Sonata for Clarinet & Piano: II. Romanza – Francis Poulenc

Clarinet: Martin Fröst
Piano: Roland P

The way Martin Fröst plays this movement is incredible. So haunting and mysterious – amazing tonal support and breath control. What a dude!

Click here to listen to Movement I. Allegro tristamente
Click here to listen to Movement III. Allegro con fuoco



Poulenc: “Salve Regina,” from Dialogues des Carmélites
Libretto: Georges Bernanos

Such a powerful scene. I remember crying the first time I heard it on disc for AD.

“The characters of Georges Bernanos’ libretto are based on real-life figures and events. The leaders f the Revolution had indeed confiscated Church property and closed monasteries and nunneries, and monks and nuns who did not pledge allegiance to the new republic were executed. The sixteen nuns of the Carmelite community of Compiegne, about eight miles northeast of Paris, were guillotined in the PLace de la Révolution in Paris on July 17, 1794, and they did in fact go to their deaths singing the Latin hymn Salve regina.”


desire at its first tantalizing flicker…

“Wood sustains fire; the flame vanishes with the exhaustion of the fuel. Similarly, sense pleasures sustain the fire of material desires that hide any view of the soul. When a sense pleasure is exhausted, the fire of longing ceases for a moment. But, owing to a lack of knowledge as to the nature of inflammable desires, the foolish man soon adds more fuel of sense indulgence; the raging fire continues to obscure wisdom. While such stupidity continues, a man never finds the peace of lasting satisfaction; he momentarily wakes up to this fact only when his longings are thwarted. He doesn’t realize the consuming power of desires because his sense of discrimination is paralyzed. Thus desire is the hail-fellow-well-met companion of the foolish man; the wise man knows desire to be a relentless foe.

The materialist is identified with the body surface and is goaded to action by sense temptations. The wise man watches and governs his mind processes with discrimination and self-control. The sensual man does not realize the destructive power of desires; he embraces them and is consumed by them, like an insect that is burned by its attraction to a flame. The thinking, watchful devotee is conscious whenever even a slight spark of malevolent desire starts to spread in the huge timbers of inner wisdom; he puts out the fire of desire at its first tantalizing flicker.”
          Purports on The Bhagavad Gita from  Paramahansa Yogananda
[This is sage advice for an aspirant seeking calm and balance and safety within any spiritual practice. Those seeking the Beloved, however, are more likely to find themselves instead on The Path of Fire, wherein desires not only flicker, they consume every obstacle between them and the Beloved.  ~guyatree]
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