I went along to the Candlelight Concert at Second Presbyterian Church on Sunday evening especially to hear Francis Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano and Winds with members of the Baltimore Symphony and Sylvie Beaudoin. Poulenc was pretty much self taught, and he learned from the music that he liked. He said his gods were Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Chopin, Stravinsky and Mussorgsky, and he admitted that it was quite a concoction, adding, “But that’s how I like music: taking my models everywhere, from what pleases me.” His Sextour for Piano and Winds is a gorgeous concoction!
As we were leaving the concert, my husband (who was a professional horn player before he became an attorney) mentioned that he had an historic recording of the Sextet with Poulenc himself playing piano, along with the Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet, which was made up of legendary players like John de Lancie, oboe and Mason Jones, horn. You’d think I’d know what was in our CD collection at home, but this one had escaped my notice up until now. I checked to see if we have it in the WBJC library, but we don’t, so I will share our private recording with you tomorrow evening at 6.30 right here on WBJC. (It’s available on Boston Records BR 1061.)
A delicious little anecdote is that when Poulenc and the quintet got together to record this in New York on March 17th 1960 the quintet members were fascinated to watch Poulenc exchange his street shoes for a pair of large bedroom slippers, which came out of his case, along with his score.
Tags:chamber music, fun, music, Poulenc