Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

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Awarded with Choc de Classica and Le Choix de France Musique.

Choix France Musique  Choc de Classica

Cappella Amsterdam, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra

conducted by Daniel Reuss

Carolyn Sampson, soprano

Released by harmonia mundi.

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) was one of the most important modern composers in France. He was famed by his melody and lyric, with always a certain humour in his work. Poulenc’s “Stabat Mater”, which the composer describes as a ’requiem without despair’ was written in 1950 following the death of his friend, artist Christian Bérard, a leading figure of 1940s Paris. Poulenc’s masterly work is dedicated to the Virgin of Rocamadour.

Listen to fragments of this cd

1 - 7: Sept Répons des Ténèbres for soprano, choir and orchestra

8 - 19: Stabat Mater for sopraan, mixed choir and orchestra

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

1 | I. Una hora non potuistis vigilare mecum

2 | II. Judas mercator pessimus

3 | III. Jesum tradidit impius

4 | IV. Caligaverunt oculi mei

5 | V. Tenebrae factae sunt

6 | VI. Sepulto Domino

7 | VII. Ecce quomodo moritur justus

8 | I. Stabat mater dolorosa

9 | II. Cujus animam gementem

10 | III. O quam tristis et afflicta

11 | IV. Quae moerebat et dolebat

12 | V. Quis est homo, qui non fleret

13 | VI. Vidit suum dulcem natum

14 | VII. Eja mater, fons amoris

15 | VIII. Fac ut ardeat cor meum

16 | IX. Sancta mater, istud agas

17 | X. Fac ut portem Christi mortem

The media about the CD

The Guardian UK **** (30-03-2014)

'powerful and beautifully articulated performances'. - complete review.

De Telegraaf ****/* (4,5) (29-03-2014)

"Dutch conductor Daniel Reuss and his chamber choir Cappella Amsterdam strike again. (...) A young, agile sound of the choir attributes to a pureness and directness. Also the orchestra sounds colourful as well as potent. With a sensitive ear Reuss knows how to strike a tight devoted sound that is free of sentimentality." - complete review (in Dutch).

De Volkskrant ***** (26-03-2014)

"Cappella Amsterdam and conductor Daniel Reuss, fortified with vocal and instrumental troops from Estonia, give a accurate presentation of this. The sound of the choir is as clear as the sky above the Baltic sea, through which solo soprano Carolyn Sampson sails superiorly." - complete review (in Dutch).

The Classical Reviewer (10-04-2014)

"These are very fine choirs indeed, responding so well to the text as the music suddenly drives forward. The balance between choir and orchestra is ideal." - complete review

Audiophile Audition **** (24-03-2014)

"All forces perform with aplomb and a fine sense to the style required, and the coupling can’t be beat. If Poulenc’s liturgical masterpieces interest you at all, this is one you will want, beautifully recorded in the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn." - complete review

Musicweb International (April 2014)

"This performance of Poulenc’s Stabat Mater is a very fine one. Carolyn Sampson is a wonderful soloist and the combined choirs, which number just short of fifty singers, perform Poulenc’s varied and demanding music expertly. The orchestral contribution is first rate and Daniel Reuss clearly believes in the music. The performers have been recorded in excellent sound." - complete review (05-04-2014)

"What is most important about this recorded performance is Reuss’ sensitivity of that diverse spectrum of sonorities. True to Poulenc’s intentions, he endows each of the twelve movements with its own unique characterization; and the harmonia mundi recording team is outstanding it capturing the ways in which the different instruments in the ensemble contribution to shaping those characterizations." - complete review

Kulturradio ***** (18-03-2014)

"Die Chöre tragen diese Musik, denn sie sind eigentlich immer beteiligt. Die beiden Chöre singen in dieser Interpretation unter der Leitung von Daniel Reuss sehr klangvoll und eindringlich - alles klingt ausgewogen, intensiv und tief anrührend." - complete review (in German)

Diapason ***** (01-04-2014)

"D'abord, on tombe en pâ moison devant ces textures chorales dia phanes aux teintes douces, aux lignes toujours nettes. Là se reconnaît la patte d'un formidable chef de choeur, Daniel Reuss, qui réunit ici deux ensembles fortement marqués de son empreinte, la Cappella Amsterdam et le Choeur de chambre philharmonique estonien."

Classica (01-04-2014)

"Daniel Reuss bénéficie d'une excellente définition spatiale, ce qui lui permet d'intégrer les choers dans l'orchestre sans pour autant en altérer la clarté. Les choers supplantent ici, en termes de justesse, d'attaque et díntonation, les versions antérieures."

Musikzen (18-04-2014)

"C’est une œuvre dense, ramassée, poignante, que Daniel Reuss, la Cappella Amsterdam, Carolyn Sampson et les musiciens estoniens interprètent magnifiquement : ils en soulignent le climat et la gravité, affirment à la fois sa profondeur et ses exubérances sans jamais se perdre dans une mise en scène des émotions qui viendrait en altérer la bouleversante sincérité. - complete review (in French) ***** (30-04-2014)

"This is a stunning performance, which not only gives Poulenc's music the brilliance and contrast it needs, but still find moments of quiet repose. Reuss creates a seductive, but profoundly unsettling work." - complete review

Interview with Daniel Reuss on (French).

Where to buy

The CD can be bought in several countries through the distributors of harmonia mundi international, check their website to order the CD in your country:

If you are situated in the Netherlands, please visit our Dutch webshop.

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