Francis Poulenc: La voix humaine In the early 1920’s, Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) had been the unofficial spokesman for a group of six composers emphasizing directness, simplicity, clarity and humor. “Les Six,” comprising George Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud,
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) was one of the most original and sincere voices of the 20th century. His music and personality mirror the often-conflicting nature of humanity. Simultaneously earthy and refined, a promiscuous homosexual who fathered a daughter late in his
In his 1921 collection Promenades, Francis Poulenc presents us with an odd world of travel. Rarely performed because of its technical and musical difficulties, Promenades gives us an audio image of travel in early 20th century France. One writer compares
In his 1889 work known as the Enigma Variations, English composer Edward Elgar depicted his friends and neighbours in music. Although he first gave the movements coded titles, their identities were quickly figured out. In a similar fashion, the French
Francis Poulenc knew all the best poets, setting the works of Apollinaire and Éluard again and again. He set the poets to opera (Les Mamelles de Tiresias), for a cappella choir, for voice and piano, in a secular cantata (Figure
Francis Poulenc first met Wanda Landowska at a private performance of Falla’s El Retablo de Maese Pedro in June 1923. On that occasion, Landowska requested concertos from both composers, and Falla’s effort premiered on 5 November 1926 in Barcelona. Poulenc,
“Minors of the Majors” invites you to discover compositions by the great classical composers that for one reason or another have not reached the musical mainstream. Please enjoy, and keep listening!