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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA68021/4
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: 0 minutes 46 seconds

'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)

Trois poèmes de Louise Lalanne, FP57
First line:
Les myrtilles sont pour la dame
composer
February 1931; dedicated to Comtesse Jean de Polignac

Other recordings available for download
Dame Felicity Lott (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Dame Felicity Lott (soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Introduction
Dans les Trois Poèmes de Louise Lalanne Apollinaire put se faire passer pour une poétesse dans les pages de la revue littéraire Marges. Mais la paresse de Montparnasse l’emporta et, pressé par une date butoir, il fouilla dans les notes littéraires de sa maîtresse pour dénicher quelque chose de convenablement féminin. Sa tendre collaboratrice n’était autre que le peintre Marie Laurencin (1885–1956; un de ses tableaux orne la couverture de ce livret), conceptrice des costumes et des décors du premier grand succès de Poulenc, le ballet Les Biches, présenté par Diaghilev en 1924. Laurencin avait été «découverte» avec enthousiasme par Apollinaire, influent critique d’art. Dans ce corpus, seule l’ineptie éclair intitulée Chanson est de lui, Le présent (où Poulenc est influencé par l’implacable dernier mouvement de la Sonate en si bémol mineur de Chopin) et Hier étant des textes de son amie. Hier est la première mélodie pour laquelle Poulenc recourt à la veine lyrique qui marquera tant de ses meilleures chansons. Quand il la composa en 1931, ses folles années étaient derrière lui. Dans cette mélodie, le pitre et le gueux le montre capable de mélancolie, et il choisit le style d’une boîte parisienne enfumée (plane le fantôme de Marie Dubas, devancière de Piaf) pour faire sa tendre révélation.

extrait des notes rédigées par Graham Johnson © 1985
Français: Hypérion


Other albums featuring this work
'Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 2' (SIGCD263)
Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 2
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00ALAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00 SIGCD263  Download only   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Poulenc: Voyage à Paris' (CDH55366)
Poulenc: Voyage à Paris
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55366  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  

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