Hyperion Records

Dernier poème, FP163
First line:
J’ai rêvé tellement fort de toi
December 1956; dedicated to Youki Desnos
author of text

'Poulenc: The Complete Songs' (CDA68021/4)
Poulenc: The Complete Songs
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'Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1' (SIGCD247)
Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 1
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Track 45 on CDA68021/4 CD2 [2'05] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 21 on SIGCD247 [2'05] Download only

Dernier poème, FP163
This is the last poem of Robert Desnos, the poet who ended his life tragically in the concentration camp of Terezín, and is said to have been written on a cigarette paper shortly before his death and smuggled to his wife Youki—to whom Poulenc dedicates the song. The pathos of this story, whether true or not, threatens to overbalance music which is utterly sincere, delicately melancholic rather than tragic, not perhaps equal to the story and the circumstances of the poet’s demise. The setting has the advantage, even if it is not the greatest Poulenc, of the restraint and dignity typical of Desnos. The gentle sequences of the composer’s late style, contemporary with the Sonata for flute and piano, are attractive and touching, but when a Swiss critic said that it was the best thing that the composer had ever done, Poulenc’s response was ‘poor him, poor me’. It is left to the pianist and the four-bar postlude to leave ‘a truly tragic impression’ (Bernac), a dark intimation of violence or catastrophe.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2013

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Details for CDA68021/4 disc 2 track 45
Recording date
11 March 2011
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Poulenc: The Complete Songs (CDA68021/4)
    Disc 2 Track 45
    Release date: October 2013
    4CDs for the price of 3
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