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Poulenc: Orchestral Works / Dutoit


Release Date: 05/25/1999 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 452665   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Pascal Rogé
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length:  1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Concert champetre is a difficult work to bring off, and Poulenc himself is largely to blame: owing to his unfamiliarity with the then little-known harpsichord he seriously miscalculated the balance, employing far too large an orchestra (with which, in 1929, he was in any case not at all at ease), and his many hesitations and delays in completing the work make themselves manifest in the bitty structure, with abrupt and inconsequential changes of pace in the outer movements that few performances manage to make convincing. On record the concerto has usually suffered from too puny a harpsichord sound, and even here the instrument could with advantage have been more closely recorded to make its full effect; but this is the best version of Read more the work now available: Pascal Roge is a nimble soloist, and Dutoit succeeds in not letting the brass get out of hand in the music’s more exuberant moments.

Poulenc was equally dilatory in finishing the Sinfonietta, commissioned in 1947 by the BBC Third Programme, and later, rather unnecessarily, accused himself of “dressing too young for his age”. Though the work is considerably more substantial than its title suggests, it does not outstay its welcome, at least in this engaging reading, which Dutoit shapes with vitality and sensitive phrasing, though even he cannot make the finale sound other than a patchwork. The acoustics of the Salle Wagram give the scherzo and finale a roundness of tone that distinguishes this performance from the smaller-scale, crisper recording under Ronald Corp, hitherto my favoured choice, but this is a vigorous and alert interpretation: in the Andante too (which contains some of Poulenc’s most seductive invention) Corp maintained a more tranquil atmosphere overall, while Dutoit opts more for warmth.

The pleasurably neat and characterful performances of the Suite francaise for wind, percussion and harpsichord, based on themes by the sixteenth-century Claude Gervaise (and originally written as incidental theatre music), of the three-movement musique de table for a banquet at the 1937 Exposition Universelle (the first March chirpy, the second oddly menacing), and of the tributes for the sixtieth birthday of Roussel (whose music Poulenc didn’t really care for) and the seventy-fifth of his friend Marguerite Long (a deeply and movingly contemplative pastoral) add to the attractions of a recommendable disc.

-- Lionel Salter, Gramophone [3/1997]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sinfonietta by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947-1948; France 
Date of Recording: 1996 
Venue:  Salle Wagram, Paris 
2.
Concert champętre for Harpsichord by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Pascal Rogé (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-28; France 
Date of Recording: 1994 
Venue:  Salle Wagram, Paris 
3.
Pičce brčve sur le nom d'Albert Roussel for Piano by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; France 
Date of Recording: 1995 
Venue:  Salle Wagram, Paris 
Notes: orch cpsr 
4.
Bucolique for "Variations sur le nom de Marguerite Long" by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; France 
Date of Recording: 1995 
Venue:  Salle Wagram, Paris 
5.
Fanfare by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Written: 1921 
Date of Recording: 1995 
Venue:  Salle Wagram, Paris 
6.
Marches (2) and an Interlude for Chamber Orchestra by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; France 
Date of Recording: 1995 
Venue:  Salle Wagram, Paris 
7.
Suite française after Claude Gervaise for Chamber Orchestra by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; France 
Date of Recording: 1995 
Venue:  Salle Wagram, Paris 

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