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Poulenc: Gloria, Stabat Mater / Tortelier, Watson, et al

Album Summary

>Poulenc, Francis : Gloria in G major
>Poulenc, Francis : Stabat Mater, for soprano, chorus & orchestra, FP 148
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
We are immediately struck, at the start of the Gloria, by the radiantly warm but clean orchestral sonority: only later does an uneasy suspicion arise that, apparently seduced by the sound, the recording engineers may be favouring it at the expense of the chorus, especially at orchestral fortes. But it's committed and thoroughly secure choral singing, perhaps most easily appreciated in some of the unaccompanied passages - tender in the almost mystic 'O quam tristis' and firmtoned at 'Fac ut ardeat' (both in the Stabatmater); it gives real attack at 'Quis est homo' (just holding its own against the orchestra); the sopranos can produce a bright, ringing tone; and only the very first line of the Stabat mater, lying low in the basses, needed to be a bit stronger (as in most performances). Janice Watson is a sweet-voiced soloist with very pure intonation; but she could with advantage have strengthened her consonants throughout.

Tortelier gives intensely felt readings of both works - the murmurous ending of the Stabatmater and the thrilling fortissimo chords at 'Quoniam' in the Gloria spring to mind - and fortunately he keeps the vocal 'Domine Deus' entry moving at the same pace as at its introduction. He takes the Stravinskian 'Laudamus te' fast and lightly; the only questionable speed is of 'Quae moerebat', which sounds too cheerful for the words ('mourning and lamenting'). These are performances of undoubted quality.



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Works Details

>Poulenc, Francis : Gloria in G major
  • Performer: Janice Watson (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Yan Tortelier
  • Ensemble: BBC Singers
  • Notes: Concert Hall of New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (10/26/1994/10/27/1994)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1959-1960

>Poulenc, Francis : Stabat Mater, for soprano, chorus & orchestra, FP 148
  • Performer: Janice Watson (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Yan Tortelier
  • Ensemble: BBC Singers
  • Notes: Concert Hall of New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England (10/26/1994/10/27/1994)
  • Running Time: 31 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950-1951