darius Milhaud, but also Picasso, Stravinsky... Clément Doucet will also be famous for making Wagner and Chopin swing.

Son of the valet of King Leopold II, Clément Doucet was born in Brussels in 1895. Talented on the piano, he joined the Brussels Conservatory with the pianist Arthur De Greef, a student of Franz Liszt. Clément instinctively plays Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Grieg or Debussy, waltzes and polkas by both Johann Strauss, operetta tunes by Offenbach and Lehar or military marches. Exhausted by his lessons, he leaves for Antwerp where he is hired to play the piano on a mixed cargo ship. He discovers the freedom of playing freely, the alcoholic drinks and the kilos that go with it. During a crossing between the United States and Europe, Doucet met the organ builder Georges Cloetens, inventor of the Orphéal (a combination of the piano, the organ and the harmonium). He will be the demonstrator in Paris, making the acquaintance of Jean Wiéner on this occasion. For 15 years, he performed more than 2,000 times in public with him and became known thanks to the concerts they both gave at the cabaret Le Boeuf sur le Toit where they performed the repertoire of Beethoven or Francis Poulenc as well as that of the singer Yvonne George or the Gershwin brothers.

...or where a small country can be big!

Roy Bland

Tannhauser sui generis


Isoldina, which by coincidence I posted on another thread recently, is a particular gem. It's so well observed and on a more extended scale than his other swing paraphrases. More than that, the disparity between its playful skipping along and the portentousness of the Liebestod makes it consistently entertaining, especially if you 'hear' the original in your head as you go.


"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)


Quote from: Luke on March 24, 2024, 10:43:53 AMIsoldina, which by coincidence I posted on another thread recently, is a particular gem...
Of course...wish that WAM had the same sense of humour..
Anyway here is Doucet himself in Hungarian mood! It brought immediately more than a smile to my face!