For this double album, pianist Alexandre Tharaud invited a spectacular array of guest performers to join him in paying tribute to the singer-songwriter Barbara, who died 20 years ago, in November 1997.
She shares a place of honour in French song with two other 'B's', Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens. Among the featured artists are three world-famous actress-singers Juliette Binoche, Vanessa Paradis and Jane Birkin.
For Barbara, Tharaud has assembled a rich and imaginative line-up of performers from a variety of generations and diverse artistic and cultural backgrounds. While there is inevitably a Gallic bias among them, many of their names are well known around the globe.
Among them are: actress-singers Juliette Binoche, Vanessa Paradis and Jane Birkin; rock star Radio Elvis; singer-songwriters Bénabar, Juliette, Dominique A, Tim Dup, Jean-Louis Aubert and Albin de la Simone; singers Camélia Jordana, Rokia Traoré, Hindi Zahra and Luz Casal; actor-director Guillaume Gallienne; Erato violinist Renaud Capuçon, clarinettist Michel Portal and the Modigliani string quartet.
Alexandre Tharaud himself plays on nearly all the tracks – not just piano, but also electronic organ and keyboards, celesta and bells.