Poulenc: Complete Chamber Music Vol 2 / Tharaud, Mourja, Etc

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Francis Poulenc reportedly felt uncomfortable writing for piano and strings and had harsh things to say about both the violin and cello sonatas, remarks duly...

Francis Poulenc reportedly felt uncomfortable writing for piano and strings and had harsh things to say about both the violin and cello sonatas, remarks duly parroted by critics and biographers ever since. And yet the fact remains that they are his most ambitious, lengthiest, and emotionally complex chamber works. As so often happens in these circumstances, it's much easier to regurgitate received opinion than it is to actually listen to the music and take it on its own terms.


Alexandre Tharaud, whose superb pianism enlivened Volume I of this ongoing series, plays this music with a freshness, seriousness, and bigness of gesture that reveals its greatness at every point. In the Violin Sonata, he and his partner Graf Mourja really do make the finale a "Presto tragico" rather than a series of cartoon episodes. Similarly, the four-movement Cello Sonata, Poulenc's largest chamber work, is so strongly projected and sensitively balanced that the composer's reservations simply vanish. The Clarinet Sonata, of course, is "classic" Poulenc: Tharaud and Ronald Van Spaendonck have a ball both with its suavity and its caustic wit. When Poulenc writes "très rude" over the solo part, that's exactly what we get. The recording is extremely vivid: close up, in your face, and a bit dry--ideal for this music. Bring on Volume 3! [4/30/2000]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com


Product Description:


  • Release Date: May 01, 2000


  • UPC: 730099461221


  • Catalog Number: 8553612


  • Label: Naxos


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Composer: Francis Poulenc


  • Performer: Alexandre Tharaud, Françoise Groben, Graf Mourja, Ronald van Spaendonck