POULENC TWO PIANO and FOUR HAND MUSIC
Concerto for Two Pianos
Sonatas for two pianos and for hands




The Poulenc two piano works represent an important part of the two player repertoire, as does his Sonata for piano four hands.

Francis Poulenc was a member of a group of French composers designated as "Les Six" by the famous music critic Henri Collet, with none other than Jean Cocteau as their spokesman and Dadaism as their creed. The other members of the Group were Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger and Germaine Tailleferre.

The Poulenc two piano Concerto is a wonderful piece, tremendous fun to play and exciting to hear. It is in three perfectly constructed movements, melodius, rhythmic, excellent music. We are fortunate to have a recording with Poulenc himself playing with Jacques Février. This recording has undoubtedly served as strong hint, if not a guide, as to how the work should be performed in the opinion of the composer.And a performance by the fabulous Labeque sisters with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic.


Poulenc's Sonata for Two Pianos is an interesting work, more modern in its starkness and at the same time more romantic. There are hints of Rachmaninov, of Prokofiev and of Ravel. The sonorities are at times wondrous, the interplay between pianos among the most satisfying in the repertoire. The Poulenc two piano Sonata is in four movements.

The Sonata for four hands, a short three movement relatively early work, is strongly influenced by Stravinsky and Bartók. In it one hears the almost barbarous rhthms and repetitive melodic lines that might have been born of Petrushka. The final movement is reminiscent of Bartók's folk song based compositional style.

Both Sonatas receive excellent readings from duo pianists Anna von Urbans and Maria Demina who seem to think and feel as one. Also exceptional are the two movements from the Poulenc Two Piano sonata performed by Taimanov & Bruk.


Poulenc is the most important French composer after Ravel and with good reason, his music is beautiful, powerful, and accessible.




Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor (1932)
Francis Poulenc & Jacques Février
Georges Prêtre conducting the Orchestre National de la RTF


i Allegro ma non tropo






ii Larghetto






iii Finale: Allegro Molto







Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor (1932)
Paola Bruni & Pasquale Iannone
unidentified conductor with the Orchestra della Magna Grecia


i Allegro ma non tropo






ii Larghetto






iii Finale: Allegro Molto







Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor (1932)
Joseph Prestamo & Shuju Tang
Reona Ito conducting the Queens College Orchestra


i Allegro ma non tropo







Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor (1932)
Vanesa Ignatova & Katerina Jirickova
Martin Buchta conducting an unidentified Orchestra


i Allegro ma non tropo







Sonata for two pianos
Anna von Urbans & Maria Demina


i Prologue






ii Allegro Molto






iii Andante Lyrico






iv Epilogue







Sonata for two pianos
Duo Vivo
Recorded in 2010


i Prologue






ii Allegro Molto






iii Andante Lyrico






iv Epilogue







Sonata for two pianos
Mark Taimanov & Lyubov Bruk


ii Allegro Molto






iii Andante Lyrico







Sonata for piano four hands
Anna von Urbans & Maria Demina


i Prelude






ii Rustique






iii Finale







Sonata for pianos four hands
Duo Vela


i Prelude - ii Rustique - iii Finale







Sonata for pianos four hands
Danijel Pogarcic & Maria Orlovskaya


i Prelude - ii Rustique - iii Finale




















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and the audiobook version



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