Café des Chansons

The finest French classics in original string arrangements

About Café des Chansons


Charlotte Haesen, born in Amsterdam in 1987 and raised in the French-speaking part of Belgium, studied jazz singing at the Amsterdam University of the Arts. On a sunny Saturday afternoon she sang French chansons at Amsterdam’s Noordermarkt, where she was discovered by viola player Odile Torenbeek.

Odile and Charlotte decided to put together a chanson programme anchored in a string quartet ensemble. Leading arrangers such as Paul Prenen and Wijnand van Klaveren then ‘arrayed’ the chansons around Charlotte’s own particular sound. The next step was the founding of Café des Chansons: Charlotte Haesen plus four musicians from the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.

They perform gems of the repertoire, including the great French classics by figures such as Barbara, Brel, Gainsbourg, Brassens en Piaf.


Charlotte Haesen, in 1987 te Amsterdam geboren, in Franstalig België opgegroeid, studeerde jazz-zang op het Conservatorium Amsterdam. Op een mooie zonnige zaterdagmiddag zong ze Franse chansons op de Noordermarkt, alwaar altvioliste Odile Torenbeek haar ontdekte.

Odile en Charlotte besloten een chansons-programma te maken met het strijkkwartet als basis. Hierbij werden gerenommeerde arrangeurs als Paul Prenen en Wijnand van Klaveren betrokken die op bijzondere wijze het chanson om Charlottes stem-timbre wisten te ‘draperen’. Vervolgens ontwikkelt zich Café des Chansons: Charlotte Haesen plus vier musici uit het Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest.

Ze brengen schitterend repertoire samen vol mooiste Franse klassiekers van persoonlijkheden als Barbara, Brel, Gainsbourg, Brassens en Piaf.

Een nieuw album van Café des Chansons op Challenge Classics! De stem van Charlotte Haesen en de strijkers van het Tobalita Quartet nemen je mee op een ontroerende reis met onder andere, verschillende Franstalige winterliedjes. Deze chansons gaan over de vreugde en liefde die menselijke verbondenheid brengt. ‘Perles de pluie’ nodigt ons uit om échte mensen te durven zijn.


Charlotte Haesen, née à Amsterdam en 1987, grandi en Belgique francophone et étudie le jazz vocal au Conservatoire d’Amsterdam. Par nostalgie de la langue française, elle chante les samedis après-midi ensoleillé sur la place du marché de la ville. C’est là que la violoniste alto Odile Torenbeek la découvre.

Odile et Charlotte décide alors de créer un programme de chansons françaises basé sur le quatuor à cordes. Cela implique des arrangeurs renommés tels que Paul Prenen et Wijnand van Klaveren. Ceux ci drapent habilement le quartuor au timbre vocal particulier de Charlotte.

Café des Chansons est formé: Charlotte Haesen et quatre musiciens de l’Orchestre National Philharmonique des Pays-Bas. Ils réunissent un magnifique répertoire de grandes personnalités Françaises telles que Barbara, Brel, Gainsbourg, Brassens en Piaf. Ainsi que quelques compositions de Haesen.


Charlotte Haesen, nata ad Amsterdam nel 1987 e cresciuta poi nel Belgio francofono, ha studiato canto-jazz al Conservatorio di Amsterdam. Durante un soleggiato sabato pomeriggio ha cantanto delle chansons Francesi sul Noordermarkt di Amsterdam, dove la violinista Odile Torenbeek l’ha scoperta.

Odile e Charlotte hanno deciso di creare un programma di chansons con alla base il quartetto d’archi. Di seguito sono stati coinvolti nel progetto degli arrangatori rinomati come Paul Prenen e Wijnand van Klaveren i quali sono riusciti ad avvolgere la chanson attorno al timbro della voce di Charlotte. Successivamente si forma Café des Chansons: Charlotte Haesen piu’ quattro musicisti dell’Orchestra Filarmonica dei Paesi Bassi.

Insieme presentano un magnifico repertorio che include delle grandi personalita’ Francesi come Barbara, Brel, Gainsbourg, Brassens en Piaf.

''Charlotte Haesen's singing is extraordinarily impressive, dramatic, cheerful, melancholic and moving.''

– Erik Voermans, ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Het Parool

“Wonderfully intimate and authentic exactly the right mix between light seriousness and whimsical humour."

Mischa Spel, NRC

“Her voice is evocative of a sunbeam peeking playfully through a crevice in a cliff into the darkness of a cave.”

– Joost Galema, NRC

“Anyone listening to Café des Chansons is immdiately astonished by three things: the fascinating voice, the crystal-clear French and the velvety string sound.”

– Guido van Oorschot, SENA Performers Magazine

“What a fantastic CD. Repertoire reaching from 2012 back to 1930. Good, easy singing, storytelling without exaggerated pathos, natural articulation. Modest, functional and tasteful arrangements. Beautifully played: warm where it needs to be and ”shrill” where it’s called for.’”

– Edwin Rutten

“…the chansons describe the common events of life, the lives of ordinary people. But it is precisely this description of regular events and encounters that opens the shutters to reveal the greater themes of life such as selfless love, hope and thankfulness. These chansons tell about our own lives and unleash powerful human emotions.”

– frère Sebastien de Taizé

NRC – Joost Galema

De Volkskrant – Pablo Cabenda

Sena Performers Magazine – Guido van Oorschot

Het Parool – Erik Voermans


Use the arrows right or left to check out more dates.


Perles de pluie


Du bout des yeux


Café des Chansons




Café des Chansons is interested in traveling and performing in many places. For bookings and inquiries you can contact Café des Chansons by sending an e-mail or calling us on one of the two phone numbers below.

Odile Torenbeek
tel. NL +31 6 39848936

Charlotte Haesen
tel. DE +49 15901319920

ILCaBeDoT Bookings 
Marc Puyol-Hennin
tel. NL +31 6 42279977


Odile Torenbeek
tel. NL +31 6 39848936

Charlotte Haesen
tel. DE +49 15901319920

ILCaBeDoT Bookings 
Marc Puyol-Hennin
tel. NL +31 6 42279977

Follow CDC on social media

Copyright © 2024