French author Jean Roy said that with Francis Poulenc, wind instruments shine in their most beautiful light. Poulenc's sonata dazzles but also offers depth.
Inspired Oboe 2
Sonata for oboe and piano
Philippe Tondre (oboe)
Masako Eguchi (piano)
MP3 recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in the Schumann House in Bonn on September 9, 2012
"Francis Poulenc's Oboe Sonata has much to offer," said Philippe Tondre: "Romantic notes and impressionistic colors. The first movement is a strikingly beautiful cantilena, and the scherzo sounds like an homage to Prokofiev."
Poulenc in fact dedicated the sonata to the memory of his friend Sergei Prokofiev. Written in the summer of 1962, it was one of his last works. The sorrowful elegy is a soulful obituary to Prokofiev, who had died nine years earlier. The playful scherzo with lively rumba rhythms and staccato motifs offers a portrait of the Russian composer.
The stylistic diversity fits Poulenc's self-image: "I am not a cubist, still less a futurist composer and quite obviously not an impressionist. I am a composer with no label."