Poulenc: Piano Music Vol 1 / Olivier Cazal

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Francis Poulenc was an elegant composer of numerous works for soloists, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and the stage. His style was lighthearted but genuine, simple yet complex. An excellent pianist, Poulenc wrote a vast amount of piano music in long and short forms. This disc, Naxos' first volume of solo piano music featuring French pianist Olivier Cazal, includes a variety of compositions written by Poulenc throughout his lifetime. Meticulously crafted and idiomatic, these works are a pleasure to behold. Poulenc uses standard musical terms for many of his titles (i.e., "nocturne," "suite," "intermezzi," etc.) but they don't apply to his music in the same fashion as Chopin, Bach, or Brahms. In Poulenc's musical sphere, titles are purely suggestive; they provide the structure. For example, his 'Nocturnes,' delicate musings infused with rhythmic twists do not recall Chopin's use of rubato melodic line with repeated accompaniment patterns. This isn't an issue; Poulenc's 'Nocturnes,' with Cazal at the helm, are lyrical and compelling. Also on this disc is 'Promenades,' written for pianist Artur Rubinstein. In ten brief movements, these pieces serve as a surreal, humorous depiction of travel. As with much of Poulenc's music, a chuckle while listening is a familiar response.

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8553929

  • UPC: 730099492928

  • Label: Naxos

  • Composer: Francis Poulenc

  • Performer: Olivier Cazal