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    Stabat Mater

    Francis Poulenc

    Poulenc’s poignant choral works are among the finest sacred pieces in 20th century repertoire

    Emőke Baráth
    Emőke Baráth © Zsofi Raffai
    Bertrand de Billy
    Bertrand de Billy © Marco Borggreve

    Emőke Baráth soprano
    Jean-Luc Bourré cello

    Bertrand de Billy direction
    Orchestre National de France
    Chœur de Radio France direction Martina Batič
    Chœur de l'Armée Française direction Aurore Tillac
    Maîtrise de Radio France direction Marie-Noëlle Maerten

    Fauré Masques et Bergamasques Op. 112
    Elegie for cello and orchestra
    Dutilleux The shadows of Time
    Fauré Cantique de Jean Racine
    Poulenc Litanies à la vierge noire
    Stabat Mater

    Approximate running time
    1st part: 45mn - Intermission : 20mn - 2nd part: 1h15

    For many people, Poulenc’s vocal repertoire, and the choral repertoire in particular, is the most accomplished aspect of his oeuvre. For this subtle shaper of words, choral music spans all genres from profane cantatas to masses. The two works in this concert are among the most poignant penned by the musician and indeed in the 20th century sacred repertoire as a whole. His Litanies à la Vierge noire also offers a moving testimony to his spirituality, as the female choir and organ respond to each other with incredible tenderness. The Stabat, composed in barely two months as a tribute to the painter and theatrical designer Christian Bérard, is quite different in style – less dramatic and pared down than the Litanies, with a more generous cast of singers, probably to reflect the personality of his deceased friend. This form found its natural culmination five years later in the Dialogues des Carmélites. Apart from the short pieces by Fauré which feature on our programme, Bertrand de Billy has also chosen to perform The Shadows of Time by Henri Dutilleux, an orchestral piece in which the musician explores issues associated with time and “timeless images”, “those distant events whose intensity […] never ceased to haunt [him].” This beautiful programme invites the audience to engage in contemplation and reminiscence.

    Coproduction Radio France / Théâtre des Champs-Elysées
    France Musique live broadcasts this concert.

    Que savez-vous du Stabat Mater ?

    Quatre Stabat Mater sont à entendre au Théâtre la saison prochaine, c’est l’occasion de faire un petit tour d’horizon d’une œuvre aux multiples adaptations.