POULENC

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» Instrumental
» May 2016

POULENC

Works for Piano Solo and Duo

 Alessio Bax
 Lucille Chung

Poulenc was a skilled pianist, cultivating a style of playing characterised by colorfulness and clarity, possessing an ear for melody that distinguished him as France’s finest song composer since Fauré. 

Canadian pianist Lucille Chung – acclaimed for her “stylish and refined performances” by Gramophone magazine, “combining vigor and suppleness with natural eloquence and elegance” – appears as a soloist on this new recording, performing Poulenc’s Improvisations and Novelettes before being joined by her duo partner (and husband) Alessio Bax for L’embarquement pour Cythere, the Sonata for Four Hands and Concerto for Two Pianos. 
 



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What people are saying

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ "Lucille Chung proves a fantastic Poulenc advocate...Alessio Bax, Chung's husband, joins her in the remaining works - and the result is a marriage of shared executive excellence in the cheeky Sonata for Four Hands and optimistic L'embarquement pour Cythere. In the composer's two-piano reduction of the Concerto for Two Pianos Chung and Bax tackle a sizeable work with aplomb, ferociously attaching the outer movements and achieving a delicious romance in the glorious central one. This is a release to savour.

 

Classical Ear, August 2016

 

 

"This is an interesting combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar. The Novelettes are quite well known, the 15 Improvisations, not so. For me the most attractive piece here is Poulenc’s own arrangement for two pianos of his Concerto for two pianos. The slow movement alone is worth the price of this exceptional disc." Classic FM

"A very special disc indeed...Chung is fluent in the solos and fiery in the duos." - MusicWeb International, June 2016

"Percussive enough, but not too much...it's got delicacy too - those little pinpoint trills were beautifully done. The tension between the percussiveness and the delicacy...they do it terrifically well." - BBC Radio 3 Record Review, June 2016 

"Thanks to Chung and Bax for bringing this small-scale version of a wonderful concerto to us." Music Web International, August 2016

Lucille Chung

with Alessio Bax

 

Release date: 6th Apr 2016
Order code: SIGCD455
Barcode: 635212045527

1.15 Improvisations, FP 63: No. 1 in B minorFrancis Poulenc1.35
2.15 Improvisations, FP 63: No. 2 in A-Flat MajorFrancis Poulenc1.37
3.15 Improvisations, FP 63: No. 3 in B minorFrancis Poulenc1.36
4.15 Improvisations, FP 63: No. 4 in A-Flat MajorFrancis Poulenc1.30
5.15 Improvisations, FP 63: No. 5 in A MinorFrancis Poulenc1.45
6.15 Improvisations, FP 63: No. 6 in B-Flat MajorFrancis Poulenc1.35
7.15 Improvisations, FP 63: No. 7 in C MajorFrancis Poulenc2.44
8.15 Improvisations, FP 63: No. 8 in A MinorFrancis Poulenc1.36
9.15 Improvisations, FP 63: No. 9 in D MajorFrancis Poulenc1.29
10.15 Improvisations, FP 63: No. 10 in F Major, "Eloge des gammes"Francis Poulenc2.11
11.15 Improvisations, FP 113: No. 11 in G MinorFrancis Poulenc0.51
12.15 Improvisations, FP 113: No. 12 in E-Flat Major, "Hommage à Schubert"Francis Poulenc2.10
13.15 Improvisations, FP 170: No. 13 in A MinorFrancis Poulenc2.23
14.15 Improvisations, FP 170: No. 14 in D-Flat MajorFrancis Poulenc1.28
15.15 Improvisations, FP 176: No. 15 in C Minor, "Hommage à Edith Piaf"Francis Poulenc3.23
16.Three Novelettes, FP 47: Novelette in C MajorFrancis Poulenc2.43
17.Three Novelettes, FP 47: Novelette in B-Flat MinorFrancis Poulenc2.01
18.Three Novelettes, FP 173: Novelette sur un thème de Manuel de FallaFrancis Poulenc2.40
19.Sonata for Four Hands, FP 8: I. PreludeFrancis Poulenc2.01
20.Sonata for Four Hands, FP 8: II. RustiqueFrancis Poulenc1.48
21.Sonata for Four Hands, FP 8: III. FinalFrancis Poulenc1.58
22.L'embarquement pour Cythère FP 150Francis Poulenc2.16
23.Concerto in D Minor for Two Pianos, FP 61: I. Allegro ma non troppoFrancis Poulenc7.31
24.Concerto in D Minor for Two Pianos, FP 61: II. LarghettoFrancis Poulenc5.24
25.Concerto in D Minor for Two Pianos, FP 61: III. FinaleFrancis Poulenc5.55

Another Signum issue well worthy of your attention features the husband and wife duo Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung.  Here, for the first time on disc, she takes the lead, playing some of Poulenc’s solo piano music, and is then joined by her husband for some piano duet, and two piano pieces. The 50th anniversary of Poulenc’s death in 2013 passed almost without notice, which is sad, because Poulenc is one of the most captivating composers, with, as Stravinsky once said, “The greatest melodic gift of any 20th century composer. This is an interesting combination of the familiar and the unfamiliar.  The Novelettes are quite well known, the 15 Improvisations, not so.  For me the most attractive piece here is Poulenc’s own arrangement for two pianos of his Concerto for two pianos.  The slow movement alone is worth the price of this exceptional disc.

Classic FM, David Mellor