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Poulenc: Organ Concerto, Concert Champętre, Etc

Release Date: 10/14/1997 
Label:  London/Decca Double Decker Catalog #: 448270   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Pascal RogéAmaury WallezMichel PortalMaurice Bourgue,   ... 
Conductor:  Charles DutoitSergiu ComissionaIona BrownJesús Lopez-Cobos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraSuisse Romande OrchestraAcademy of St. Martin in the Fields,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 30 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Poulenc's Organ Concerto was written in 1938, not long after the death of a close, friend in a car accident brought the composer back to the Catholicism of his youth. This is a performance that brings out its dark devotional fervour—a quality more Spanish than French and which El Greco and, later, Goya understood; a tension of mind and heart that is Inquisitional in its ruthless quest for truth, whatever the pain of the process. Didn't the composer say to his friends something like, 'it's a Poulenc you don't know'? The Concerto has also rightly been called Janus-like, looking both ways and taking us from terror to the fairground and back again. George Malcolm is a fine soloist here and the recording from 1977 (made in St John's, Cambridge) Read more balances him and the orchestra with success. The Concert champêtre has the same good soloist and the ASMF under Iona Brown, but a different mood, being crisp, elegant and witty. It's an earlier piece and reminds us how much Poulenc owed to 1920s Stravinsky. The balance is very natural although some people might prefer the harpsichord to be a little more forward.

The Gloria of 1959 is openly religious music in a way the Organ Concerto is not, but here the mood is of joy, forgiveness and sweetness, and with another stylish performance (this time from Geneva) this is a delightful and well-filled disc. Those interested who don't already know the Gloria are invited to be captivated on track 12 by the bouncy "Laudamus te", or on tracks 13 and 15 by the writing for the soprano soloist, here the warm-toned Sylvia Greenberg.

-- Gramophone [7/1990]
reviewing the Organ Concerto, Concert champêtre and Gloria, previously issued as Argo 425627

A nicely planned collection of chamber, orchestral and choral works by a composer whose music is everything 20th-century art isn’t supposed to be, yet whose sensibility is clearly of our time. The recordings date from 1967 to 1992, and oddly the sound is better the further back they go. Palpable hits include Pascal Rogé’s delicate irony in the Piano Concerto, and Bracha Eden and Alexander Tamir’s pristine, madcap music-making in the Concerto for Two Pianos.

-- George Hall, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Pascal Rogé (Piano)
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; France 
Sextet for Piano, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Amaury Wallez (Bassoon), Michel Portal (Clarinet), Maurice Bourgue (Oboe),
Patrick Gallois (Flute), Pascal Rogé (Piano), André Cazalet (French Horn)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1939; France 
Sonata for 2 Pianos by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Alexander Wolkovski (Piano), Bracha Eden (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; France 
Concerto for 2 Pianos in D minor by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Alexander Wolkovski (Piano), Bracha Eden (Piano)
Conductor:  Sergiu Comissiona
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; France 
Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  George Malcolm (Organ)
Conductor:  Iona Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; France 
Concert champętre for Harpsichord by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  George Malcolm (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Iona Brown
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927-28; France 
Gloria in G major by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Sylvia Greenberg (Soprano)
Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Pro Arte Chorus,  Suisse Romande Radio Chorus,  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; France 
Language: Latin 

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