Louis Lortie, Hélène Mercier, BBC Philharmonic, Edward Gardner - Francis Poulenc - Piano Concertos / Aubade (2015)

Published On: 26-07-2016, 00:38

Artist:Louis Lortie, Hélène Mercier, BBC Philharmonic, Edward Gardner
Title:Francis Poulenc - Piano Concertos / Aubade
Year Of Release:2015
Quality:FLAC (image+.cue)
Total Time:72:44
Total Size:292 Mb
WebSite:Album Preview

Francis Poulenc (1899 - 1963)

[1]-[3] Concerto, S 146 (1949)
for Piano and Orchestra
[4]-[10] Aubade, S 51 (1929)
Concerto chorégraphique for Piano and Eighteen Instruments
[11]-[13] Concerto in D minor, S 61 (1932)*
for Two Pianos and Orchestra
[14]-[16] Sonata, S 8 (1918, revised 1939)*
for Piano Four Hands
[17] Élégie (en accords alternés), S 175 (1959)*
for Two Pianos
[18] L'Embarquement pour Cythère, S 150 (1951)*
Valse-musette for Two Pianos

Louis Lortie, piano
Hélène Mercier, piano*
BBC Philharmonic
Edward Gardner, conductor

The Montreal-born pianist Louis Lortie has emerged as one of the world's top specialists in French music of the first half of the 20th century. He is capable of great subtlety, but he does not give short shrift to the pure melodic pleasures and the popular and jazz influences that are integral to the tradition. This Poulenc album is a delight, and it might be the only one you need for Poulenc's music for piano and ensemble. The Piano Concerto of 1949 is not one of Poulenc's more famous works, but the performance here by Lortie and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Edward Gardner is masterful, with intricate weaving of piano and orchestra balanced by melodic straightforwardness, including an intriguing quotation of "Way Down Upon the Swanee River" in a kind of Latinized version in the finale. The first movement seems to have a wash of piano sound, emerging seamlessly into melody. The more familiar Concerto for two pianos and orchestra receives a vigorous performance, with Hélène Mercier on the second piano extremely well-coordinated with Lortie, and there are several crystalline smaller pieces including Aubade, a neoclassic suite for piano and an ensemble of 18 instruments. Chandos' studio sound here is absolutely superb, and this is destined to be a cornerstone Poulenc release. It's a joy from start to finish.

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