Poulenc: Complete Chamber Music

Poulenc: Complete Chamber Music
Composer Francis Poulenc
Artist Matteo Fossi piano
Marco Gaggini piano
Federica Ferrati piano
Duccio Ceccanti violin
Vittorio Ceccanti cello
Domenico Orlando oboe
Andrea Zucco bassoon
Claudia Bucchini flute
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 95351
EAN code 5028421953519
Release November 2017

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About this release

There are 20 separate works on this, the most complete set yet released of Poulenc’s chamber music. No single movement is more than a few minutes long and yet the sequence adds up to an absorbing narrative which takes us from the 20-year-old enfant terrible of 1920s Paris to the penultimate year of his life, with three masterfully written, unusually reflective wind sonatas. Like his older friend Satie, progenitor of Les Six, Poulenc tended to write music in short, repeated fragments. Unlike Satie, however, the younger man could and would switch moods – from clownish humour to lugubrious melancholy – at the drop of a hat.

Like his other compositional mentor Stravinsky, he composed at the piano, and his own fluency as a performer is evident from the piano parts of the many sonatas and trios in this collection. He much preferred wind instruments to solo strings, for their more personable qualities, though it helped that he had a wide circle of friends for whom to write such works.

Matteo Fossi is the animating spirit behind this comprehensive set. He also has a duet partnership with Marco Gaggini, which has made successful recordings of other 20th-century music for Brilliant Classics, including Bartók (BC94737) and arrangements of Schoenberg’s chamber symphonies (BC94957): ‘a very successful release,’ remarked MusicWeb of the Schoenberg CD. According to Gramophone’s review of the Bartók, ‘Matteo Fossi and Marco Gaggini play like a dream.’

With only one, full-price rival in the current catalogue, this new recording will make an attractive, indeed essential acquisition for all lovers of chamber music, of Poulenc’s ever-renewed idiom, of music that smiles, laughs and sympathises with your moods like a good friend.

The complete chamber music by Poulenc on 3 CDs!
Francis Poulenc is one of the most remarkable French composers of the 20th century. Inspired by many (Debussy, Satie, his fellow composers of the “Groupe des Six”) he found his essential own voice, an unique blend of French gaiety and a deep, serious and sometimes melancholic feeling.
These new recordings present Poulenc’s complete chamber music, written for a wide variety of instruments: violin, viola, cello, double-bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, horn, bassoon, English horn and piano: a multi-coloured palette of sonorities, characters and emotions.
Italian pianist Matteo Fossi gathered an excellent line-up of instrumentalists/friends for this huge enterprise, and the result is a sheer delight, the feeling of a “labour of love” permeates every single performance, leaving the listener marveling about the originality and emotional impact of the music.
The booklet contains excellent liner notes written by a musicologist.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Capriccio d’après le “bal masqué”, FP 155
  2. L’Embarquement pour Cythère in E-Flat Major, FP 150
  3. Elégie, FP 175
  4. Sonata for Piano Four Hands, FP 8: I. Prélude
  5. Sonata for Piano Four Hands, FP 8: II. Rustique
  6. Sonata for Piano Four Hands, FP 8: III. Final
  7. Sonata for 2 Pianos, FP 156: I. Prologue
  8. Sonata for 2 Pianos, FP 156: II. Allegro molto
  9. Sonata for 2 Pianos, FP 156: III. Andante lyrico
  10. Sonata for 2 Pianos, FP 156: IV. Epilogue
  11. Violin Sonata, FP 119: I. Allegro con fuoco
  12. Violin Sonata, FP 119: II. Intermezzo
  13. Violin Sonata, FP 119: III. Presto tragico
  14. Le bal masque, FP 60

Disk 2

  1. Cello Sonata, FP 143: I. Allegro
  2. Cello Sonata, FP 143: II. Cavatine
  3. Cello Sonata, FP 143: III. Ballabile
  4. Cello Sonata, FP 143: IV. Finale
  5. Suite française, d’après Claude Gervaise, FP 80: I. Bransle de Bourgogne
  6. Suite française, d’après Claude Gervaise, FP 80: II. Pavane
  7. Suite française, d’après Claude Gervaise, FP 80: III. Petite marche militaire
  8. Suite française, d’après Claude Gervaise, FP 80: IV. Complainte
  9. Suite française, d’après Claude Gervaise, FP 80: V. Bransle de Champagne
  10. Suite française, d’après Claude Gervaise, FP 80: VI. Sicilienne
  11. Suite française, d’après Claude Gervaise, FP 80: VII. Carillon
  12. Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, FP 43: I. Presto
  13. Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, FP 43: II. Andante
  14. Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, FP 43: III. Rondo
  15. Sextet, FP 100: I. Allegro vivace
  16. Sextet, FP 100: II. Divertissement
  17. Sextet, FP 100: III. Prestissimo

Disk 3

  1. Flute Sonata, FP 164: I. Allegro malincolico
  2. Flute Sonata, FP 164: II. Cantilena
  3. Flute Sonata, FP 164: III. Presto giocoso
  4. Villanelle, FP 74
  5. Oboe Sonata, FP 185: I. Elégie
  6. Oboe Sonata, FP 185: II. Scherzo
  7. Oboe Sonata, FP 185: III. Déploration
  8. Clarinet Sonata, FP 184: I. Allegro tristamente
  9. Clarinet Sonata, FP 184: II. Romanza
  10. Clarinet Sonata, FP 184: III. Allegro con fuoco
  11. Elégie, FP 168
  12. Sonata for Two Clarinets, FP 7: I. Presto
  13. Sonata for Two Clarinets, FP 7: II. Andante
  14. Sonata for Two Clarinets, FP 7: III. Vif
  15. Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon in D Major, FP 32: I. Allegro
  16. Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon in D Major, FP 32: II. Romance
  17. Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon in D Major, FP 32: III. Finale
  18. Sonata for Horn, Trumpet and Trombone, FP 33: I. Allegro moderato
  19. Sonata for Horn, Trumpet and Trombone, FP 33: II. Andante
  20. Sonata for Horn, Trumpet and Trombone, FP 33: III. Rondeau
  21. Mouvements perpétuels, FP 14: I. Assez modéré
  22. Mouvements perpétuels, FP 14: II. Très modéré
  23. Mouvements perpétuels, FP 14: III. Alerte