Composer: Francis Poulenc (b. 1899 - d. 1963)
Performance date: 07/07/2012
Venue: Bantry Library
Composition Year: 1926
Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Other: ob, bn, pf
Olga Solovieva -
Peter Whelan - [bassoon]
Ivan Podyomov - [oboe]
has had an uneven press over the years. He was vilified by the post-1945
avant-garde as regressive and many who should have known better described him
as a minor figure, who wrote diverting but insubstantial music. However a
closer look at his oeuvre reveals depths and beauties that perhaps escape the
casual glance. Also his writing is incredibly accomplished and completely
idiomatic for each instrument. Wind players in particular should be grateful
for the substantial body of chamber music that he wrote for them.
I’ve worked on it a lot. It’s in a style new to me yet at the same
time it is very Poulenc. So
wrote the composer in 1924 to one of his friends describing his long labour on
the Trio. It is one of his first pieces to reveal his stylistic diversity – raw
good humour, tenderness and even seriousness are to be found here side by side.
The opening bars contain a deliberate recollection of the French Overture style
then spiced up with astringent harmonies in Stravinsky’s manner. The song-like
elegance of the Andante is followed by the high spirits of the Finale. It was
premiered in May 1926, his earliest plans for the piece went back to 1921.
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