A man ‘in love with life, mischievous, good-hearted, tender and pert, sad and serenely mystical, at once a monk and playboy’ was how Stéphane Audel remembered his friend Poulenc. A patchwork quilt of unforgettable ideas, alternately humorous and hallowed, elegantly crafted and exquisitely coloured, the three works on this new release are enduring testimonies to his ‘wildly eclectic’ art. Ghosts of the past, parodies of friends and contemporaries, lurk tantalisingly among their pages: Rachmaninov, Mahler, Copland in the Piano Concerto (1949); Balinese gamelan and Mozart in the divertissement Double Concerto (1932), described in the booklet notes as ‘a typical cocktail of all that seemed gay and good to Poulenc at the time’; Bach,Read more Tchaikovsky (the Pathétique) in the rightly famous Organ Concerto (1939). Throughout, unmistakably, strolls the master ‘in that lazy way peculiar to him’ (Audel).
These are brilliant performances. No one understands the language or structure of this music better than Dutoit, and his three soloists are magnificent. Rogé and Deferne are on just the right side of brittleness, and Hurford’s sense of theatre and timing is compelling. The Philharmonia, tight in ensemble and rhythmically athletic, are in a class of their own. Demonstration quality sound, not least in the Organ Concerto (recorded in St Alban’s Cathedral).
Performance: 5 (out of 5); Sound: 5 (out or 5)
Concerto for Pianoby Francis Poulenc Performer:
Pascal Rogé (Piano)
Period: 20th Century Written: 1949; France Date of Recording: 02/1992 Venue: Walthamstow Town Hall, London, England Length: 19 Minutes 21 Secs.
Concerto for 2 Pianos in D minorby Francis Poulenc Performer:
Pascal Rogé (Piano),
Sylviane Deferne (Piano)
Period: 20th Century Written: 1932; France Date of Recording: 02/1992 Venue: Walthamstow Town Hall, London, England Length: 18 Minutes 21 Secs.
Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minorby Francis Poulenc Performer:
Peter Hurford (Organ)
Period: 20th Century Written: 1938; France Date of Recording: 02/1992 Venue: St. Albans Cathedral, London, England Length: 22 Minutes 4 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
A favorite discMarch 11, 2013By James Carleton (Port Hueneme, CA)See All My Reviews"I play this disc quite often: several times a month, occasionally several times in a week. Poulenc is a "modern" who transcends categorization. Even at his most austere, he tends to be playful; at his most sombre, there is a joy underneath it; and in his many outgoing moods, he is gregarious without being overbearing. These performances are totally French; they will reward the casual listener with many hours of enjoyment, and the detail-oriented person will discover new, intriguing bits of wonder at each playing of this marvelous CD."Report Abuse