eighth blackbird with Steven Mackey - PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST LIVE
LUDWIG Pale Blue Dot - PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST LIVE
Spano leads Curtis Chamber Orchestra PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST LIVE
Liederabend PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST LIVE
Curtis On Tour: Recital PREVIOUSLY BROADCAST LIVE
POULENC Sonata for Violin and Piano - 1. Allegro con fuoco
Brendon Elliott, violin
Clara Gerdes, piano
Performed on Saturday, April 11, 2015
Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia
Throughout Francis Poulenc’s musical oeuvre, from solo piano works to large scale operas, it is difficult to miss the composer’s unique stamp of personality. Poulenc was a study in contrasts—wit and satire juxtaposed with melancholic despair, and also with breeziness and joy—sometimes all within a single movement. Yet at no point do the emotional turns feel out of place or inappropriate. He created seemingly effortless transitions that were immaculately thought out and constructed.
The many sides of Poulenc’s personality are effectively laid bare in his numerous duo sonatas. He is well known among wind players for his invaluable contributions to flute, oboe, clarinet, and horn repertoire, and although there are less than half as many commercial recordings of his Sonata for Violin and Piano (1942–3/1949) than similar sonatas by his countrymen Ravel and Debussy, the work is no less important or effective in showcasing both the skills of the composer and the musicians.
Poulenc dedicated the sonata to the memory of poet Federico García Lorca, who was murdered by Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War. The overall dark tone of the work and aggressive outbursts from the violin are juxtaposed with wit and charming melodies, at times evoking the music of his contemporary Igor Stravinsky, but ultimately distinguishable as pure Poulenc.