Now Karajan’s interrogator has gone

Three days after John Freeman, who elicited Otto Klemperer’s most famous interview, we learn of the death of Jacques Chancel, the gentle inquisitor of Radiocopie and  Le Grand Échiquier on France’s Antenne 2. He was 86 and a national institution. President Hollande called him ‘the incarnation of public service broadcasting.’

Chancel’s subjects included Truffaut, Godard, Chagall, Brassens, Slava, Karajan, Sartre, Lévi-Strauss, Juliette Gréco, Guy Bedos, Brassaï, Barenboim and more over 20 years and 6,000 broadcasts.


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  • Un grand Monsieur…..if only there was still somewhere a program like “le Grand Échiquier” one of the best television programs ever, i just adored it!

  • Norman,
    Viewed from Paris, one can wonder why you chose such a title…
    In my memory, the Grand Echiquier broadcast that Mr.Chancel did with HvK was not much of an “interrogatoire”.
    It was more a live demonstration of HvK’s power at the time.
    The full Berlin Philharmonic played!
    Karajan was proud to show his wonderful music machine, and Mr.Chancel agreed it was indeed wonderful.
    It would interesting to view it again.
    Was there was more than one encounter?

    • …and live on the programme, none other than Edward Heath conducted the Elgar Cockaigne Overturre – which HvK had rehearsed for him!

  • And the interview with Karajan, on Le Grand Echiquier has also gone.
    It was up on youtube for awhile. Karajan looked rather elegant, bordering on camp. Weissenberg also featured in the interview and the performance.
    Michel Glotz could be seen in the immediate background.

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