Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Poulenc: en su Gloria, con Concertos. rec.2008-1961

Poulenc in vital broadcast performances, including a World Premiere!

If you haven't listened to much Poulenc, these are the mp3's to begin to remedy that with!

Here is a folder containing three live performances of Francis Poulenc's work. The version of Gloria is its 1961 World Premiere, with the composer attending, after having played his concerto there. He obviously had to have been hanging around to hear this, too, as the announcer (included in the sound files) relates to us that he is in the venue. Thanks to Ray for this, it is a great moment of music as well as a relevant historical document.
The Concerto for Two Pianos is given a characteristically mischievous run at the hands of the Labecque Sisters, egged on without remorse by Antonio Pappano who was debuting with the New York Phil that night.
And then the Organ Concerto; it is a wild, weird piece. I find it too complex to describe, other than the admonition that you just cannot play it as background music.

This is music that is fun and bright while never becoming vacant or emotionally uncommitted.  

Tracks 1-3:
Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D minor (composed 1932)

Antonio Pappano, conductor
New York Philharmonic
Katya & Maria Labecque, pianos

Recorded from the WQXR-FM NYC broadcast by Statework
February 19, 2004 


Tracks 4-6:
Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor (composed 1938)

Mariss Jansons, conductor
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Leo van Doeselaar, organ

Recorded from the Philharmonie, Berlin, DE 
September 2008

from fadoze's "FA2008-197" recording of the broadcast


Tracks 7-9:
Gloria (World Premiere; composed 1959) 

Charles Munch, conductor
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Adele Addison, soprano 
Chorus Pro Musica 

Recorded Symphony Hall, Boston MA 
on 21 January 1961 

"Nice sound, discreet remastering by...Ray" 


Play it loud!


Guillermo said...

The folder containing these mp3s was uploaded March 24, 2009 to:

Fabioromano said...

Hi, Guillermo. Many thanks from Italy for the Poulenc post: I was waiting for something from him. Bye

Guillermo said...

Va bene, Fabio, hope you like it!

makropulos said...

Thanks for a truly wonderful post! I know the Munch Gloria (strictly speaking, I think it's the second ever performance, as they also did it the night before) but the Jansons and Pappano things I've not heard - and it's great to have them.

glebowski said...

I hate to be a bore ..but have any readers of your splendid site got any ideas why I cant(I am a UK resident) access your fascinating downloads? Howevever I try to paste the link into my browser ..or Google nothing happens..ie not directed to mediafire.I regularly access other sites downloads.It is particularly galling with your recent Beethoven & Poulenc recordings which are very intriguing.... I would welcome any advice...Thanks

gpdlt2000 said...

Thanks a lot for this fascinating post!

Guillermo said...

@glebowski: Sorry for the frustrations with downloading there. Try this, it's a different hosting link for the Poulenc, and send me an email so I can get the Beethoven to you (will@thestateworkers.com) :

**and if it is too long, here is a shorter redirect:

@all Thank you for sharing your comments, what do you think of the Gloria? It sounds like a Shostakovich-style expose from within, but of the faith and it's trappings instead of the government and it's apparatchiks, I think...

Guillermo said...

I should be clear about that Shosty parallel: I feel that in Shostakovich symphonies he trots out the world he lived in with all it's brutality and ridiculous involutions. He also presents the gorgeous of the everyday workers, their heart, resilience and 'simple gifts'. I hear that in the Gloria, but framed in more ecclesiastic garb, and so that is the inference I follow.

TDF said...

Never heard much Poulenc before. What great music. Thanks for providing the opportunity!

Dodorock said...

Thank you. I like the reference to Shosta!

David Frieze said...

I want to thank you very much for uploading the world premiere of the Poulenc Gloria. I sang with the CpM for many years (although not in the Poulenc - I was only six at the time) and have many friends who sang that concert. The composer was indeed in the hall for the concerts, one of which was almost canceled because of a blizzard. Poulenc served, at least to some extent, as the accompanist for Munch's chorus rehearsal; Alfred Nash Patterson (known as "Bud"), who founded and conducted CpM, recalled that Poulenc's hands were huge and that he could get an enormous sound out of the instrument. Poulenc was accompanied by his good friend Marlene Dietrich, and in fact somewhere in the CpM files is a photograph of Bud Nash Patterson standing with Dietrich and looking very pleased.

Anonymous said...

What a great website. Regrettably I tried to download the Poulenc items, but none of the links worked (including the ones given in the comments). Are there some new alternatives?

Guillermo said...

Harrison, the first mediafire link
-that should do it! I just retried it and it seems OK.

fluteguy said...

This is indeed a valuable posting. However it would be most helpful if you could post further reliable information on the source to verify the authenticity of the recording. Not to say that I doubt that it is authentic but there is no documentation provided.

The Library of Congress does publish a record of this premiere performance. It was recorded live in concert on Jan 21, 1961 in Symphony Hall, Boston. Link to the LOC listing:


There was not a contemporary BSO commercial recording so the only record of the Boston premiere performance is the radio broadcast.

The Poulenc Gloria was commissioned by the Kousevitzsky Foundation for Munch and the Boston Symphony. It was composed in 1959-60. Poulenc was in attendance at the Munch/Boston rehearsals and performance and apparently served as piano accompanist to the chorus in choral rehearsals as well as playing piano in another work on the program.

On Feb 14, 1961 the Paris premiere was performed at Salle Wagran with The French National Radio Television Orchestra, George Pretre, conducting and Rosanna Cartieri, soprano. It was recorded the next day (Feb. 15, 1961) with the same personnel and released on LP as Columbia SAX2445. Again Poulenc was involved in the rehearsals and recording. There is an excellent transfer to digital format of this wonderful recording by Pristine classical here: