CD Hotlist: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Francis Poulenc, Works for Violin & Piano
Here’s an interesting pairing: the enfant terrible of the high classical period alongside another puckish rebel, the playful (and notably untrained) mid-20th-century French composer Francis Poulenc.
Although both were known for their sense of humor, stylistically this program makes no sense; the transition from Mozart’s E minor sonata to Poulenc’s sonata is jarring.
However, the programmatic choice is of a piece with Esther Hoppe and Alasdair Beatson’s last album, which combined works of Mozart and Stravinsky — although in this case, they have combined the works of a noted Parisian composer with works of Mozart that have a connection to that same city.
In any case, the playing is superb and the program is very enjoyable, with the Poulenc piece serving as an astringent palate-cleanser between the more decorous works of Mozart.