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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67255/6
Recording details: January 1999
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: November 1999
Total duration: 12 minutes 43 seconds

'An altogether first-class collection of Poulenc's very individual chamber music output played with real sensitivity … .outstanding performances. The whole issue wins my enthusiastic recommendation: it bids fair to become the undisputed yardstick for the future.' (Gramophone)

'A set which will surely and deservedly be popular.' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Thoroughly excellent' (The Observer)

'Entrancing. It's hard to select the choicest treasures from this jewel box of Poulenc's most witty and vivacious, hauntingly melodic and touchingly heartfelt music, especially when it is played with such effervescence and devotion as here. The two masterpieces are the Sextet for Piano and Winds (1932) and the delectable "Mozartian" Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon, played with dashing elan and soulful lyricism by the pianist Ian Brown and the Nash's brilliant wind principals. Richard Watkins's long-breathed account of the moving Elégie in memoriam Dennis Brain (1957) and Paul Watkins's noble-toned playing of the Cello Sonata (1940/48) are exceptional. But there is rapture, elation, zany high spirits in all of this music, dazzlingly played by the Nash Ensemble. Buy, buy, buy!' (The Sunday Times)

'It would be hard to imagine more consistently on-target presentations of Poulenc’s chamber music or more appropriate sound reproduction. Highly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'Thirteen pieces lovingly brought to life by the Nash Ensemble. For once, the word 'jewel-box' for the CD container sounds about right.' (BBC CD Review)

'Those who treasure performances of this music should hear this recording to discover the insights which the very best of today's musicians bring to these scores' (Classical Express)

Sonata for clarinet and piano

Other recordings available for download
Maximiliano Martín (clarinet), Inocencio Negrín (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Composed in 1962, Poulenc’s Clarinet Sonata is the second of the series of three woodwind sonatas which he wrote in the last years of his life. Although missing from the first edition of the published score, its inscription is to the memory of his friend Arthur Honegger. The opening ‘Allegro tristamente’ is full of Poulenc’s familiar musical fingerprints, of which the clarinet’s initial gruppetto and the piano’s rhythmic punctuations are typical, as is the quiet and steady pulse of the reiterated octave C in the bass, above which the clarinet’s melodic line soon emerges. The second phrase has a contrasted dotted inflection. Their juxtapositions and alternations propel the movement gently forward. There is a brief backward glance at the opening page before a section marked ‘Très calme’ in which the clarinet’s rocking ostinato heralds the return of previously heard material and a hushed ending.

The clarinet begins the central Romanza with a four-note motif and short accompanied recitative before first suggesting and then settling down to its main melody, marked ‘Très doux et mélancholique’, in the placid G minor to which several changes of tonal perspective eventually return. Nostalgic sentiments play no part in the animation of the final Allegro which begins and ends in a riotous C major.

from notes by Felix Aprahamian © 1999

Other albums featuring this work
'Fantasía' (CKD280)
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD280  Download only  

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