Poulenc: Works for Piano Solo and Duo

Poulenc: Works for Piano Solo and Duo

by Lucille Chung


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Poulenc: Works for Piano Solo and Duo

The "Improvisations" and "Novelettes" recorded here look like sets, but both groups were composed over long stretches of time; the "Improvisations" span more than 25 years. This goes to show the remarkable consistency of Poulenc's oeuvre, which showed a few thematic shifts (for example, in the direction of religious music), but generally tended to deepen rather than change direction. The "Improvisations" are a virtual catalog of the composer's relationship with the musical past; many of these little pieces, not just the ones designated as homages, are in the style of some other composer (or, in the melancholy "Improvisation No. 15 in C minor," a singer, Edith Piaf). Sample the "Schubert homage," where Poulenc's humor keeps poking its head around the corner. Even the larger works are almost miniatures; the three movements of the "Sonata for Four Hands" last less than six minutes. Others have recorded these intimate works, but pianist Lucille Chung perhaps captures their dimensions best. She is elegant, suave, and attuned to subtle wit, and one gets the feeling Poulenc would have loved her performances. In the four-hand pieces she is joined by her husband, Alessio Bax, and here the sympathetic vibrations are uncommonly strong. Signum does its part with fine Britten Studio sound, and the result is an extremely satisfying Poulenc recording in the small scale, which is the scale at which he works best.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/10/2016
Label: Signum Uk
UPC: 0635212045527
catalogNumber: 455
Rank: 169185


  1. Improvisations (15) for piano, FP 63, 113, 170, 176

    1. No. 1 in B minor  (01:35)
    2. No. 2 in A-Flat Major  (01:36)
    3. No. 3 in B minor  (01:36)
    4. No. 4 in A-Flat Major  (01:30)
    5. No. 5 in A Minor  (01:44)
    6. No. 6 in B-Flat Major  (01:34)
    7. No. 7 in C Major  (02:44)
    8. No. 8 in A Minor  (01:35)
    9. No. 9 in D Major  (01:29)
    10. No. 10 in F Major, "Eloge des gammes"  (02:11)
    11. No. 11 in G Minor  (00:51)
    12. No. 12 in E-Flat Major, "Hommage à Schubert"  (02:10)
    13. No. 13 in A Minor  (02:23)
    14. No. 14 in D-Flat Major  (01:28)
    15. No. 15 in C Minor, "Hommage à Edith Piaf"  (03:22)
  2. Novelettes (3) for piano, FP 47 & 173

    1. Novelette in C Major  (02:42)
    2. Novelette in B-Flat Minor  (02:01)
    3. Novelette sur un thème de Manuel de Falla  (02:40)
  3. Sonata for piano, 4 hands, FP 8

    1. I. Prelude  (02:01)
    2. II. Rustique  (01:47)
    3. III. Final  (01:57)
  4. L'embarquement pour Cythère, valse-musette for 2 pianos (from film, Le voyage en Amérique), FP 150  (02:16)
  5. Concerto for 2 pianos & orchestra in D minor, FP 61

    1. I. Allegro ma non troppo  (07:30)
    2. II. Larghetto  (05:23)
    3. III. Finale  (05:55)

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