By Valentin Pavlovsky
The Orchestra brought an unforgettable evening of elevated joy to the audience, as part of its European tour, dedicated to the memory of maestro Mauriat, who died in 2006. His pupil, conductor Jean-Jacques Justafre, continues the traditions of his outstanding teacher, jointly with Mauriat’s widow, Irene.
As soon as the Orchestra began to play in the Main Hall of the Palace of the Republic, the respectable and sophisticated audience immediately lapsed into light nostalgia. Playing well-loved tunes from A Man and a Woman, Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Godfather, the evening embraced French and pan-European musical culture.
Those familiar with film classics of French and European cinematography recognised the soft, polished and inventive melodies. It seemed as if Louis de Funes or Pierre Richard might appear from behind the curtains at any moment.
The Paul Mauriat Grand Orchestra boasts splendid technical style, envied by many of our orchestras. Each performance offers a solo — guitar or flute, violin or piano — with each soloist introduced separately by the conductor himself.
Since its first existence, the Orchestra has liaised with almost every French star imaginable — from Charles Aznavour, Dalida and Maurice Chevalier to Leny Escudero and, of course, Mireille Mathieu.
This year, the Grand Orchestra is also celebrating its 45th anniversary. “I’m delighted to continue our wonderful story of love between audiences and the music of the great Paul Mauriat,” admitted conductor Jean-Jacques Justafre, giving his farewell to Minsk spectators.