Friday, May 15, 2020

‘Concerto for Piano and Orchestra’ by Francis Poulenc

15 May 2020

Yet again I am grateful to Jess Gillam’s BBC Radio 3 podcast ‘This Classical Life’ (reviewed here in January 2020) for alerting me to some wonderful music I wasn’t previously aware of. I’ve quickly fallen in love with the ‘Concerto for Piano and Orchestra’ by Francis Poulenc, which was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra to try to improve relations after the Second World War. Poulenc’s music is melodic and playful with lush orchestrations and beautiful tunes. The concerto is an interesting, witty piece, full of surprises but with a gentle, calming feel to it. The slow movement has some of the romantic grandeur of a Rachmaninov concerto while the finale is an intricately rhythmic frolic with a typically cheeky Poulenc ending. You can listen to the Poulenc Piano Concerto at: or

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