Français

Recordings

A selection of CDs from the very wide range of recordings of Poulenc's music currently available. The links to Amazon and Fnac not only allow you to buy the discs of course, but also let you surf the web in search of other recordings of Poulenc.

CD available on

Complete Works
Box 20 CD
EMI Classics

Poulenc's complete works are gathered in this Special Anniversary Edition . It is served by historical performers such as Georges Prêtre (orchestral music), Pierre Dervaux (Dialogues), Gabriel Tacchino (piano works), Pierre Bernac (songs) and Denise Duval.
Photographs in the 140 pages notice are wonderful.

CD available on

Concertos, Orchestral and Choral works (5CD Box set) by Charles Dutoit
DECCA

This is a very fine 5CD box set, mid-price, which brings together the best of Poulenc (Gloria, Stabat Mater, Concertos, etc), performed by first-class artists including Pascal Rogé, François le Roux and the Orchestre National de France.

CD available on

Concertos, Religious Works
VIRGIN

A beautiful British box set comprising the Concertos and choral works, both unaccompanied and with orchestra. The choir, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen are impeccably precise. Budget price.

CD available on

Dialogues des Carmélites

Derveaux - Duval - Crespin

EMI Classics

The historic standard version of Dialogues des Carmélites. Everybody is there: Denise Duval, Régine Crespin, Rita Gorr, with Dervaux directing (uniquely dark and powerful). The mono recording shows its age slightly, but what atmosphere, what emotion!

CD available on

Dialogues des Carmélites
Lott -Crespin
INA, 1980

Crespin who created the role of the new Mother Superior in 1957, excels as the first Prioress in this 1980 recording, without doubt one of the most beautiful in all the discography. Lott is an ideal “spotless” Blanche.

CD available on

Dialogues des Carmélites
Nagano
VIRGIN, 1994

Definitely the finest recording, in digital quality, of this work. With Catherine Dubosc as Blanche, Rita Gorr as First Prioress, and Kent Nagano (detailed and very precise) directing the orchestra of the Opéra de Lyon.

CD available on

La Voix Humaine
Denise Duval - Georges Prêtre
EMI Classics

The original benchmark recording of the work with the performers who created it. The DVD release of the film version by Dominique Delouche is planned for 2009. That might be a better buy, allowing you to see the outstanding action and the unrivalled presence of Denise Duval, so beloved of Poulenc.

CD available on

La Voix Humaine
Jane Rhodes
INA, 1976

A splendid live recording which was languishing on the shelves of the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel and which has now fortunately been reissued. Jane Rhodes offers a haunted version of La Voix Humaine, a far cry from the introspection of Denise Duval.

CD available on

Complete Chamber Music
RCA, 1998

A perfect complete works, meticulous, with first-rate performers (Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, Michel Portal, François Leleux, accompanied by Eric le Sage) who raise this genre, where woodwind is so often favoured by the composer, to new heights.

CD available on

Complete Chamber Music
NAXOS, 2007

A marvellous complete works (5CD) budget price, with artistic direction by the pianist Alexandre Tharaud, also featuring among other pieces Le Bal Masqué, l'Histoire de Babar, L'invitation au château et Léocadia.

CD available on

Intégrale musique de chambre pour vents
Indésens, 2010

A great release. Pianists Claire Désert and Emmanuel Strosser accompany the young and talented soloists of the Orchestre de Paris

CD available on

Poulenc - Fournier
Sonata for 'cello and piano
La RAI, 1953

This release was acclaimed at our annual meeting in 2007: a varied album with Schumann, Debussy, Stravinsky. Pierre Fournier was a good friend of Poulenc who accompanies him at the piano here. Wonderful sonority from the duo!

CD available on

Concerto for two pianos - Concerto for piano
Braley -Le Sage
RCA, 2004

Spirited yet controlled from start to finish, this major recording stands out in the canon of recordings of the double concerto.

CD available on

Concert champêtre, Concerto for two pianos, Concerto for organ
EMI Classics

The concertos played by Poulenc, Février and Duruflé. A historic benchmark. We also recommend the DVD of the Concerto for 2 pianos (see Videos).

CD available on

Concert Champêtre - Concerto pour deux pianos
Jos Van Immerseel, 2011

Jos Van Immerseel and Anima Eterna revisit these two works. Recorded on pianos dated 1896 and 1905, the harpsichord being a copy of a 1749 model. Definitely refreshing.

CD available on

Gloria - Stabat Mater
Georges Prêtre - Barbara Hendricks
EMI Classics

Georges Prêtre had already performed these sacred works in Poulenc's lifetime. Here, the soloist is the soprano Barbara Hendricks, whose crystal-clear voice matches perfectly the spirit of the works.

