Since I was a little girl, the music of Francis Poulenc has always fascinated me; being born to devout Roman Catholic Korean parents in Montréal, I was raised within multiple backgrounds. I attended a French private school for girls and fully embraced the fact that I happened to be born in a francophone milieu. To add to the mix, my parents had met while studying in Germany and I spoke to my brother in English. Religion and secularity always coexisted in my world.
Although Poulenc clearly has no Korean connections, his music thrives in the dichotomy of the sacred and profane, spirituality and light-heartedness, often switching from one to the other quickly and seamlessly while at the same time retaining an unmistakably French idiom and a clarity that speaks directly to everyone’s heart.
The two sides of Poulenc’s music are startlingly obvious, yet they have to be taken as a whole, because together they make a stronger statement. His music, always identifiable yet original, is so beautifully crafted that it seems to flow naturally from the composer’s mind to our ears. Music writer Jessica Duchen beautifully pinpoints Poulenc as “a fizzing, bubbling mass of Gallic energy who can move you to both laughter and tears within seconds. His language speaks clearly, directly and humanely to every generation.”
Making this album was a dream come true. From the irresistible charm of the 15 Improvisations to the irrepressible bursts of energy in the Concerto for Two Pianos , the range of Poulenc’s music and beauty had a wonderfully infectious effect for everyone involved in this project! (Lucille Chung)