Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.
The Complete Songs of Francis Poulenc Volume 3
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 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 third release in Signum's that will build to encompass the complete songs of Francis Poulenc - performed by some of the greatest singers of the day and accompanied by the exceptional Malcolm Martineau.
“Martineau's apparently limitless wisdom about the musicians, the music, and indeed the piano continues at full stretch. The uneasy postlude to 'Voyage', frmo Calligrammes, makes for one of his most breathtaking moments, but the level of intensity is there at all levels” BBC Music Magazine, February 2012 *****
“Sarah Fox opens this third volume in Signum's comprehensive series of Poulenc's songs with a bright, tidy and stylish performance of Airs chantes...The contribution throughout this disc from Martineau is outstanding: his voicing of Poulenc's pulsating chords is just one of the features of his playing that makes for absorbing listening. The recording captures both voices and piano with a natural-sounding warmth and clarity.” International Record Review, February 2012
“any slight piano dominance comes from the sheer character of Martineau's playing. This is immediately effective in the opening group of four Airs chantes, sung with engaging character and immediacy by Sarah Fox...With eight outstanding singers and the pianist all on top torm, this is the most attractively inviting of these Poulenc anthologies so far issued.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2012
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.
Sandrine Piau: Aprés un Rêve
Galgenlieder - Mondendinge
Down by the Salley Gardens
There's none to soothe
I wonder as I wander
Amour d’antan, Op. 8 No. 2
Dans la forêt du charme et de l’enchantement, Op. 36 No. 2
Les Heures, Op. 27 No. 1
Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1
Clair de Lune, Op. 46 No. 2
Les berceaux, Op. 23 No. 1
Nachtlied, Op. 71 No. 6
Neue Liebe, Op. 19a No. 4
Hexenlied, Op. 8 No. 8
Schlafloser Augen Leuchte (Byron)
Die Nacht, Op. 10 No. 3
Das Geheimnis, Op. 17 No. 3
Morgen, Op. 27 No. 4
The award-winning pairing of soprano Sandrine Piau and pianist Susan Manoff received unanimous critical acclaim for their previous recital disc Evocation, (V5063). On their new CD Après un rêve they perform a fascinating collection of songs by some of the greatest composers for the voice of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Richard Strauss, Fauré, Mendelssohn, Chausson, Poulenc, Britten and Vincent Bouchot.
After initially making her reputation in Baroque music alongside the likes of William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Christophe Rousset, and René Jacobs, Sandrine Piau now sings a broad repertoire reflected in her large discography. and she has now confirmed her position at the forefront of the new generation of French singers. Her Handel album with Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques (E8928), was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, and in 2007 she released an award-winning recital CD entitled Évocation (V5063), on which she was accompanied by the pianist Susan Manoff. Après un rêve demonstrates once again the strength of her musical relationship with Manoff, with whom she appears regularly at venues like the Carnegie Hall and the Wigmore Hall. Her solo discography for Naïve also includes a programme of Mozart opera arias with the Freiburger Barockorchester (V4932), and two recent bestselling Handel albums, duets with Sara Mingardo directed by Rinaldo Alessandrini (OP30483) and the solo album Between Heaven and Earth with Accademia Bizantina (OP30484).
“Piau brings her limpid tone, refined phrasing and easy, silvery top notes to this eclectic programme, built around the themes of night, dreams and the fantastic...With virtually accent-free English, Piau gives true and touching performances of three Britten folksong arrangements.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2011
“Piau's exquisite voice has a limpid quality all through its range, an evennes of tone which seduces the ear and - art concealing art - she makes her performance sound as easy as breathing...Bouchot's Galgenlieder songs,m with their skewed harmonies, off-centre melodies and dark fairy-tale lyrics, are a fascinating addition to the repertoire too, and Manoff's accompanying is a treat.” Classic FM Magazine, July 2011 ****
“surrender to Piau's gifts as a singer, the purity of her tone, with that light silvery quality that we should associate with the best of the French style, and the effortless, so it seems, spinning of a seamless legato...Everything is grist to her mill, it seems, even Britten's most English songs that she delivers with immaculate diction while sounding completely at home in a second language...this is a sophisticated and a fine artist at work.” International Record Review, July 2011
“This celebration of dreams and childhood is, on the purely sensuous level, an unending delight. Piau's sweet, unforced tone, her bright top notes perfectly integrated with her medium and exemplary diction combine to make this in many ways yet another exmaple of how well Baroque vocal technique translates into the later song repertoire.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2011 ****
“It's a journey whose darkest depths are reached by Vincent Bouchot's use of Morgenstern's Galgenlieder (Gallow Songs), in which are encountered more surreal images – notably the inhabitants of the moon depicted "show[ing] their teeth to the sulphurous hyena" in "Moonthings".” The Independent, 1st July 2011 ***
“there's exquisite playing from Susan Manoff, and no mistaking the beauty of Piau's voice, or her hypnotic way with words. This is singing that sends shivers down your spine.” The Guardian, 7th July 2011 ****
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days. (Available now to download.)
