January 1, 2012

Francis Poulenc - Music just didn't get any more French than him.

From the Radio France Transcription Service discs this week, and hopefully starting off the new year in a nice direction. A studio performance recorded in 1949 featuring the French National Orchestra, conducted by the legendary Roger Desormiere in a performance of the suite from Poulenc's milestone ballet Les Biches.

As far as I have been able to research, the music for this ballet wasn't really available commercially on records until the early 1950's. So in a way, this performance makes for one of the earliest recordings of it, and one that's never been available outside a radio broadcast.

The sound isn't perfect by any stretch, but it's an important recording by a work from a composer still extremely popular in classical music today. And the bonus is a performance led by an iconic figure in the music world.

Enjoy - and hopefully you've all survived unscathed from the festivities last night.

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