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Francis Poulenc: Music for Piano (1918-1959) / Aleck Karis, piano

Album Summary

>Poulenc, Francis : Le bal masqué, for baritone (or mezzo-soprano) & chamber ensemble, FP 60
>Poulenc, Francis : Thème varié, for piano, FP 151
>Poulenc, Francis : Trois mouvements perpétuels, for piano, FP 14
>Poulenc, Francis : Valse-improvisation sur le nom de Bach, for piano (for collab. work, Hommage à Bach), FP 62
>Poulenc, Francis : Improvisation for Piano no 15 in C minor, FP 176 "Hommage à Edith Piaf"
>Poulenc, Francis : Badinage, for piano, FP 73
>Poulenc, Francis : Mélancolie, for piano, FP 105
>Poulenc, Francis : Trois pièces, for piano, FP 48
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Francis Poulenc, praised by Arnold Schoenberg as a great lyric voice, is one of the most frequently performed and widely admired 20th century composers. The pieces chosen for this program are concise, songful and cover a wide range of emotions. They also span most of Poulenc's career, from the Trois Mouvements Perpétuels written at age 19 to the final Improvisations, written four years before his death at 64. Aleck Karis has made numerous recordings for Bridge, ranging from Mozart through Feldman, Stravinsky, Cage and Carter. He is a Professor of Piano at the University of California, San Diego.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sommer Center Performance Hall, Concordia College, Bron (12/19/2014-12/21/2014).



Reviews

Played with humor and wit
Aleck Karis delivers some fine performances of Francis Poulenc's piano music with this release. Karis plays with a lightness of tone and just the right amount of emotional restraint to make these works sound absolutely charming.

And Karis pays just as much attention to the program. The works aren't arranged chronologically, but rather in a way that has each work setting up the next in sequence.

The album begins with Poulenc's 1952 Intermède. This sarcastic yet lyrical work sets the tone for the program. It's followed by the Thème Varié, whose elegant, measured theme still seems good-humored rather than completely serious. It's neatly contrasted by the 1918 Trois Mouvements Perpétuels that immediately follow.

Another high point of the album is the Fifteen Improvisations. Composed over a 24-year span, these epigrammatic little pieces I found surprisingly consistent in their style.

Karis' piano is warmly recorded, with a good spacious sound field. And Karis captures Poulenc's good humor and wit throughout the program.
Submitted on 08/19/16 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Poulenc, Francis : Le bal masqué, for baritone (or mezzo-soprano) & chamber ensemble, FP 60
  • Performer: Aleck Karis (Piano)
  • Notes: Sommer Center Performance Hall, Concordia College, Bronxville, New York (12/19/2014-12/21/2014)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1932

>Poulenc, Francis : Thème varié, for piano, FP 151
  • Performer: Aleck Karis (Piano)
  • Notes: Sommer Center Performance Hall, Concordia College, Bronxville, New York (12/19/2014-12/21/2014)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1951

>Poulenc, Francis : Trois mouvements perpétuels, for piano, FP 14
  • Performer: Aleck Karis (Piano)
  • Notes: Sommer Center Performance Hall, Concordia College, Bronxville, New York (12/19/2014-12/21/2014)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1918

>Poulenc, Francis : Valse-improvisation sur le nom de Bach, for piano (for collab. work, Hommage à Bach), FP 62
  • Performer: Aleck Karis (Piano)
  • Notes: Sommer Center Performance Hall, Concordia College, Bronxville, New York (12/19/2014-12/21/2014)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1932

>Poulenc, Francis : Improvisation for Piano no 15 in C minor, FP 176 "Hommage à Edith Piaf"
  • Performer: Aleck Karis (Piano)
  • Notes: Sommer Center Performance Hall, Concordia College, Bronxville, New York (12/19/2014-12/21/2014)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1959

>Poulenc, Francis : Badinage, for piano, FP 73
  • Performer: Aleck Karis (Piano)
  • Notes: Sommer Center Performance Hall, Concordia College, Bronxville, New York (12/19/2014-12/21/2014)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1934

>Poulenc, Francis : Mélancolie, for piano, FP 105
  • Performer: Aleck Karis (Piano)
  • Notes: Sommer Center Performance Hall, Concordia College, Bronxville, New York (12/19/2014-12/21/2014)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1940

>Poulenc, Francis : Trois pièces, for piano, FP 48
  • Performer: Aleck Karis (Piano)
  • Notes: Sommer Center Performance Hall, Concordia College, Bronxville, New York (12/19/2014-12/21/2014)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1928