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Author Topic: Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson speaking in French?  (Read 103 times)
cuberdrift
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« on: October 28, 2017, 05:11:36 PM »

http://archives.radio-canada.ca/arts_culture/musique/dossiers/403-2305/

This link shows a video/radio file that supposedly shows/has the Canadian jazz pianist speaking in French.

However, my computer keeps saying "This plugin is not supported" or "Couldn't load plugin", which is really annoying for me.

Earlier I just listened to a few recordings of his singing, and he sounds very much like his idol Nat King Cole.

What can I do to bypass this annoying thing that prevents me from enjoying what could be quite an interesting clip?

Thank you very much in advance!

As a side note, did Glenn Gould speak French? Are there any videos/recordings in which he does?

Regards,
cuberdrift
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cuberdrift
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2017, 05:19:36 PM »

Oops! Thankfully I managed to get a hold of it by right-clicking on the screen, selecting "Inspect" (I use Chrome), and simply copied the url containing with the .wmv indication.  Smiley
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j_tour
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2017, 08:38:08 PM »

Nice performance -- I appreciated Osc's doing lines not just in octaves but including some tenths split between two hands.  I don't know what the site's deal is, but I had to do the same kind of trick (I can't remember exactly what) to get the wmv file, but it was interesting.

He says he was born in Montréal, but his French sounds like a second language -- I bet he could have had a rudimentary conversation in French, but he's not a French speaker.  Not knowing his biography, I'd guess he grew up speaking English, or else if he spoke French as a small child, he had some brain trauma that affected some speech pathways in his brain.  His accent is unmistakably Anglo.  

Ad Glenn Gould, I'm sure he took French in high school like everybody else, but I'd be very surprised if his education or abilities beyond standard high school curriculum were in anything but music.  

That's not a knock in any way -- technical specialists like scientists or musicians aren't generally known to be polymaths, or even especially cultivated (these days), so that when exceptions occur, they're somewhat noteworthy.

No, Canada and the US are predominantly protestant and Anglophile, so, while Peterson's stated place of birth surprises me, it seems obvious that neither would be especially habituated to French or Franco-Canadian culture.
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iansinclair
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 01:46:50 AM »

I believe Oscar Peterson did grow up in Montreal.  Montreal was then -- and is now -- a thoroughly bilingual city.  Sometimes hard to believe, given the politics, but in real life on street level, it is.  It's not that young people deliberately grow up learning both Quebecois (which is not what your average high school French teacher taught you!) and English consciously -- they just do.  And most people who live there -- whether Francophone or Anglophone at home -- get on very nicely in either one (or, not uncommonly, both in the same sentence!).

However... as I said, Quebecois and modern Academy French are two rather different things -- much like Oxbridge English vs., say, Glasgow!
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Ian
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2017, 02:39:59 AM »

That's interesting -- I'm familiar with Franco-Canadian speech and slang, somewhat, but I've never heard a Francophone Canadian speak with such an Anglo accent before.

Hey, it doesn't really matter.  After all, it's just two different languages, and a lot of politics between them for hundreds of years.

This isn't really apropos, but it reminds me that, you know, the pop studio musician piano legend Richard Tee was known very much for a sort of southern US black protestant church style -- trust me, you've heard it a million times on radio hits from the 1960s through the 1970s, at least -- but it turns out Richard Tee was raised Catholic in the US south (I don't remember which state).  So, the guy who arguably is most known to the public as a "churchy" player didn't really grow up in that tradition.

It would be interesting to know what the dynamics were in a case like Oscar Peterson -- way outside of my knowledge or interest in sociology, but I bet there are some interesting stories.  Perhaps he was like one of those left-handed kids who was "corrected" to write using his non-dominant hand, or something like that.

Well, that's a can of worms, but I can't help but say I think it would be interesting to know some more.  

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huaidongxi
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 01:09:14 AM »

maybe you're not from the southern u.s., and no harm in opinions formed from generalities, but music in Catholic parishes is very diverse.  went to a mass at St.Patrick's in soho, london, and they used gospel music.  New Orleans is both catholic and african american, and be assured, some of the catholic parishes there play NO music, probably gospel as well.  the Roman church successfully disseminated in part because it assimilated local cultures, including putting their cathedrals on sacred 'pagan' sites.  the music in R.Tee's parish in any case, whatever form it favored, would not have stopped him from immersing himself in the musics of his cultural milieu.
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