Author Topic: Francis Poulenc  (Read 49496 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #260 on: December 16, 2019, 08:13:48 AM »
The fact that it resonates with you, or doesn't, is different from saying it is "weakest" of his chamber works.  That is what I wanted to nail down - you were just using a different phrase for saying that you did not like it as much his other chamber music. 

I agree about the Naxos sets, there are 5, although the 5th is not very interesting to me, what with two versions of Babar the Elephant.

Well, I used the adjective ‘weak' because I don’t think the thematic material is strong nor is it memorable, which is why I suppose I don’t enjoy it as much as his other chamber works. You’d have to ask someone with more knowledge of music theory for a more thorough analysis.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #261 on: December 16, 2019, 08:23:12 AM »
Well, I used the adjective ‘weak' because I don’t think the thematic material is strong nor is it memorable, which is why I suppose I don’t enjoy it as much as his other chamber works. You’d have to ask someone with more knowledge of music theory for a more thorough analysis.

I don't think it is a "weak" work.  I just wondered if you had some objective reason for using that term - which implies some defect in the craft of the composition.  From now on I won't place any emphasis on your choice of words, since what you seem to always be saying is some version of either "I like it" or "I don't like it".

Nothing wrong with that - we are all entitled to our likes and dislikes - but being a composer myself, when someone says a work is "weak" I want to know why they think that. 

No offense intended.   ;)


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #262 on: December 16, 2019, 08:33:28 AM »
I don't think it is a "weak" work.  I just wondered if you had some objective reason for using that term - which implies some defect in the craft of the composition.  From now on I won't place any emphasis on your choice of words, since what you seem to always be saying is some version of either "I like it" or "I don't like it".

Nothing wrong with that - we are all entitled to our likes and dislikes - but being a composer myself, when someone says a work is "weak" I want to know why they think that. 

No offense intended.   ;)

I think the problem here is the terminology, but, to be even more frank, everything we write on this forum that’s an opinion of a work is a variation of ‘I like it’ or ‘I don’t like it’.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #263 on: December 16, 2019, 11:55:18 AM »
... everything we write on this forum that’s an opinion of a work is a variation of ‘I like it’ or ‘I don’t like it’.

I don't want to belabor the point, and this will be my last exchange with you about this, but there are those who can talk about a work beyond "I like it" or "I don't like it."  And I am not talking about trying to capture in words an emotional response to the music (much like what Mandryka posts), or talking about a programmatic association (like what dissily Mordentroge wrote about the Organ Concerto).

One could describe the method of how the composition works, thematic development, points about the specific harmonic language being employed; a discussion of rhythmic attributes, how silence/space is handled.  It doesn't happen often, and I am not saying that I enjoy those kinds of discussions more than others - but it is a something other than saying, "I like it" or 'I don't like it."

Granted, I usually just post about recordings I like ... and don't say much more than that.    ;)   But I would never describe a work as "weak" unless I were going to say why in musical analytical language.

 8)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #264 on: December 16, 2019, 12:01:54 PM »
Getting back to Poulenc...

I have to say how incredible I think this recording is:



I gifted this to Karl Henning (as I knew he’d appreciate it) and I do wish Baudo had conducted more of Poulenc’s music. Litanies à la Vierge Noire, in particular, was surprisingly good under Baudo’s baton.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 12:04:04 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #265 on: December 16, 2019, 04:00:35 PM »
Am I the only person who finds the Concert Champêtre amazing? Poulenc at his quirkiest methinks.

I revisited Les Biches the other day and I was underwhelmed. It's like if Poulenc forced the music to be witty, but without much success IMO. It got tiresome after some minutes.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #266 on: December 16, 2019, 04:21:37 PM »
Am I the only person who finds the Concert Champêtre amazing? Poulenc at his quirkiest methinks.

I revisited Les Biches the other day and I was underwhelmed. It's like if Poulenc forced the music to be witty, but without much success IMO. It got tiresome after some minutes.

I’m not especially fond of Poulenc’s orchestral music, but I do love all of the concerti, including the delectable Concert Champêtre you mentioned. I seem to recall having a fondness for the ballet Les Animaux modèles. I’m more interested in his chamber and choral music, but I have to say I’ve gotten quite a bit into his solo piano music and the mélodies.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #267 on: December 16, 2019, 04:39:47 PM »
Am I the only person who finds the Concert Champêtre amazing? Poulenc at his quirkiest methinks.

I revisited Les Biches the other day and I was underwhelmed. It's like if Poulenc forced the music to be witty, but without much success IMO. It got tiresome after some minutes.

I had an LP back in the 1970s with the Aubade and Les Biches (suite) conducted by Georges Prêtre, and fell in love with both works (I can't find a cover of the LP I had, all I can find are the complete orchestral sets).  I can't relate to your comment about Les Biches, since the work charms me with its melodies and witty orchestration to this day. I have only heard the suite but might listen to the complete ballet just to see what I've been missing.

Poulenc has been a favorite composer of mine since I first heard his music, which was as I said back in the early '70s.

 8)

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #268 on: December 16, 2019, 04:41:58 PM »
I’m not especially fond of Poulenc’s orchestral music, but I do love all of the concerti, including the delectable Concert Champêtre you mentioned. I seem to recall having a fondness for the ballet Les Animaux modèles. I’m more interested in his chamber and choral music, but I have to say I’ve gotten quite a bit into his solo piano music and the mélodies.

Les Animaux modèles contains some fine music indeed. The only piano work I know of his is Trois mouvements perpétuels. Short, memorable, entertaining pieces.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #269 on: December 16, 2019, 04:43:20 PM »
Les Animaux modèles contains some fine music indeed. The only piano work I know of his is Trois mouvements perpétuels. Short, memorable, entertaining pieces.

