You can hear right away why Francis Poulenc was Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy's favorite living composer. The elegantly light touch, the delicately ironic affection, the subtly affecting coolness: Poulenc was what she would have been had she been a melody and not the wife of an unfaithful husband who was also the President of the United States. In this brightly sparkling disc by pianists Frank Braley and Eric le Sage, with conductor Stéphane Denève directing the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège of the Concerto pour deux pianos et orchestre, the Concerto pour piano et orchestra, and the Aubade pour piano et orchestra, one hears the sophisticated charm, the insouciant wit, the unexpected intimacy, and the ineffable warmth of Poulenc's music at its most dryly moving. The sound RCA and at least five corporate partners have wrapped the performances in is clear, soft, and round. A strangely touching tribute to a marvelous composer.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Concerto for 2 pianos & orchestra in D minor, FP 61|
|Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, FP 146|
|Aubade, choreographic concerto for piano & 18 instruments, FP 51|