Comments from Fernando Higa
It is difficult to remember when I listened for the first time an arrangement
Paul Mauriat. It looks he has
always been there. I listened to his music on the radio, and suddenly, it was
On the radio, among the latest hits from Billboard, it was exciting to listen the Top Ten and countdown of the end of the year, when we also heard orchestral songs. The orchestras played instrumental versions in all styles and there were so much to choose from!
But among all of those orchestras, there was one that stood among all the others: it was the orchestra of Paul Mauriat. And that because his arrangements always have something different.
Many of the other orchestras only reproduced with small variations the original version (sung version). Not the Mauriat orchestra, he always had a different approach with each of his arrangements.
It was thru his arrangements that I listened for the first time of French songs such as Le Lac Majeur, Michéle, Un Jour Un Enfant, and many more. Also, it became a habit for me to check the credits of the compositions of his recordings and that's how I learned that the famous song My Way or , Comme d'Habitude was a French song by Thibaut, Francois and de Revaux, to which Paul Anka merely wrote lyrics in English. Of course, other people knew it too, but it felt good knowing the real original of things. Even songs as popular such as Raindrops keep falling on my head sounded different when it comes to an arrangement by Paul Mauriat.
And so, popular and unknown songs had his special touch, that made every arrangement unique and that showed how perfectionist and innovative was Paul Mauriat.
An unknown aspect of Paul Mauriat was that of composer. He composed for Mireille Mathieu his first great hit Mon Credo, and with Franck Pourcel,, Chariot, or as we all know it, I Will Follow Him. Also, in many of his recordings, he included one or more of his own compositions, with a few records with only his songs.
The great era of the grand orchestras has gone, but it will live in our memories when we hear Love is blue or any other of the hundreds of arrangements by the Grand Orchestra of Paul Mauriat.
That is why for those that had the privilege of living that period, and waiting eagerly a new recording of his orchestra, we enjoy listen to his music again and share in some way our devotion to his fine arrangements.
From here, this small tribute from the South American lands.