CD available on

Gloria - Stabat mater
Seiji Ozawa - Kathleen Battle
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON, 1989

A brilliant and well-balanced performance of the Gloria and the Stabat Mater with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

CD available on

Gloria - Les Biches
S. Denève - M. Petersen
Stuttgart SWR Orchestra, 2013

Ten years after his recording of the concertos with the Orchestre de Liège, Stéphane Denève starts his term at the helm of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra with Poulenc. A very attractive Stabat and an exquisite reading of Les Biches, the finest in this discography.

CD available on

Les inédits du cinquantenaire
INA Mémoire Vive, 2013

A pot-pourri of unpublished material, performances and broadcast rarities, well-chosen by Renaud Machart. Some of the recordings, for example the Strasbourg performance of the Stabat, are more interesting for their documentary value than as outstanding recordings. On the other hand, one can delight in hearing La Dame de Monte Carlo by Denise Duval, the Flute Sonata with Jean Pierre Rampal or the short extract from Les Dialogues in Italian [!] with Rosana Carteri and, at the piano, Poulenc himself.

CD available on

Figure humaine
Equilbey - Accentus
VALOIS, 2001

Equilbey and his choir Accentus are excellent in Poulenc. Figure Humaine is an extremely difficult piece which truly demands an ensemble of this calibre.

CD available on

Sacred Works
Equilbey - Accentus
ACCORD, 2001

A perfect complement to the CD of Figure Humaine, again by Accentus.

CD available on

Complete Piano Works (5 CD)
Pascal Rogé
DECCA, 2011

All Poulenc's solo piano pieces played by a real lover of his music, who excels by his marvellous touch and quintessentially French sound.

CD available on

Complete Piano Works (5CD)
Gabriel Tacchino
EMI Classics

Gabriel Tacchino, vice-président of our association, is in some measure the great « disciple » of Francis Poulenc. He was thus the first to record the complete piano works with this benchmark recording which can be listened to over and over again. Pascal Rogé, Eric le Sage and Alexandre Tharaud follow in his footsteps.

CD available on

Works for 2 pianos
Duo Benzakoum
INTEGRAL CLASSIC, 2003

An authoritative account of the works for two pianos.

CD available on

The Essentials (3CD)
Pierre Bernac
TESTAMENT

If you want to go back to the original...nothing matches this historic 3CD box set.

CD available on

Mélodies
Gérard Souzay
EMI Classics

You must experience the warmth of tone and expressiveness of the baritone Gérard Souzay, who was the outstanding interpreter of Poulenc's Mélodies, following the Bernac years.

CD available on

Mélodies
Felicity Lott - François Le Roux
DECCA, 2007

Reissued in 2007 as a mid-price box set, this near-complete collection is ideal for discovering or getting to know better the world of Francis Poulenc's Mélodies, sung here by two superb artists, François le Roux and Felicity Lott, accompanied by Pascal Rogé.

CD available on

Hommage à Francis Poulenc
Felicity Lott - Graham Johnson
FORLANE, 1994

The most beautiful music performed by the most Francophile performers? Felicity Lott and Graham Johnson are two long-time lovers of Poulenc. This disc is a superb tribute to both their talents.

CD available on

Intégrale des mélodies
Olivier Godin (piano)
François le Roux, Marc Boucher, Julie Fuchs, Hélène Guilmette, Julie Boulianne, Pascale Beaudin
ATMA, 2013

The first complete set of the Mélodies with exclusively French artists, this magnificent collaboration has the advantage of excellent voices carefully  matched to the songs, and very accomplished piano accompaniments.

CD available on

Intégrale des mélodies
Graham Johnson (piano)
Hypérion, 2013

That great  accompanist and Poulenc specialist, Graham Johnson, [who, as always, has written outstanding background notes for the CD booklet] has gathered around him 14 mainly British singers to pay tribute to this quintessentially French repertoire. A bonus among the song-cycles is a BBC recording from 1977 of The story of Babar the Little Elephant, narrated by Pierre Bernac, to whose memory the CD set is dedicated. A favourite of ours!

CD available on

Histoire de Babar
Jeanne Moreau – Jean Marc Luisada
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON, 1994

Jeanne Moreau's beautiful deep, cracked voice narrating this touching story, why not?

CD available on

L'Histoire de Babar
Laurence Ferrari
VIRGIN CLASSICS, 2012

A lovely,lively performance of The Story of Babar, by Laurence Ferrari, a popular French TV presenter. Children will love it!

 

Francis Poulenc
Francis Poulencfrench musician 1899-1963

^