Settling Poulenc and Fauré scores

Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans draws out the comparisons between Fauré and Poulenc with a warm, rich performance

Composer: Fauré, Poulenc
Repertoire:  Songs
Artists: Thomas Oliemans (bar), Malcolm Martineau (pf)
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Vocal/Instrumental
Label: Et’cetera KTC 1366

Poulenc once said that he found Fauré’s music physically unbearable. Perhaps he was just trying to be provocative; he did react more positively to his eminent forerunner over time. Full marks, then, to Thomas Oliemans for highlighting the composers’ subtle similarities, placing side by side (for example) Fauré’s Mirages and Poulenc’s settings of Paul Eluard. These songs, with their pastel shadings, symbolist images and concise language, are challenging, but Oliemans achieves a superb blend of richness, refinement and mystery, warmth and objectivity. His is a highly attractive voice that we will hopefully hear more of in the future.