John Mark Ainsley - French Connections - Financial Times
The centrepiece is a tribute from one composer to another.
In four intimate portraits Jake Heggie's Friendly Persuasionspictures some of the people who were closest to Poulenc, including harpsichordist Wanda Landowska and poet Paul Eluard.
John Mark Ainsley and accompanist Malcolm Martineau gave the premiere of this bittersweet short cycle in 2008. Alongside they present persuasive performances of Poulenc's own Tel jour, telle nuit and Lennox Berkeley's French-accented Five Poems of W H Auden.
Britten's Holy Sonnets of John Donne go further, lacerating, consoling, intense.