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Francis Poulenc: Wind Sonatas; Wind Trio / Ensemble Midtvest

Poulenc / Ensemble Midtvest
Release Date: 10/30/2012 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 777711   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Francis Poulenc
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble MidtVest
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



POULENC Wind Sonatas, Wind Trio, Un joueur de flûte berce les ruines Ens MidtVest CPO 777 711 2 (71:03)


You could be fooled into thinking that this release contains all of Poulenc’s sonatas for winds, especially as there is just enough space on this 71-minute disc to include the missing Villanelle for Pipe and Piano, as well as the lovely but very silly Sonata for Two Clarinets. I’m guessing these were only left out Read more because of the lack of a piper or second clarinetist in the superb Danish group, Ensemble MidtVest. In their favor they do include the recently unearthed flute miniature from 1942, Un joueur de flûte berce les ruines (A Flautist Plays for Ruins), which doesn’t make the complete chamber collections on Hyperion and EMI.


The playing is bright, expressive, and very polished throughout, possibly even a little too serious at times. Predictably their clear-eyed approach suits the Elegy for Horn and Piano, Poulenc’s tribute to Dennis Brain and the Clarinet Sonata, dedicated to the memory of Honegger. Likewise the exquisite rendition of the Flute Sonata is all the better for not being pulled about for romantic effect. Charlotte Norholt is a stunning flutist and, in my view, she and pianist Martin Qvist Hansen surpass the classic version from Michael Debost and Jacques Fevrier on EMI. In fact all the members have stunning technique, although I wish the Oboe Sonata let rip a little more, despite the plangent tone from oboist, Peter Kirstein. There is energy and formidable skill on display for a devilishly fleet-footed performance of the Stravinsky-hued Wind Trio, but (a silly gripe, maybe) the odd bit of splashiness or wit might not have gone amiss. Placed sensibly at the end of this immaculate recital, as the most substantial but earliest work, it proves how Poulenc’s voice was mature already in his 20s, just as the earlier tracks (flitting about from 1962 to the wartime and the mid ’50s) show how, even at his most poignant and restless, he never loses his lightness of touch. This disc, better than most, demonstrates how Poulenc’s chamber is more than charm and neoclassical homages and does often respond well to being treated seriously.


CPO’s presentation is exceptional with superb notes on each work, as well as performer bios, all in German, English, French, and Danish; an example to other labels, and with bright, spacious sound to match. This doesn’t topple all the other great versions of Poulenc’s chamber works out there, although the classic EMI recordings with Poulenc’s contemporaries are starting to feel a little dated and stiff limbed, but this makes a superb supplement to the bright and breezy Nash Ensemble on Hyperion. I can’t wait for future volumes.


FANFARE: Barnaby Rayfield
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Works on This Recording

1.
Un joueur de flûte berce les ruines, Op. 114 by Francis Poulenc
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble MidtVest
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 
2.
Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano by Francis Poulenc
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble MidtVest
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; France 
3.
Sonata for Oboe and Piano by Francis Poulenc
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble MidtVest
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; France 
4.
Sonata for Flute and Piano by Francis Poulenc
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble MidtVest
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956-1957; France 
5.
Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Francis Poulenc
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble MidtVest
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; France 
6.
Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon by Francis Poulenc
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble MidtVest
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922/1945; France 
7.
Elégie for Horn and Piano by Francis Poulenc
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble MidtVest
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; France 

Sound Samples

Clarinet Sonata, FP 184: I. Allegro tristamente: Allegretto - Tres calme - Tempo allegretto
Clarinet Sonata, FP 184: II. Romanza: Tres calme
Clarinet Sonata, FP 184: III. Allegro con fuoco: Tres anime
Elegie for Horn and Piano, FP 168
Un Joueur de flute berce les ruines (arr. for chamber ensemble)
Flute Sonata, FP 164: I. Allegro malincolico
Flute Sonata, FP 164: II. Cantilena: Assez lent
Flute Sonata, FP 164: III. Presto giocoso
Oboe Sonata, FP 185: I. Elegie: Paisiblement
Oboe Sonata, FP 185: II. Scherzo: Tres anime
Oboe Sonata, FP 185: III. Deploration: Tres calme
Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon, FP 32: I. Allegro: Tres rythme
Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon, FP 32: II. Romance: Andante tres doux
Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon, FP 32: III. Final: Tres Anime
Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, FP 43: I. Presto
Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, FP 43: II. Andante
Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, FP 43: III. Rondo

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