Poulenc: Voix Humaine / L’Histoire de Babar (CD) – Daniela Mazzucato, Max René Cosotti

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Poulenc: Voix Humaine / L’Histoire de Babar (CD) – Daniela Mazzucato, Max René Cosotti

Composer: Francis Poulenc
Artists: Daniela Mazzucato, Max René Cosotti, Marco Scolastra
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Brilliant Classics
CD Release Date: December 6, 2019

Words drew the best out of Poulenc. His songs, choral pieces and operas mold themselves to his carefully chosen texts with affecting simplicity and sensitivity to language.

Poulenc conceived La voix humaine in 1958 to a monodrama written by Jean Cocteau 30 years earlier and revised by the playwright for the lyric stage. Alone in her salon, a woman speaks to her former lover for the last time. She calls him, the line breaks, he replies, but we hear only her side of the story: anguished, pleading, honest, self-deceiving, unbearably touching. Daniela Mazzucato made her La Scala debut in 1973, singing Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro under the baton of Claudio Abbado. To Poulenc’s lonely heroine she is well placed to bring both pathos and beauty.

No less touching in its way is the entertainment Poulenc devised for a group of bored children in 1940 during a summer holiday. They asked him to play the much-loved story of Babar the Elephant, and Poulenc sat down at the piano and improvised an accompaniment to the story, soon working it up into a half-hour piece for reciter and piano. The story is told here by the experienced tenor Max René Cosotti, who worked with Glyndebourne Opera in the 1970s and has filled countless roles in Italian opera and operetta at distinguished opera houses throughout Italy.



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