French pianist Richard Clayderman has hailed Ed Sheeran as a “great composer” and proposed a duet after seeing the singer-songwriter in concert.
The 68-year-old classical musician watched Sheeran perform at the Stade de France, close to Paris, before the pandemic and has covered one of his songs for his latest album.
His version of Perfect Symphony features alongside a cover of Viva La Vida by Coldplay and standards such as Waltz Of The Flowers and Radetzky March on his new album, Forever Love.
Clayderman, best known for his 1977 piece Ballade Pour Adeline and his work with composer Paul de Senneville, expressed his desire to work with Sheeran.
He told the PA news agency: “I would love to. It was a pleasure for me to do a duet with him.
“He is a great composer, he is a great singer, he does a very good concert.
“I saw him in France two years, before Covid, in a big stadium in Paris – in the Stade de France.
“It was great because he was all alone on stage with his guitar and his loop pedal.”
Clayderman suggested his piano and Sheeran’s voice would work well together, adding: “Maybe one day.”
He said he chose Perfect Symphony, an operatic version of the chart-topping 2017 single Perfect originally featuring Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, for its melody.
He said: “First of all it is a very nice melody, very beautiful, and I thought that it was perfect for my piano.
“It was very nice for me to listen to the melody and try to bring all of the emotion from Ed Sheeran with my way of playing the piano.
“I think it was a good combination – those melodies, the piano, my way of playing the piano. It was great for me to play this title.”
Clayderman said he chose to cover Coldplay after using the classically influenced track Viva La Vida, which features strings and percussion, to open his concerts.
Speaking about recording pop music, he added: “For the arrangements, I try to have my style of arrangement with strings, with a nice rhythm section.
“Of course, it is not easy sometimes but it depends on the title. It depends on the melody.
“I think it is great to have this beautiful melody, to have my strings with me for the arrangement.”
Forever Love: Three Little Words by Richard Clayderman is out now.