June Emerson Wind Music
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Printed Edition
Composer:Poulenc, Francis (1899-1963)
Instrumentation:ob. pft.
Publisher Ref:CH62711
Possibly the last of Poulenc's compositions before his own death, this 3 movement sonata was written in memory of his friend and fellow composer, Serge Prokofiev.

Price: £11.99
Editor:Sachania, Millan
Skill Level:E
Publisher:Chester Music
Year of Issue:2004
ISMN:none specified
From a letter to his publisher written in July 1962, it is clear that Poulenc was writing his oboe and clarinet sonatas at the same time - "cooking (them) in the same pan" he said, and it is very probable that both sonatas were sent off together the following January. In his accompanying letter, Poulenc asked that both sonatas should be engraved by someone with enough musical knowledge to resolve any doubts about his intentions but he died within a matter of days and the first editions of both works contained the ambiguities which he had warned about.

Millan Sachania has prepared the present edition from Poulenc's final manuscript and an earlier draft from 1962 with the intention of "....reassess(ing) Poulenc's intentions, to correct errors and to refine and clarify the notation. Its underlying aim is to supply a score for performing musicians that is constructed along scholarly lines." Poulenc's dedication is "In memory of Serge Prokofieff" and he sets a funerial tone by inverting the usual fast-slow-fast sequence of movements to slow-fast-slow. The modified ABA form of the first movement 'Elegie' contrasts the lyrical and resigned 'A' sections with an enraged 'B' but the most striking effect is the sudden and extreme dynamic shift from pp to ff and back. In the Scherzo the ABA form is clear but A has more desperation about it than humour and B's gentle and expansive tune seems to speak of remorse for the mania that surrounds it; while the finale -'Deploration', still in ABA form is a lament which reinforces the sonata's contrasting themes of resignation to death and raging against it. As this was one of the last pieces that Poulenc wrote before he died, as well as grief at the loss of his friend, he may have had his own death at the back of his mind.

  • I. Elegie (Paisiblement, Sans presser)
  • II. Scherzo (Tres anime)
  • III. Deploration (Tres calme)

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