Poulenc _ Françaix

French piano music of the 20th century

Pianist Matthias Rein plays the unfailingly graceful and diverting piano music of Francis Poulenc and his contemporary Jean Françaix. Both composed works that are part of the long tradition of French piano miniatures and some selections are recorded exquisitely. Anyone who finds enjoyment here will not be in need of encores, for those are already at hand!

Radio broadcasts: WDR 3 TonArt (review) and Belgian Broadcasting Corp. BRF

Matthias Rein, piano



Francis Poulenc (1899–1963):
Humoresque FP 72 (1934)
Deux Intermezzi FP 71 (1934)
Intermezzo III FP 118 (1943)

Jean Françaix (1912–1997):
aus: Cinq »Bis« (1965):
No. 1: Pour allécher l’auditoire / To entice the audience

Francis Poulenc:
8 Nocturnes FP 56 (1930–38)

Jean Françaix:
aus: Cinq »Bis« (1965):
No. 2: Pour les dames sentimentales / For romantic ladies

Francis Poulenc :
Deux Novelettes FP 47 (1927 – 28, rev. 1939/53)
Novelette III FP 173 (1959)

Jean Françaix:
Scherzo (1932)
Eloge de la danse I – VI (1947)

Francis Poulenc:
Presto en si bémol FP 70 (1934)

Jean Françaix:
aus: Cinq »Bis« (1965):
No. 4: En cas de triomphe / In case of triumph

»»» Detailed informations, texts, photos, etc. inside CD (booklet)


English booklet enclosed (36 pages) / Livret français joint / German booklet enclosed
Total recording time: 64.16 | Format: 1 Audio-CD | RD: 11/2010
Recording: 09/2007, Kerkrade, NL | CD conception & Mastering: 09/2010
(p) & (c) 2010 SPEKTRAL | Series SPEKTRAL MODERN
Order No.: SRL4-10078 | GTIN (EAN): 4260130380786



Matthias Rein

is equally active as soloist, lieder accompanist and chamber musician. He took the prize for best accompanist in the 2005 Kerkrade International Lieder Competition. His repertoire is broad and encompasses works from Bach and Scarlatti to contemporary composers.
He has been active as a rehearsal pianist and coach at the Cologne Musikhochschule (Aachen campus) since 2001. Prior to that, he studied with Alexandr Satz (Graz) and Claudio Martinez (Madrid).
Matthias Rein is a sought-after collaborative pianist and vocal coach in international masterclasses. In 2003 he received his first invitation to play for the cello course at the European Music Academy in Montepulciano. A year later, he began his involvement with the Wels International Singing Academy, and has contributed his skills to many other courses since that time.
In 2007, he was a soloist at the Euriade Festival, and also made his debut appearance for WDR in their “Night Music” series. In 2008 and 2009 he appeared with the internationally-active chamber music group, Valerius Ensemble. In May of 2010, he performed works by Chopin at a recital in Aachen to honour the International Charlemagne Prize winner Donald Tusk, Prime Minister of Poland.
Matthias Rein is well-known to local audiences in Aachen through his yearly concerts in the ballroom of the old spa hotel. As soloist and collaborative pianist, he has given concerts throughout Germany and has appeared in Austria, the Netherlands, Spain and Russia.
As an accompanist, Matthias Rein has assisted tenor Kwon-Shik Lee (2002) and flautist Aurélie Corbet (2009), helping them win first prizes in important competitions. Matthias Rein is a member of the “Trio con Cor”, together with Corina Liefers (horn) and Michael Rein (violin).

French piano music in the twentieth century is, by any reckoning, highly varied and multifaceted. It is a true musical cosmos and ranges from the impressionistic sketches of Debussy to the rigid structures of Boulez, from the gentle irony of Satie to the profound mysticism of Messiaen. When we seek to define the position of the composers Francis Poulenc and Jean Françaix within this cosmos, we find that they occupy one of the smaller streams. That does not imply that they can somehow be considered as less “French”. Both write music “pour faire plaisir”, that is, music intended to give pleasure and entertain on a high level. This requires a certain lightness of style, even humour, and both composers like to “have fun” – something that Poulenc may have passed on to the younger Françaix. Also, such music is not allowed to overwhelm the listener with too many daring modernistic devices. The works of both composers are still “modern” in content, but modernity and daring are presented in an appealing and relatively pleasing dress. To the conservative ear then, even the more radical gestures are hardly noticed for what they are.
Both Poulenc and Françaix were wellknown and outstanding pianists but their piano music, strangely enough, does not enjoy a particularly high profile in their compositional outputs. This may be because both composers wrote a great deal of their finest music in other areas, and the smaller forms found in their piano music have tended to be overlooked. The goal of this recording is to rectify this imbalance and to show that the piano music of both masters is eminently worthy of our attention.
Abstract from the CD-Booklet, text by Cornelius Bauer


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