The award-winning French cellist Bruno Philippe and the the French pianist, accomplished soloist and chamber musician Tanguy de Williencourt, perform Francis Poulenc's Sonata for cello and piano, FP 143. The concert was recorded at Alte Oper Frankfurt, on September 29, 2017.
Woodwind pieces dominate Francis Poulenc's chamber music oeuvre, but the Cello Sonata, like the somewhat earlier Violin Sonata, is a substantial work finding the composer at the height of his powers, and his tongue planted less firmly in his cheek.
Despite a rather rude initial outburst from the piano, the sonata-form first movement, Allegro (tempo di marcia), leavens its fragmentary fanfare-like motifs with lyrical, good-humored material for the cello. One important theme is especially broad, romantic, and bittersweet, although much of the development section is given over to playful treatments of the melodies, with staccato piano accompaniment to cello pizzicato.
The slow second movement, Cavatine, is one of Poulenc's most tenderly songful creations. After a long introduction, the cello takes up a mournful, nostalgic theme, and with the piano subjects it to several elaborations, some intense, some hesitant, ending with a lullaby for lost souls.
Unusually for Poulenc, an extra movement separates the slow section from the finale. This Ballabile – a word suggesting a dance-like nature – is a playful intermezzo offering a nod to the music hall in its outer sections. A trace of wistfulness colors the still cheerful middle portion.
The Finale begins with a stern cello recitative over sour piano chords, pausing for an eerie passage of harmonics. The movement's main matter scampers quickly through several episodes of short-breathed cello phrases and rippling piano passagework, with time out midway and again just before the end for more tender if occasionally dizzy music. The movement concludes with the recitative with which it began.
Source: James Reel (allmusic.com)
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)
♪ Sonate pour violoncelle et piano, FP 143 (1940-1948, rev.1953)
i.Allegro. Tempo di marcia
ii. Cavatine. Très calme
iii. Ballabile. Très animé
iv. Finale. Largo, très librement – Presto subito – Largo
Bruno Philippe, cello
Tanguy de Williencourt, piano
Semi-finals of the Queen Elizabeth Competition 2017. Flagey, Brussels, May 16, 2017
Bruno Philippe was born in 1993 in Perpignan, France. There, he began studying the cello with Marie-Madeleine Mille and regularly attended Yvan Chiffoleau's masterclasses. In 2008, he pursued his studies at the CRR in Paris in the class of Raphael Pidoux. In 2009 he was unanimously accepted by the Paris National Conservatory of Music and Dance in the class of Jerome Pernoo and joined Claire Desert's chamber music class. Subsequently, he participated in the masterclasses of David Geringas, Steven Isserliss, Gary Hoffman, Pieter Wispelwey and Clemens Hagen at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Since October 2014, he has been studying as a young soloist at the Kronberg Academy with Frans Helmerson.
In November 2011, he won the third Grand Prix and the Best recital at the André Navarra International Competition. In September 2014, he won the third prize and audience prize at the International Competition of the ARD in Munich. He won a Special Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in June 2015 and the Special Prize in recognition of an outstanding performance at the Grand Prix Emmanuel Feuermann in Berlin in November 2014. In 2015, Bruno Philippe was appointed Révélation Classique of the ADAMI, and in 2016, he won the Prix pour la musique of the Safran Foundation dedicated to cello. In 2017, he is laureate of the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels.
Bruno Philippe has been invited to appear at the Kammersaal of the Berlin Philharmonia, La Cité de la Musique, the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Salle Gaveau and Salle Pleyel in Paris, the Halle aux Grains in Toulouse, the Kursaal in Besançon, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and to play with the Bayerische Rundfunk, the Münchener Kammerorchestrer, the Orchestre Philarmonique de Monte-Cazrlo, or else the Orchestre National du Capitole, Toulouse. He has also performed at the Festival Pablo Casals in Prades, the Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence, La Folle Journée de Nantes, the Rheingau Musik Festival, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, the Festival Radio France de Montpellier, at La Roque d'Anthéron, the Amsterdam Cello Biennale, the Mozartfest Würzburg, the Munich BR Studio, Schwetzinger SWR-Festspiele, the Rheingau Musik Festival...
He has also had the chance to play with many renowned musicians: Gary Hoffman, Tabea Zimmermann, Gidon Kremer, Christian Tetzlaff, David Kadouch, Alexandra Conounova, Renaud Capuçon, Jérôme Ducros, Antoine Tamestit, Sarah Nemtanu, Lise Berthaud, Christophe Coin, Jérôme Pernoo, Raphaël Pidoux, Emmanuelle Bertrand, as well as Violoncelles Français or Les Dissonances (David Grimal).
During the next few months, Bruno Philippe can be seen in concertos, above all with the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt and Orchesterakademy of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, with the Orchestre Dijon-Bourgogne conducted by Gabor Takacs-Nagy, with the Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine or else the Junges Sinfonieorchester Münster. He will be performing at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, the Alte Oper in Francfort, Salle Cortot in Paris, the Festival de Pâques de Deauville, the Chorégies d'Orange, or else Les Victoires de la Musique Classique at the Auditorium de Radio-France, Paris.
His first album, devoted to Brahms's Sonatas, recorded with the pianist Tanguy de Williencourt for the Evidence Classic label, came out in 2015. In 2017 he joins the label Harmonia Mundi and releases a new album around Beethoven and Schubert's sonatas, with Tanguy de Williencourt.
He was also awarded scholarships from the Safran Foundation for music, the Raynaud-Zurfluh Foundation, the Rheingold Foundation, the AMOPA, the Banque Populaire Foundation, and in August 2014 won the Nicolas Firmenich price at the Verbier Festival. He also received the support of the "Christa Verhein-Stiftung" for his studies at the Kronberg Academy.
Bruno Philippe plays a fine Tononi cello kindly loaned to him through the Beare's International Violin Society.
A true Renaissance musician, the French pianist Tanguy de Williencourt (b. 1990) is an accomplished soloist and chamber musician, who is also pursuing studies as a conductor.
After having completed, in 2013, his Master's degrees in piano, accompaniment and vocal coaching with highest honors at the Paris Conservatoire, he entered the prestigious Artist Diploma Programme there, and was admitted to follow Alain Altinoglu's orchestral conducting class. The pianists who have particularly influenced him include Roger Muraro, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, and Claire Désert.
Besides, advice of Maria João Pires, Christoph Eschenbach and Paul Badura-Skoda particularly impact him.
A recipient in 2014 of the Blüthner Foundation award given annually to one outstanding pianist at the Paris Conservatoire, Tanguy has also been a prize winner at the Yamaha (2008) and Fauré (2013) competitions.
Tanguy's solo and chamber music performances have taken him to the TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, Kyoto's Alti Hall in Kyoto, St Peterburg Philharmonic's Great Hall or Berlin Philharmonic's Chamber Music Hall, and to leading French venues including the Folle Journée de Nantes, Chopin à Bagatelle, La Roque d'Anthéron, or else to the French National Radio.
His first record dedicated to Brahms and Schumann with cellist Bruno Philippe was released in 2015.
Bruno Philippe & Tanguy de Williencourt interpret Ludwig van Beethoven & Franz Schubert (Audio video)
Johannes Brahms & Robert Schumann: Works for cello and piano – Bruno Philippe, Tanguy de Williencourt (Audio video)
Antonín Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor – Bruno Philippe, Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, Stéphane Denève (HD 1080p)
Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major – Bruno Philippe, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Christoph Eschenbach (HD 1080p)
Francis Poulenc: Pièces pour piano – Alexandre Tharaud (Audio video)