Give the Nocturnes and Improvisations a listen if you can.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 04:56:00 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #270 on: December 16, 2019, 04:48:04 PM »
I had an LP back in the 1970s with the Aubade and Les Biches (suite) conducted by Georges Prêtre, and fell in love with both works (I can't find a cover of the LP I had, all I can find are the complete orchestral sets).  I can't relate to your comment about Les Biches, since the work charms me with its melodies and witty orchestration to this day. I have only heard the suite but might listen to the complete ballet just to see what I've been missing.

Poulenc has been a favorite composer of mine since I first heard his music, which was as I said back in the early '70s.

 8)

That was my perception about Les Biches that day. It gave me the impression that, if compared with others of his works, the saucy element of the music seemed not very convincing. You might feel something different.
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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #271 on: December 16, 2019, 04:49:19 PM »
Give the Nocturnes and Improvisations at listen if you can.

Duly noted. Thank you!
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #272 on: December 16, 2019, 05:56:25 PM »
My desert island Poulenc recordings:










Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #273 on: December 16, 2019, 06:18:31 PM »
Some nice choices. Do you know any of the other mélodies recordings, San Antone? Like this set for example:



I bought this Hyperion set the other night. Really looking forward to it. I also own most of those EMI recordings, but I was looking for something a bit more modern sounding.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #274 on: December 16, 2019, 06:26:51 PM »
Some nice choices. Do you know any of the other mélodies recordings, San Antone? Like this set for example:



I bought this Hyperion set the other night. Really looking forward to it. I also own most of those EMI recordings, but I was looking for something a bit more modern sounding.

I am a big fan of the Hyperion songs series, but haven't bought/heard the one you posted.  I usually stick with a recording that I've enjoyed for years and not buy others.  Also, of Poulenc's oeuvre, the songs are of lesser interest to me than the other works.

Actually, I don't feel any need to add to those five sets, except in newer recordings of the choral works, especially if there were a newer recording of the Mass in G, which is somewhat under represented.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 06:28:39 PM by San Antone »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #275 on: December 16, 2019, 06:50:12 PM »
I am a big fan of the Hyperion songs series, but haven't bought/heard the one you posted.  I usually stick with a recording that I've enjoyed for years and not buy others.  Also, of Poulenc's oeuvre, the songs are of lesser interest to me than the other works.

Actually, I don't feel any need to add to those five sets, except in newer recordings of the choral works, especially if there were a newer recording of the Mass in G, which is somewhat under represented.

I don’t really understand your comment of how these works are of less interest to you when you posted the EMI set of them as part of your ‘desert island recordings’? That’s like saying you hate cheddar cheese, but you always have a slice of cheddar cheese on your ham biscuit in the morning. Anyway, his mélodies were of less interest to me until I heard Banalités and then I realized just what I’ve been missing. Sublime music.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #276 on: December 16, 2019, 07:08:57 PM »
I don’t really understand your comment of how these works are of less interest to you when you posted the EMI set of them as part of your ‘desert island recordings’? That’s like saying you hate cheddar cheese, but you always have a slice of cheddar cheese on your ham biscuit in the morning. Anyway, his mélodies were of less interest to me until I heard Banalités and then I realized just what I’ve been missing. Sublime music.

You misunderstood me.  I enjoy them, and I especially enjoy that EMI recording of the melodies - but as to the degree that I enjoy them, and the frequency that I listen to the songs compared to the other works, it is less. 

They still make my desert island list, though.  I might check out that Hyperion set, since as I said, I am a fan of their other series, e.g. Schubert, Schumann, and Liszt.

 8)

Offline Madiel

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #277 on: December 17, 2019, 01:34:25 AM »
I don't want to belabor the point, and this will be my last exchange with you about this, but there are those who can talk about a work beyond "I like it" or "I don't like it."  And I am not talking about trying to capture in words an emotional response to the music (much like what Mandryka posts), or talking about a programmatic association (like what dissily Mordentroge wrote about the Organ Concerto).

One could describe the method of how the composition works, thematic development, points about the specific harmonic language being employed; a discussion of rhythmic attributes, how silence/space is handled.  It doesn't happen often, and I am not saying that I enjoy those kinds of discussions more than others - but it is a something other than saying, "I like it" or 'I don't like it."

Granted, I usually just post about recordings I like ... and don't say much more than that.    ;)   But I would never describe a work as "weak" unless I were going to say why in musical analytical language.

 8)

There is practically zero evidence of this kind of analysis on GMG. I agree with Mirror Image. For all intents and purposes, everything here is like or dislike.

And even if anyone frames their views in terms of claims about how a composition works... that's still at heart a like or dislike because there simply is no one correct way for a composition to work. Some of the most famous and greatest pieces of music are famous and considered great precisely because they broke previous notions of how compositions are supposed to work.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #278 on: December 18, 2019, 10:02:35 AM »
Getting back to Poulenc...

I have to say how incredible I think this recording is:



I gifted this to Karl Henning (as I knew he’d appreciate it) and I do wish Baudo had conducted more of Poulenc’s music. Litanies à la Vierge Noire, in particular, was surprisingly good under Baudo’s baton.

Yes, a great work and Serge Baudo was also at his best with his Czech Philharmonic records of Honegger's comnpositions!
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Francis Poulenc
« Reply #279 on: December 18, 2019, 10:52:12 AM »
Yes, a great work and Serge Baudo was also at his best with his Czech Philharmonic records of Honegger's comnpositions!

Yes, indeed. I would say if anyone is interested in Honegger’s symphonic music, then Baudo is difficult beat. I don’t listen to Honegger a whole lot, but there are several works of his that I love (like the 2nd and 3rd symphonies for example). I’m less keen on his chamber music, but his SQs are worth investigating.
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