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Hyperion Records

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La Guitare by Marie Laurencin (1885-1956)
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Track(s) taken from CDH55366
Recording details: February 1984
St George the Martyr, Queen Square, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Antony Howell
Release date: January 1989
Total duration: 2 minutes 35 seconds

'Highly desirable' (BBC Record Review)

'This record will enchant you. Best of the Month' (Hi-Fi News)

Priez pour paix, FP95
29 September 1938
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Susan Bickley (mezzo-soprano), Graham Johnson (piano)
Robert Murray (tenor), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançais
Poulenc found this poem reprinted in Le Figaro of 29 September 1938, thus exactly at the time of the Munich crisis when the whole world was on tenterhooks, fearing imminent war with Germany. In fact, the poem as quoted in the newspaper was only the first ten lines of a fifty-line Ballade with a five-line envoi, but it was sufficient for the composer’s purposes. Poulenc wrote a song, fervent and grave, inspired by his own Litanies à la vierge noire. It was a prayer that worked at the time, but sadly only temporarily. In JdmM Poulenc confessed that it was the faith on his father’s side of the family that had inspired him: ‘All my religious music sits back on the style that is inspired in me by Paris and its outskirts. When I pray it is the native of Aveyron who reawakens in me. This is evidence of heredity. Faith is strong in all the Poulencs … it is a prayer to be spoken in a country church.’ The hieratic song in 6/4 has an introduction in stately crotchets, a pulse continued throughout the song which seems much slower than the metronome marking. The music transcends pastiche, although the musical rigours of the poet’s own epoch are not lost on the composer. There was a perfect reason for writing this song, and this was a perfect poem by a medieval prisoner of war that utterly reflected the concerns of the contemporary world in 1938. Perhaps it is no surprise therefore that this is a work that achieves a perfection of its own. Composer and poet make time stand still in every way; one cannot imagine a single note different.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2013

Other albums featuring this work
'Poulenc: The Complete Songs' (CDA68021/4)
Poulenc: The Complete Songs
MP3 £23.99FLAC £23.99ALAC £23.99Buy by post £30.00 CDA68021/4  4CDs for the price of 3  
'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

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