Poulenc - Organ Concerto; Jongen - Symphonie concertante | CD Accord ACD319

Poulenc - Organ Concerto; Jongen - Symphonie concertante


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Label: CD Accord

Cat No: ACD319

Barcode: 5902176503192

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 16th June 2023



Karol Mossakowski (organ)
NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic


Giancarlo Guerrero


Jongen, Joseph

Symphonie concertante, op.81

Poulenc, Francis

Organ Concerto in G minor


Karol Mossakowski (organ)
NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic


Giancarlo Guerrero


Poulenc’s Concerto is primarily for strings (timpani are used sparingly throughout). It was commissioned by Princess Edmond de Polignac for her small private instrument and dedicated to her ‘with the highest regard’.

In her letter to Poulenc, Boulanger urged the musician to familiarise himself with the ‘resources [and] limitations’ of the Princess’s instrument. This means that this Concerto – written with difficulty over a period of some four years (1934–1938) – was initially conceived as an intimate, Neo-Baroque work (its opening is a strong allusion to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Fantasy BWV 542, also in G minor), with a succession of fast and slow sections of contrasting timbres, in the manner of German Baroque toccatas in the Italian style, such as Bach’s keyboard toccatas BWV 913–916. The form, however, is fairly well defined, with a symmetrical structure around the central ‘Tempo allegro’.

Joseph Jongen’s Symphonie concertante, op.81, has become the virtuoso concerto for organists, especially in the United States.

The day after the performance, Eugène Ysaÿe wrote to his composer friend: ‘I want to tell you how much my old musician and Walloon heart was delighted, moved, conquered by your new symphony ... a masterpiece, a monument that does honour to the whole country and to Wallonia in particular ... It is appealing, varied, very personal, rich in colours, full of unusual harmonies ... It is new and yet distinguished, without violent clashes (I noticed a bit of bitonality that entertained me a lot). The form is clear, the plan well drawn and it is always good and healthy music that speaks, expresses, sings, constantly interests, arouses enthusiasm ... I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the strong emotions I have experienced.’

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