Hyperion Records

Where would Poulenc have been without his melancholic streak? It’s that juxtaposition of emotions that makes this composer once dubbed ‘half man, half thug’ so endlessly fascinating. And we find both aspects of his character rubbing shoulders here. Mélancolie opens with a wistful melody, almost Chopinesque in tone, set against a rippling backdrop; the whole effect is unashamedly nostalgic and gives little hint of the emotional rollercoaster to come. And as so often with Poulenc it is the moments where he’s smiling, where the harmonies and key flirt with the major, that he tugs at your heartstrings most profoundly. It’s perhaps not surprising to learn that Mélancolie was completed in 1940, in war-torn France.

from notes by Harriet Smith © 2012

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67890 track 10
Recording date
24 May 2011
Recording venue
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Stephen Hough's French Album (CDA67890)
    Disc 1 Track 10
    Release date: September 2012
  2. Hyperion monthly sampler – September 2012 (HYP201209)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: September 2012
    Download-only monthly sampler
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