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Track(s) taken from CDA68021/4

Fiançailles pour rire, FP101

composer
September to October 1939
author of text

Ailish Tynan (soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Recording details: July 2008
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: October 2013
Total duration: 12 minutes 21 seconds
 
Métamorphoses
1
La dame d'André  André ne connaît pas la dame  [1'28]
2
Dans l'herbe  Je ne peux plus rien dire  [2'07]
3
Il vole  En allant se coucher le soleil  [1'48]
4
Mon cadavre est doux comme un gant  [2'47]
5
Violon  Couple amoureux aux accents méconnus  [1'48]
6

Other recordings available for download

Lisa Milne (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)

Reviews

'Johnson's playing is marvellous, virtuosic where needed, but above all attuned to every nuance of his singers. This really is a multifaceted release: the blending of the art forms that was characteristic of Poulenc's time, where poets were absorbed by painters, and composers by poets, alongside the 15 singers gathered on these discs, together with the chameleon-like nature of Poulenc's own genius, all make for an enterprise of dazzling complexity. The recording quality is exemplary, combining clarity with a perfect bloom on the piano sound' (International Record Review)

'There are some outstanding performances: Christopher Maltman's account of Miroirs brûlants and La fraîcheur et le feu (both based on Eluard), and the Calligrammes (on Apollinaire's texts) are worth the price on their own, while Sarah Fox is just as persuasive in Les chemins de l'amour as she is in Tel jour telle nuit. There are telling contributions, too, from Ailish Tynan, Susan Bickley and Ben Johnson, and a brief appearance in the Quatre chansons pour enfants by the English grande dame of French song Felicity Lott. Touchingly, one work also features the voice of baritone Pierre Bernac, Poulenc's recital partner, for whom many of the songs were composed; he's the narrator in a 1977 recording of L'histoire de Babar and the whole set is dedicated to his memory. It's a gorgeous collection, and for sometime Poulenc sceptics like me, a real revelation' (The Guardian)» More

'Especially enjoyable is the final disc, subtitled Fancy. Soprano Susan Bickley is superb in Poulenc’s early Poèmes de Ronsard—sparky settings of Renaissance poetry, and Ashley Riches has fun with the better-known Chansons gaillardes. The Huit chansons polonaises, sung by Agnieszka Adamczak, pay oblique homage to Poulenc’s beloved Chopin. There’s not a weak link among the vocal cast, and there’s even a cameo from the great Felicity Lott. A wonderful bonus is the inclusion of a 1970s BBC taping of Babar, narrated with impeccable grace and wit by Poulenc’s long-time recital partner Pierre Bernac. Johnson’s accessible, comprehensive notes deserve to be published in book form, and Hyperion generously provide full texts and translations. These songs will comfort the most jaded of palates, and this box set contains enough riches to sustain a lifetime’s listening. In Johnson’s words, Poulenc’s music 'has seemed dark and joyous, accessible and remote, imperishable yet infinitely fragile, and now it is in the hands of a younger generation'.' (TheArtsDesk.com)
This is Poulenc’s most famous cycle for the female voice. Having set three of Vilmorin’s poems at the end of 1937 he now returned to her work with renewed delight, all too aware that his beloved ‘Loulou’ had moved to Hungary to live with her husband Count Pálffy in his castle. The composer missed her, and during the war years he spoke of her as a prisoner on her husband’s estates (a true Parisian—like Poulenc—regarded any exile from Paris as something unimaginably tiresome). It was the composer’s initial idea to write a cycle of male songs for Bernac, but the choice of texts proved difficult (there were other composers like Georges Auric who were equally keen to set Vilmorin’s words). Instead he was drawn into the idea of making a short and concise cycle in the manner of Schumann’s Elisabeth Kulmann songs Op 104. To imitate Schumann he had originally planned a seven-song set, but six songs proved sufficient in the end.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2013

Other albums featuring this work

Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1
Studio Master: SIGCD247Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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