- Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël, for chorus, FP 152
- Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence, for chorus, FP 97
- Mass in G major for chorus, FP 89
- Sept chansons, for chorus, FP 81
13.29 In Stock
The works by Francis Poulenc that make up the program of this Naxos release have all been recorded frequently, the surrealist "Sept chansons" of 1936 perhaps a bit less often than the others. But they've rarely or never been put together in this sequence, which has a lot to tell the listener interested in the second half of Poulenc's career, when he became primarily a religious composer. The four compositions (or sets of them) are entirely different in effect, yet clearly recognizable as products of the same composer, and Canadian conductor Noel Edison, leading the sharp Elora Festival Singers (the name refers to a small music festival in western Ontario), makes them flow from one to the other. The "Sept chansons" are secular works with surrealist texts, but for their listeners at the time they would have referred to the death of composer Pierre-Octave Ferroud in a car crash, and their mixture of meditative and edgy leads nicely into the "Mass in G major" of the following year, with its bright mood and sharp chromatic accents. The two sets of motets that close the album are popular works among choirs of all kinds. The performances by the Elora Festival Singers here are especially attractive and ought to help keep them that way; the modest size of the whole corresponds to the small choral societies for whom Poulenc wrote most of these works. The sound from a small church in Elora is clear and entirely appropriate. A superior Poulenc release.