Friday, November 20, 2009

Poulenc : Concerto for 2 pianos - US première with Poulenc and Crochet

Here's an evening to remember! Poulenc himself, together with the young french pianist Evelyne Crochet, joined the Boston Symphony for the US première of Poulenc's 2-piano concerto, with Charles Munch conducting. 21st of February 1961.

The playing sparkles and rollicks. There is an air of everyone enjoying themselves hugely.

This recording seems to be a rebroadcast of the original radio tape. It's hissy, but, by golly, you forget that within a couple of minutes.

And I must put in a plug for Evelyne Crochet's recording of the Bach Well-tempered Clavier (Music and Arts). This is Bach playing to live with for years - exquisite. Indeed, why not head over to Music and Arts - the whole outfit is virtually a one-man band. Fred Maroth, who runs it, is a wonderful character who has somehow managed to maintain a label of staggering diversity when many others have gone to the wall.

mp3, 256kps VBR - hissy but great.

Download from Rapidshare


  1. Crochet also made some very memorable recordings of Faure piano music. I heard them years ago on Lp, but never found them on CD re-issues... Too bad, as she is definitely a notable pianist.

  2. She also recorded a beautiful LP of Schubert piano duo music with Brendel. Also not available, alas.

    Well, I can promise you a real feast of music in her Well Tempered Clavier. And you have the added pleasure of supporting one of the finest and most eclectic independent labels I know!

  3. This is great to have - thank you! Do you have the other half of the concert? It was the second ever performance of the Poulenc Gloria (the premiere was given by the same forces the night before).

  4. Thank you very much for this precious rarity. But to tell the truth, this is the worst interpretation of this concerto I've ever heard. Even the most mediocre recording on the market is definitely better than this. This did not prevent me from enjoying it hugely. Poulenc is Poulenc and his concerto is a masterpiece, even played this way.
    Yiannis K, Athens, Greece

  5. Well, it gives one pause for thought. If Poulenc, who was a very accomplished pianist, has such a bad interpretation of his own concerto, something is very, very wrong - but what?
    Certainly, Poulenc's own playing can strike one as too cool, too detached, - rushed, almost - but that's the hallmark of the era.