Francis Poulenc

Pianist and composer. Born 7 January 1899. Died 30 January 1963
Francis Poulenc
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1899-01-07
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/5e1ef22b-310a-46ad-885b-4897b8c9c85a
Francis Poulenc

Francis Poulenc Biography (BBC)

It was the French critic Claude Rostand who made the classic distinction between Poulenc the monk (‘le moine’) and Poulenc the bad boy (‘le voyou’). Had he been writing when the composer was in his early thirties rather than his early fifties, Rostand would not have been able to make such a distinction: there was only the bad boy. What changed things – following the trauma of the death of a colleague in a particularly horrific road accident in 1936 – was a revelatory first visit to the chapel of the Black Virgin at Rocamadour. Immediately on leaving there Poulenc made a start on his Litanies à la Vierge noire, the first in a series of 12 religious choral works written over the remaining 27 years of his life.

During his childhood he had been influenced less by his God-fearing father – one of the founders of the chemical manufacturing company that became Rhône-Poulenc – than by his mother, who was not very religious but was very musical. He absorbed cabaret and dance music as thoroughly as classical music from Monteverdi to Stravinsky via Mozart. His refusal to discriminate between the two types is one of the most distinctive, most appealing and most durable features of his own compositions, many of which are all the better for their quota of ‘bad-boy’ music.

Not having had a conservatoire training, though he studied piano with Ricardo Viñes and harmony with Charles Koechlin, he needed a model. That is where Stravinsky came in. Stravinsky was the dominant influence on his music not only in the 1920s – when Poulenc found early notoriety as one of the so-called ‘Groupe des Six’ under the anti-Impressionist aesthetic leadership of Jean Cocteau – but through much of his career. In fact, it would take him as long to integrate the Stravinsky idiom into his own harmonic language as to reconcile the monk and the bad-boy elements in his make-up.

Poulenc was an entertaining and affectionate companion who loved music above everything else. Recent biographies have made much of his homosexuality but it was no more important to his development than any other composer’s sexuality to his or hers. Besides, apart from the fact that he was by no means exclusively homosexual, the two most fruitful relationships in his adult life were strictly platonic. But for his long-term recital partnership with the baritone Pierre Bernac he would not have provided a catalogue of songs as distinguished as any in the 20th century. And without his loving admiration for the soprano Denise Duval, for whom he conceived the roles of Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites and the solitary protagonist in La voix humaine, his last two operas might not have been written at all.

Profile © Gerald Larner

Francis Poulenc Biography (Wikipedia)

Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (7 January 1899 – 30 January 1963) was a French composer and pianist. His compositions include mélodies, solo piano works, chamber music, choral pieces, operas, ballets, and orchestral concert music. Among the best-known are the piano suite Trois mouvements perpétuels (1919), the ballet Les biches (1923), the Concert champêtre (1928) for harpsichord and orchestra, the Organ Concerto (1938), the opera Dialogues des Carmélites (1957), and the Gloria (1959) for soprano, choir and orchestra.

As the only son of a prosperous manufacturer Poulenc was expected to follow his father into the family firm, and he was not allowed to enrol at a music college. Largely self-educated musically, he studied with the pianist Ricardo Viñes, who became his mentor after the composer's parents died. Poulenc soon came under the influence of Erik Satie, under whose tutelage he became one of a group of young composers known collectively as Les Six. In his early works Poulenc became known for his high spirits and irreverence. During the 1930s a much more serious side to his nature emerged, particularly in the religious music he composed from 1936 onwards, which he alternated with his more light-hearted works.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.



Francis Poulenc Tracks

Francis Poulenc
Laudamus te (Gloria)
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Laudamus te (Gloria)

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Francis Poulenc
Sinfonietta
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Sinfonietta
Francis Poulenc
4 Motets Pour Un Temps De Penitence - no. 4 Tristis est Anima Mea
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4 Motets Pour Un Temps De Penitence - no. 4 Tristis est Anima Mea
Francis Poulenc
Sextet for piano and winds
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Sextet for piano and winds

Sextet for piano and winds

Performer
Anita Szabo
Béla Horváth
Zsolt Szatmari
Tamas Zempleni
Pal Bokor
Zoltán Kocsis
Francis Poulenc
Litanies à la Vierge Noire version for women's voices and organ (1936)
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Litanies à la Vierge Noire version for women's voices and organ (1936)

Litanies à la Vierge Noire version for women's voices and organ (1936)

