“It is with great sadness that I learned this morning (Friday August 19, editor’s note) of the death of Yvon Morvan, member of the musical group “Les frères Morvan”. Originally from the village of Botcol, in Saint-Nicodeme, Yvon Morvan, like his brothers Yves (died in 1984), François (died in 2012) and Henri, shared his life between agriculture and songs. Driven by music and great generosity, the Morvan brothers have made a lasting mark on the canton of Callac, Côtes-d’Armor but also the whole of Brittany”, testifies Christian Coail, president of the departmental council of Côtes- d’Armor, originally from Saint-Servais, a town located a few kilometers from Saint-Nicodeme.
Commanders of Arts and Letters
Well known to many Breton festival-goers, the Morvan Brothers have played an important role in the transmission of Breton oral heritage for more than 60 years. A role which was also hailed by the Ministry of Culture in 2019 when Yvon and Henri Morvan both received the very high distinction of Commander of Arts and Letters after bidding farewell to the stage. “With the death of Yvon Morvan, Breton culture has lost one of its most fervent ambassadors,” says Christian Coail. For Loïg Chesnais-Girard, president of the Brittany Region, Yvon Morvan “is one of those Bretons that we will not forget”. “With his brothers, he allowed so many singers of today to make us dance and serenely live our identity”.
Another testimony, that of Christian Troadec, mayor of Carhaix and vice-president of the Region for the languages of Brittany and the Bretons of the world. “The four brothers animated the festoù-noz scene for decades. Farmers, men of popular Breton culture, of the land, simple and generous men, rich in an exceptional repertoire of “kan ha diskan”, long mocked by the Parisian elites, just like the Goadec sisters were, the Morvan brothers succeeded this extraordinary snub of being adored by those who mocked them the day before… The Bretons and Breton women were not mistaken and have always felt immense respect for these depositories of an extraordinary oral heritage”.
Since 1958 on the roads of Brittany
At the beginning of their career, in 1958, the Morvan brothers were four and worked on the family farm, but it was essentially in three that they traveled the roads and made all of Brittany dance. “How many kilometers were they able to travel in their car at night to return from a trip to the four corners of Brittany despite the distance, the fatigue and the work on the farm that awaited them the next day? Tens of thousands no doubt, but “without ever going to France and leaving Brittany”, they said proudly! They have spared no effort for the Brittany they love,” notes Christian Troadec. The Morvan Brothers said goodbye to the stage during the traditional fest-noz of All Saints Day in Paimpol, in 2019.