Pascal Rogé

Poulenc: Piano Works

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Dry. Very, very dry. The wit in the piano music of Francis Poulenc is so lightly ironic and so slightly sarcastic that it is fairly etiolated and frankly eviscerated. Because if Pascal Rogé, the suave and sensitive French virtuoso, cannot breathe life into Poulenc's piano music in this recording from 1986, who can? Rogé has turned in full-throated Debussy discs and full-blooded Ravel recordings and his performances have been models of how to be a passionate pianist and still be French at the same time. And yet even Rogé is defeated by the indefatigably dry Poulenc. Les Soirees de Nazelles are nonsensical. The Novelettes are too long. The Pastourelle from L'eventail de Jeanne is too hard. The Mouvements perpetuels never get going. The Valse limps. The Improvisations evaporate. And the closing Trois pieces, the ne plus ultra of Poulenc's pianistic art, is, even in Rogé's magnificent and monumental performance, as dry and dusty as Ozymandios. Decca's early digital sound was as good as early digital sound ever got, which is to say, kind of clear and sort of warm.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Les soirées de Nazelles, for piano, FP 84
1
3:20
2
1:07
3
2:30
4
1:15
5
1:55
6
2:18
7
1:07
8
2:38
9
1:20
10
1:37
11
3:55
Novelettes (2) for piano, FP 47
12
2:33
13
1:50
14
2:24
15
2:09
Trois mouvements perpétuels, for piano, FP 14
16
1:17
17
1:22
18
2:47
19
1:50
20
1:30
21
1:28
22
1:27
23
1:25
24
2:17
25
1:31
26
2:04
27
2:25
28
3:05
Trois pièces, for piano, FP 48
29
3:21
30
4:24
31
2:07
blue highlight denotes track pick