Performer
Ensemble
Singer
Diane Verdoodt
Ilse Schelfhout
Kristien Vercammen
Bernadette De Wilde
Lieve Mertens
Els Van Attenhoven
Francis Poulenc
Trois Melodies
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Trois Melodies
Francis Poulenc
Capriccio (excerpt Finale of 'Bal masque')
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Capriccio (excerpt Finale of 'Bal masque')
Francis Poulenc
Rag-Mazurka (Les biches)
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Rag-Mazurka (Les biches)
Francis Poulenc
Sonata for flute and piano; 1st mvt Allegro malinconico
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Sonata for flute and piano; 1st mvt Allegro malinconico
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata
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Flute Sonata
Francis Poulenc
Quatre Motets pour un temps de penitence; no. 2 Vinea mea electa
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Quatre Motets pour un temps de penitence; no. 2 Vinea mea electa
Francis Poulenc
Sept repons de Tenebres (V-VII)
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Sept repons de Tenebres (V-VII)
Francis Poulenc
Elegie for horn and piano
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Elegie for horn and piano
Francis Poulenc
Gloria in G major for soprano, chorus and orchestra
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Gloria in G major for soprano, chorus and orchestra
Francis Poulenc
Sonata for flute and piano (2nd movement)
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Sonata for flute and piano (2nd movement)
Francis Poulenc
Dialogues des Carmelites: Act II Scene 4 (excerpt)
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Dialogues des Carmelites: Act II Scene 4 (excerpt)

Dialogues des Carmelites: Act II Scene 4 (excerpt)

Performer
Chaplain Constance
Sister Mathilde
The Prioress
English National Opera Chorus And Orchestra
Conductor
Francis Poulenc
Sonata for two pianos (Andante)
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Sonata for two pianos (Andante)
Francis Poulenc
Stabat Mater for soprano, chorus and orchestra
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Stabat Mater for soprano, chorus and orchestra
Francis Poulenc
Litanies a la Vierge noire
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Litanies a la Vierge noire
Francis Poulenc
Priez pour paix
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Priez pour paix
Francis Poulenc
Figure Humaine
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Figure Humaine
Francis Poulenc
Les Animaux modeles (suite)
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Les Animaux modeles (suite)
Francis Poulenc
Chansons villageoises (extract)
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Chansons villageoises (extract)
Francis Poulenc
Ce doux petit visage
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Ce doux petit visage
Francis Poulenc
Concerto for two pianos
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Concerto for two pianos
Francis Poulenc
Tel jour, telle nuit
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Tel jour, telle nuit
Francis Poulenc
Trois Poemes de Louise Lalanne
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Trois Poemes de Louise Lalanne
Francis Poulenc
Concert Champetre (1st movement)
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Concert Champetre (1st movement)
Francis Poulenc
Nocturne No 4 in C minor (Bal Fantome)
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Nocturne No 4 in C minor (Bal Fantome)
Francis Poulenc
Chansons Gaillardes
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Chansons Gaillardes
Francis Poulenc
Les Biches
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Les Biches
Francis Poulenc
La dame de Monte-Carlo
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La dame de Monte-Carlo
Francis Poulenc
Cocardes
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Cocardes
Francis Poulenc
Chanson a boire
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Chanson a boire
Francis Poulenc
Sextet for Piano and Winds, iii Finale
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Sextet for Piano and Winds, iii Finale
Francis Poulenc
Clarinet Sonata
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Clarinet Sonata
Francis Poulenc
Concerto in D minor for 2 pianos and orchestra
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Concerto in D minor for 2 pianos and orchestra
Francis Poulenc
Toilette de Diane (Aubade)
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Toilette de Diane (Aubade)
Francis Poulenc
Gloria - 3rd movement - Domine Deus
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Gloria - 3rd movement - Domine Deus
Francis Poulenc
Concert champêtre (3rd mvt)
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Concert champêtre (3rd mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Figure humaine (La menace sous le ciel rouge)
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Figure humaine (La menace sous le ciel rouge)
Francis Poulenc
Figure humaine (Le jour m'étonne et la nuit me fait peur)
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Figure humaine (Le jour m'étonne et la nuit me fait peur)
Francis Poulenc
Figure humaine (De tous les printemps du monde)
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Figure humaine (De tous les printemps du monde)
Francis Poulenc
Capriccio for two pianos
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Capriccio for two pianos
Francis Poulenc
Mélancolie
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Mélancolie
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata
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Flute Sonata
Francis Poulenc
Four Short Prayers of St Francis
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Four Short Prayers of St Francis
Francis Poulenc
Rondeau (Les biches)
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Rondeau (Les biches)
Francis Poulenc
Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano
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Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano
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Playlists featuring Francis Poulenc


Past BBC Events

Proms 1933: Prom 37
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ep5p5v
Queen's Hall
1933-09-23T00:10:07
23
Sep
1933

Proms 1933: Prom 37

Queen's Hall
Proms 1931: Prom 25
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/efq6v2
Queen's Hall
1931-09-05T00:10:07
5
Sep
1931

Proms 1931: Prom 25

Queen's Hall

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