Composer: Francis Poulenc (b. 1899 - d. 1963)
Performance date: 06/07/2012
Venue: St. Brendan’s Church
Composition Year: 1957
Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation: 2vn, va, vc
Hervé Joulain -
Paavali Jumpannen - [piano]
This short but moving Elégie was written for the great horn player, Denis Brain, who was killed in a car accident. Poulenc knew Brain through his long friendship with Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten. This tragic and austere work is haunted by the omnipresence of violent and premature death amongst Poulenc’s circle of friends. The work’s main section is preceded by an introduction that sets out the twin reactions of acceptance and fury. The Elégie itself then unfolds, an almost unbroken melody arching over the funereal tread of the accompaniment. A final outburst from the horn and a quiet close make up the last farewell.
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