Issue 28: Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra

Someone mentioned that they had only just come across this work.

I am including it in the Music Jungle as it brings back many memories of when I lived in Indonesia as a teenager, at least in the school holidays. In term time I was at a boarding school in Winchester. At that time the school didn’t have a school orchestra, and arrangements were made for me and my cello to play in one of the Winchester College orchestras. I was the only boarder at my school ever allowed out in trousers, once I demonstrated to the housemistress what you look like playing a cello while wearing a mini skirt…

Anyway, there were two boys at the school who performed the concerto with the school chamber orchestra, and I remember them practising bits and pieces before before the orchestra rehearsals began.

I didn’t really mind being at boarding school most of the time. However, when I heard them playing the slow movement, I was instantly homesick for Indonesia – it is the closest I have ever heard to the sounds of a gamelan in any Western Orchestral music. Even now, the slow movement is almost to bear. It is so full of memories of Indonesia and also the intense feeling of home-sickness that swept over me when I heard it for the first time.

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