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Nocturne No 4 in C minor 'Bal fantôme'
1934; dedicated to Julien Green

'Piers Lane goes to town' (CDA67967)
Piers Lane goes to town
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'Stephen Hough's French Album' (CDA67890)
Stephen Hough's French Album
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Track 11 on CDA67890 [1'35]

Nocturne No 4 in C minor 'Bal fantôme'
Poulenc’s fourth Nocturne, with its hint of the seventh of Chopin’s Op 28 Preludes, has a kind of lazy rhetoric but always coloured with the composer’s characteristic piquancy. Among his series of eight nocturnes, it is one of the few that actually fits the title in its traditional sense. Subtitled ‘Bal fantôme’, it is prefaced by a quote from the novel Le visionnaire by the writer Julien Green, a friend of the composer: an invalid, confined to his sick-bed, hears distant strains of a ball and recalls happier times of his youth. The sly semitonal movement gives those distant memories of the waltz a distinctly twentieth-century edge.

from notes by Harriet Smith © 2012

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Details for CDA67890 track 11
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 11
    Release date: September 2012
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