Poulenc: Les Biches – Suite; Les Animaux modèles – Suite; Sinfonietta

Reviewed on Fri 29 Jun, 2018

Les Animaux modèles finds the Irish players responding to its lyricism with characterful, cultured aplomb.

The Irish know how to party, as the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra demonstrate in this trio of ebullient, animated pieces by Francis Poulenc, the mischief-making joker of Les Six. Conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud follows recent discs of Dukas and Bizet with the Dublin-based orchestra in decidedly boisterous mood. The two ballet suites ring out with relishable buoyancy, Les Biches brimming with effervescent jazziness – the Rag-Mazurka nowhere better realised on disc, the Andantino and joyful finale simultaneously pert, playful and poetic. Les Animaux modèles finds the Irish players responding to its lyricism with characterful, cultured aplomb, their adroitly idiomatic approach dotted by telling details lit up by Tingaud in a beautifully engineered recording from the orchestra’s National Concert Hall home. The dancing Sinfonietta receives a performance of balletic nimbleness and nuanced charm, the RTÉ players clearly enjoying themselves. Dominic Wells’s booklet notes are as recommendable as the engaging performances, marked out by a Gallic joie de vivre.
–Michael Quinn