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James Manheim, March 2013

The two works on this album present diametrically opposed sides of Francis Poulenc’s musical personality and career. Conductor Stéphane Denève…does a superb job here with the diverse styles of these two works. The limpid melodies of the Stabat Mater…conceal parts that require really top-notch choral singing, and the combined efforts of Denève and the coaches of the combined NDR Choir and Vocal Ensemble of the Southwest German Radio get some spectacularly quiet and controlled choral sounds in the Stabat Mater. Sample the “Quam tristis,” track 3, for some amazing controlled choral work at very low dynamic levels. The virtuoso quality of this entire effort commends it for sampling in a crowded marketplace of Poulenc recordings, as does the superb engineering from Hänssler, which renders these sterling choral performances in great detail. © 2013 Read complete review

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