Poulenc - Piano Concertos, Aubade
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Cat No: CHAN10875
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 25th September 2015
Concerto in D minor for 2 pianos and orchestra
Elegie for 2 pianos
L'embarquement pour Cythere
Sonata for piano 4 hands, FP8
ArtistsLouis Lortie (piano)
Helene Mercier (piano)
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
After a successful cycle of Chopin works for solo piano, exclusive Chandos artist Louis Lortie plays here works by Poulenc with his duet partner Hélène Mercier. In Aubade and the two concertos, they are joined by Edward Gardner and the BBC Philharmonic.
The French-Canadian pianists draw a persuasive portrait of the melancholic Parisian that Poulenc was: playful and depressed, like his tutor, Erik Satie. There is always a sense of palpable anxiety in these pieces, be it the sarcastic joie de vivre of the 'choreographic concerto' Aubade or the ironic melancholy of the explosive Concerto for Two Pianos – Mozartean and Stravinskyan at the same time.
Further examples are the contrasting pair of works for two pianos, in which the evocation of the sound of accordion and smell of fried potatoes in L’Embarquement pour Cythère complement the Élégie which, as Poulenc indicated, should be played with 'a cigar in your mouth and a glass of cognac on the piano'.
Similarly, the dazzling and dissonant Sonata for Piano Duet alternates between passages of 'charme' and others that are 'féroce' and strident. 'Inventing his own folk tunes', as Ravel noted, Poulenc took a decisive step in his musical emancipation with this very 'dissident' work.
Louis Lortie also plays the Piano Concerto, in which the traditional concerto virtues are more obvious: memorable tunes, sparkling orchestration, and a wide range of textures in the piano part.
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