IMPORTANT NOTICE: Due to emergency repairs that needed to be done at the Dexter Center for the Performing Arts, the concert will now be held at the Towsley Auditorium in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College. 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
We are excited to be performing Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in D minor with Dexter Community Orchestra on Sunday, Feb. 21st, 2016 at 4pm at the Dexter Center for the Performing Arts, conducted by the esteemed cellist and maestro, Anthony Elliott, Professor of Cello at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater and Dance.
In a letter to the Belgian musicologist, Paul Collaer, Francis Poulenc wrote that he considered this concerto to be “an enormous step forward” and the beginning of his “great period.” He premiered this concerto at ISCM (International Society of Contemporary Music) in Venice with his long-time friend Jacques Février (a video was later made showcasing the two pianists performing the work, with a number of adjustments made to the two piano arrangement). The concerto has become one of the staple works of the piano duo repertoire, and is revered as one the greatest piano duo concerti ever written.
Poulenc juxtaposes dissonant chords with neoclassic lyricism, drawing influences from Mozart, Liszt, and Ravel, as well as gamelan music, which Poulenc would have heard at the Exposition Coloniale de Paris in 1931, a year before composing the concerto. The result is a colourful work that can perhaps be considered post-modern, rarely staying in one style for more than a few measures.