Friday 16 June 2023

Gérard de Nerval, Flanders and Swann, Brabbins and Fyffe

 Gérard de Nerval – the French 'decadent' poet perhaps best known today for walking a lobster on a leash – turned up, rather improbably, on my Facebook feed the other day. This triggered a memory of something every bit as improbable – Donald Swann's setting of de Nerval's most famous poem, the one beginning 'Je suis le ténébreux, le veuf, l'inconsolé', which was part of the immortal Flanders and Swann's repertoire back in the Fifties. This link should take you to it (YouTube seems reluctant to upload it) –

Talking of Flanders and Swann naturally brings me to Brabbins and Fyffe, as featured in Armstrong and Miller, the kind of actually funny, no-agenda TV comedy show that seems now to have all but disappeared from the schedules. In Brabbins and Fyffe, Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller reinvented Flanders and Swann as something altogether racier (and, for me at least, impossible to watch without laughing). You can sample some of their offerings here (and there's plenty more of them on YouTube) – 

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