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Poulenc: Les Biches, Aubade, Etc / Georges Prêtre


Release Date: 01/25/2005 
Label:  Emi Great Artists Of The Century Catalog #: 62959   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Gabriel Tacchino
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraOrchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

It seems odd to find Georges Prêtre in EMI's "Great Artists of the Century" series. But in the music of Poulenc, Prêtre was on the composer's wavelength, replacing his usual interventionist style with straightforward, spontaneous performances that remain among the very best even after 40 years. If you missed these recordings in earlier incarnations you'll be rewarded by 78 minutes of delightful music sounding better than ever in fresh remasterings. Les biches is a 1924 ballet just bursting with typical flapper-age hi-jinks, snappy rhythms, a profusion of delectable melodies, and brilliant orchestration, especially in the way Poulenc makes the winds and trumpets shine. Prêtre includes its three movements with Read more chorus, one or more of which are often cut, and he makes the Philharmonia Orchestra sound like a French ensemble in this 1980 classic. The brief Pastourelle movement from the multi-composer 1927 ballet, L'Éventail de Jeanne, is a lovely pendant to Les biches, though as its title implies, not sharing much in common with it.


Gabriel Tacchino is the excellent piano soloist in Aubade, a 1929 "Concerto choreographic" whose opening trumpet peals startle, both because the unwary don't expect them and because the recording is remastered at a higher volume level than the preceding tracks. Poulenc's take on French 18th-century forms joins the graceful to the vigorous--the courtly Rondeau ends with a solo timpani motif--and the bittersweet quality of the Andante and the despairing ending introduce jarring modernist elements that Prêtre and Tacchino get just right. The Model Animals, a rarely-heard 1942 ballet suite, defies expectations of another Carnival of the Animals. Like so much of Poulenc's music it blends elements of farce with grimmer, sterner stuff. Despite the ministrations of EMI's transfer engineers, this Model Animals retains much of the grain and grayness of the original 1965 recording. [3/28/2005]
--Dan Davis, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Les biches by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; France 
2. L'éventail de Jeanne: Pastourelle by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927; France 
3. Les animaux modèles by Francis Poulenc
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940-1941; France 
4. Aubade for Piano and 18 instruments by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Gabriel Tacchino (Piano)
Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; France 

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