The Monk and the Thug
Francis Poulenc : A snowy evening, Four Motets for a time of penance, Exultate Deo. Bernard Cavanna: Mass, on an ordinary day (New version). Various soloists, Les Métaboles, Multilaterale, Léo Warynski (conductor).
Cover of the album “The Monk and the Voyou”, by Léo Warynski. NOMADMUSIC/PIAS
Placed under a Janusian sign, “monk and thug”, which has flourished since its use by Claude Rostand in the 1950s, this program does not invite us to consider the duality of expression in the production of a single musician, but in the comparison of works borrowed from the catalog of two composers. Which is not the same thing at all. Especially since Francis Poulenc is only represented by pages, for a cappella choir, of monastic rigor whose multiple nuances Les Métaboles ideally reproduces, under the meticulous and sensitive direction of Léo Warynski. After this almost sacred Poulenc, a misguided Cavanna? Yes and no. Mass on an ordinary day (1994) can, of course, be seen as provocative to the extent that it slips, among other things, into ordinary Latin (Gloria) a few sentences from a drug addict looking for shelter. However, magnificently performed here, this thunderous work exalts all registers, from pure emotion to caricature emphasis, with an aesthetic independence likely to earn Bernard Cavanna the status of “composer without a label”, once claimed by Francis Poulenc. Pierre Gervasoni
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 5. Overture-Fantasy of Romeo and Juliet
Orchester philharmonique de Strasbourg, Aziz Shokhakimov (conductor).
Cover of the album “Symphony No. 5. Overture-Fantasy of Romeo and Juliet”, by Tchaikovsky by Aziz Shokhakimov. WARNER CLASSICS
By choosing Tchaikovsky for his first recording with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, of which he has been musical director since 2021, the young Uzbek conductor Aziz Shokhakimov loudly affirms a native predilection. The one that the Critics’ Union has designated “musical personality” of the year In fact, it reveals an ardent sensitivity and a refined style, capable of synthesizing furia and hedonism. The Strasbourg phalanx immediately stands out for its cohesion, its homogeneity and its sound quality. So in the Symphony No. 5 with shifting atmospheres, caught in the implacable vice of tragedy. Dynamic in tension, magnificence of the timbres serve an invigorating vision populated by despair, heroism, exultation and melancholy. Also a magnificent Opening-Fantasy from Romeo and Juliet narrating the “adventures” of Shakespearean drama, from the meditative shadows of Brother Lawrence to the bursts of violence of combat, including the passionate and lyrical evocation of love. Marie-Aude Roux
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