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Poulenc: Piano Concertos, Aubade / Le Sage, Braley


Release Date: 09/28/2004 
Label:  Rca Victor Special Imports Catalog #: 660308   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Eric Le SageFrank Braley
Conductor:  Stéphane Denève
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Liège Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Without doubt, this French domestic release is the finest single disc of Poulenc concertos available, better even than the composer's recordings, and that's saying a lot. They have everything: style, spirit, a vivid sense of fun, a touch of sentiment that never turns maudlin, and that ability to change moods every few bars that Poulenc always requires. In the Concerto for Two Pianos Eric Le Sage and Frank Braley have a field day tossing phrases back and forth, or hauntingly recreating those gamelan sounds that infiltrate the work at critical moments (particularly at the end of the first movement). From the delicious, faux-Mozartian central Larghetto to the jazzy finale, the players relish every
Read more nuance. It's a blast.


Here, as in the other two works, conductor Stéphane Denève perfectly captures the wry, "sec" quality of Poulenc's orchestral writing with vivacious rhythmic underpinning and crystal clear textures. La Sage's interpretation of the Piano Concerto simply wipes the floor with the competition. He's one of the few artists who knows how to savor the music's salon ambience without wallowing, and the tempos he and Denève choose are ideal. Aubade, an odd ballet/concerto that has been frequently recorded, seldom satisfactorily, for once enjoys an accompaniment as characterful and involving as the piano part, with terrific contributions from the solo winds. The final couple of minutes are simply magical. Beautifully clean, well-balanced sonics round out this enticing picture. Let's hope RCA makes this release available internationally. It's unbeatable. [5/12/2005]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Conductor:  Stéphane Denève
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Liège Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; France 
2.
Concerto for 2 Pianos in D minor by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Frank Braley (Piano), Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Conductor:  Stéphane Denève
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Liège Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; France 
3.
Aubade for Piano and 18 instruments by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Eric Le Sage (Piano)
Conductor:  Stéphane Denève
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Liège Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 beautiful version of a favorite 4-hand concerto October 31, 2013 By Lilian W. (San Rafael, CA) See All My Reviews "Eric Le Sage and Frank Braley capture perfectly the spontaneity and almost-dizzy, almost dada tone of this beautifully retro piece for 2 pianos from the early 1930's. The first movement, with its surprises and hints of dissonance, doesn't prepare us for the almost stately andante that follows as the second, slow movement; and the last movement, which doesn't seem to connect at first, winds up making lovely sense of the first 2. A beautiful performance of this often-neglected piano piece for 2 pianos." Report Abuse
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