Paris Between the Wars

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On this week’s program, Kent Tritle presents a musical tour of Paris between the wars. We hear music from Arthur Honegger and Francis Poulenc, two of the artists of “Les Six,” the six most prominent French composers of the time. The program also includes works by the tragically short-lived Lili Boulanger and immensely influential Claude Debussy, whose impressionist style cast a long shadow on French choral music.

In the 1920s and 1930s, Paris was the cultural crossroads of world. It was home to Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein. And so many musicians thrived there. Whether there was something in the air, the soil, or the water, Paris in these years helped produce an especially rich body of choral music.


Honegger, Arthur: Le Roi David; The dance before the ark

Martial Singher, Spoken Vocals; Netania Davrath, Soprano; Marvin Sorenson, Tenor; Jean Preston, Mezzo Soprano; Madeleine Milhaud, Spoken Vocals

Utah Symphony Orchestra and University of Utah Chorus

Maurice Abravanel, Conductor

Vanguard Classics OVC 4038


Poulenc, Francis: Mass in G Major; Kyrie & Gloria

Donna Carter (Soprano)

Robert Shaw Festival Singers

Robert Shaw, Conductor

Telarc 80236


Boulanger, Lili: Psalm 24 "La terre appartient à l'Éternel"

Westminster Choir

Nancianne Parrella, Organist

Joseph Flummerfelt, Conductor

Chesky Records CD138


Poulenc, Francis: Litanies à la vierge noire


Nigel Short, Conductor

Signum UK 197


Debussy, Claude: Nocturnes; III. Sirènes (with women’s chorus)

Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra Chorus

Pierre Boulez, Conductor

Deutsche Grammophon 439-896


Milhaud, Darius: Cantate de la Paix, Op. 166

Marleen Delputte, Alto

Paul Hillier, Conductor

Flemish Radio Choir, I Solisti del Vento

Glossa 922207


Poulenc, Francis: Salve Regina


Nigel Short, Conductor

Signum UK 197