WORKS: Concerto for Two Pianos; Aubade; Sinfonietta
PERFORMER: Jean-Bernard Pommier, Anne Queffélec (piano); City of London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox
CATALOGUE NO: VC 5 45028 2 DDD
Poulenc’s output is notable for juxtaposing the sacred and the profane. Whimsical material appears unabashed in his most heartfelt religious works, whilst the ostensibly light-hearted pieces on this disc are replete with both disquieting moments and passages of poetic tenderness.
This poses a difficult task, with performers needing to negotiate the emotional lurches between banality and the profound with conspicuous effortlessness. Pommier and Queffélec have the spirit of this music in their veins. A greater sense of space would be welcome in the Mozartian slow movement of the Concerto for Two Pianos and the occasional awkwardness threatens to enter the fray, but these are minor quibbles when faced with such enjoyable performances. The City of London Sinfonia is excellent throughout. Christopher Dingle