Composing over 150 works for piano and voice over a period of 44 years, the songs of Francis Poulenc remain consistently popular to concert audiences the world over. Varying in their individual style and character in a way that defies generalisation, Poulenc set music to a wide range of different French poetry – both ancient and modern - and from the serious to the surreal. This is the second release in the series of the complete songs of Francis Poulenc, performed by some of the greatest singers of the day and accompanied by the exceptional Malcolm Martineau. Praise for the first disc was extensive.
“These singers have come up with some of the most absorbing recorded experiences of a composer who, for all his unmistakable voice, had an extraordinarily broad range of expression and poetic choices...Jonathan Lemalu has two cameos, embodying solemnity and wry fun...Martineau is the binding presence as he responds to both songs and singers with a transparent understanding of character.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2011 ****
“[Lott's] artistry and feeling for the French language remain as impressive as ever...Best of all perhaps are the two miniature cycles: first Tel jour, telle nuit, nine songs to words by Paul Eluard, beautifully sung by Felicity Lott. The other cycle, Le travail du peintre, fascinatingly gives us Poulenc's reaction to seven painters...Signum again provides excellent notes by Roger Nicholls and full texts and translations.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2011
“[Toreador] is finely sung here by Christopher Maltman and Martineau captures the colours and mischief of the piano part very nicely...[Deux Poèmes de Guillaume Apollinaire] are taken by Robert Murray and the rapid-fire setting of the first song reveals a singer who is able to get around this tricky piece very efficiently...The recordings all have a fine natural balance between voice and piano” International Record Review, September 2011