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Piano music of Erik Satie & Francis Poulenc: 'Le Comble de la Distinction' / David Jalbert, piano

Album Summary

>Poulenc, Francis : Les soirées de Nazelles, for piano, FP 84
>Satie, Erik : Gymnopédies (3), for piano (also orchestrated by Debussy)
>Poulenc, Francis : Trois mouvements perpétuels, for piano, FP 14
>Poulenc, Francis : Improvisation for Piano no 15 in C minor, FP 176 "Hommage à Edith Piaf"
>Satie, Erik : Les valses (3) distinguées du précieux dégoûté (3 distinguished waltzes of a disgusted dandy), for p
>Poulenc, Francis : Nocturnes (8) for piano, FP 56
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Works by Francis Poulenc and Erik Satie feature on David Jalbert's fourth solo album for ATMA Classique. The piano music of Poulenc is eclectic, often tongue-in-cheek, witty, even flippant, and unapologetically sentimental. His Improvisations cycle pays homage to Édith Piaf and Franz Schubert. During the 1960s, Satie rose to prominence as a non-conformist - a warrior for musical freedoms and a champion for the abolition of established values. The CBC recently named David Jalbert as one of the 15 all-time best Canadian pianists. "Jalbert dazzles with skill, style and taste... " (Toronto Star)

American Record Guide, March/April 2016
This is titled "Le comble de la distinction" (The Height of the Distinction). The main work is the 11-movement Soirees of Nazelles, one of Poulenc's works that bears resemblance to the piano suites of Ravel and Debussy. Of course the eight Nocturnes owe much to Chopin, so we hear a side of Poulenc here that is not typical. The inclusion of the brief Movements Perpetuels and the Improvisations give us more of what is generally considered idiomatic to Poulenc's style.

Canadian pianist Jalbert, a professor at the University of Ottawa, is new to me. He is a master of touch and finesse and seems to have the perfect temperament for these charming works.

Satie's inclusion on this program is a little bit of a mystery. The music selected here tends to be very simple: a nice melody over a straightforward accompaniment figure. It is certainly distinct from Poulenc. The booklet essay goes to great length to describe the influence Satie had on later French composers, especially "Les Six". We get the well-known Gymnopedies, played on the slow side. The Three Waltzes are only about three minutes total length. They are titled 'Trois valses distinguTes du precie degoutT' and individually titled 'Sa taille', 'Son binocle', and 'Ses jambes'. Another well-known piece, the solo piano version of Satie's song 'Je te veux' brings Edith Piaf to mind. As with his Poulenc, Jalbert seems to be in his element here, drawing every last bit a French flavor out of these works. It would be nice to have a beret on, sitting at a small curbside table drinking cafT au lait when listening to this.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Salle Raoul-Jobin, Palais Montcalm, Québec, (Québec), C (10/2014).



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Works Details

>Poulenc, Francis : Les soirées de Nazelles, for piano, FP 84
  • Performer: David Jalbert (Piano)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1936

>Satie, Erik : Gymnopédies (3), for piano (also orchestrated by Debussy)
  • Performer: David Jalbert (Piano)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1888

>Poulenc, Francis : Trois mouvements perpétuels, for piano, FP 14
  • Performer: David Jalbert (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1918

>Poulenc, Francis : Improvisation for Piano no 15 in C minor, FP 176 "Hommage à Edith Piaf"
  • Performer: David Jalbert (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1959

>Satie, Erik : Les valses (3) distinguées du précieux dégoûté (3 distinguished waltzes of a disgusted dandy), for p
  • Performer: David Jalbert (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 1914

>Poulenc, Francis : Nocturnes (8) for piano, FP 56
  • Performer: David Jalbert (Piano)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1929-1938