Picasso I La Musica
Voice and Piano for Picasso
Elena Gragera (mezzo-soprano) & Anton Cardó (piano)
This imaginative programme features pieces by composers who were contemporaries of Picasso and includes works by Poulenc, Albéniz, Granados, Stravinsky and Debussy. The first piece is a setting of an Éluard poem called Pablo Picasso by Poulenc.
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
Christine Lajarrige (piano), Michel Piquemal (baritone)
“The first time Michel Piquemal met Pierre Bernac, for whom most of these songs were written, Piquemal recalls that Bernac said: 'I am very moved, because what you're doing is exactly what Francis Poulenc was hoping for. He would have been happy.' Afterwards Piquemal studied both with Bernac and Denise Duval, the two singers who were closest to the composer, so this recital is part of a real, authentic tradition. The greatest challenge for a singer comes in the bestknown songs, for instance Montparnasse and 'C'.
Piquemal doesn't disappoint. He hasn't got the luxurious voice for the lyrical climax of the first, at the words 'Vous êtes en réalité un poète lyrique d'Allemagne / Qui voulez connaître Paris,' but he delivers all the complicated Apollinaire verse in this and the cycle Banalités with a complete understanding of the necessary balance between stressing the irony and maintaining the strict forward-moving musical line.
The one group that wasn't composed for a light baritone is Chansons villageoises, which, although sung and recorded by Bernac, was intended for a Verdi baritone; 'Un tour de chant symphonique' Poulenc called it. Like Bernac, Piquemal doesn't have the opulent vocal quality here that Poulenc was looking for, but instead he has an actor's way with the words that brings personality and humour to a text such as the opening 'Chanson du clair tamis' – très gai et très vite in Poulenc's marking.
All the brilliance of Maurice Fombeure's poetry gains clarity from Piquemal's diction and sense of fun, while the ensuing sadness of 'C'est le joli printemps' and the macabre parable of 'Le mendiant' are sharply contrasted.
If you want to sample this disc, try Bleuet, and the 'sensitive lyricism' that Bernac wrote of. It's one of8 the saddest songs Poulenc composed, with its image of the young soldier, the blue referring to the uniform of the conscript who has seen such terrible things while he's still almost a child. It has to be sung 'intimately', wrote Poulenc; Bernac, however, thought that it should also be 'virile and serious'. The penultimate line in which the boy faces the reality – he knows death better than life – is sung by Piquemal with a natural feel for the simplicity of the poem, never overdoing the emphasis, and never becoming arch.
At Naxos's low price this is a first-rate introduction to Poulenc's songs, but more than that it's an example of the best kind of French singing.
Christine Lajarrige is a sensitive accompanist, for Poulenc always acknowledged that his songs are duets, for voice and piano.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“Michel Piquemal's Poulenc recital on Naxos is a real bargain, and a superb introduction to the composer's melodies. Piquemal gained the confidence of Pierre Bernac early in his career, and Bernac told him that his way with Poulenc's music would have made him happy.” Gramophone Magazine
(also available to download from $6.00)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
The Essential Pierre Bernac
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Poulenc: Un Siècle en France
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
Poulenc - Songs
“Consistently refined and idiomatic performances...Lott is a stylist par excellence and her sympathy for and affinity with the songs of Poulenc is long-standing.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.