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
Double Piano Concerto, 1st movement
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Double Piano Concerto, 1st movement

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Francis Poulenc
Agnus Dei (Mass in G major)
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Agnus Dei (Mass in G major)
Francis Poulenc
4 motets pur un temps de penitence (No.1 & No.2)
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4 motets pur un temps de penitence (No.1 & No.2)
Francis Poulenc
Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani
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Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani
Francis Poulenc
Gloria in excelsis Deo (Gloria)
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Gloria in excelsis Deo (Gloria)
Francis Poulenc
Salve regina
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Salve regina
Francis Poulenc
Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor, FP 61
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Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor, FP 61
Francis Poulenc
Les Biches, suite from the ballet (1939-1940)
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Les Biches, suite from the ballet (1939-1940)
Francis Poulenc
Trio for piano, oboe and bassoon
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Trio for piano, oboe and bassoon
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata (3rd mvt)
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Flute Sonata (3rd mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Un soir de neige
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Un soir de neige
Francis Poulenc
Excerpts from 'Sept Chansons'
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Excerpts from 'Sept Chansons'
Francis Poulenc
Figure humaine - cantata for double chorus
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Figure humaine - cantata for double chorus
Francis Poulenc
Fleurs from Fiancailles pour rire
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Fleurs from Fiancailles pour rire
Francis Poulenc
Rag-Mazurka (Les biches)
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Rag-Mazurka (Les biches)
Francis Poulenc
Concert champêtre (3rd mvt)
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Concert champêtre (3rd mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Litanies a la vierge noire
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Litanies a la vierge noire
Francis Poulenc
Concerto in D minor for two pianos
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Concerto in D minor for two pianos
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata
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Flute Sonata
Francis Poulenc
Piano Concerto, FP 146: I. Allegretto
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Piano Concerto, FP 146: I. Allegretto
Francis Poulenc
Capriccio (excerpt Finale of 'Bal masque')
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Capriccio (excerpt Finale of 'Bal masque')
Francis Poulenc
Les Biches: Suite
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Les Biches: Suite
Francis Poulenc
Double Piano Concerto, 1st movement
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Double Piano Concerto, 1st movement
Francis Poulenc
Les chemins de l'amour
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Les chemins de l'amour
Francis Poulenc
Melancolie
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Melancolie
Francis Poulenc
Concerto for organ, timpani and strings in G minor, FP 93
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Concerto for organ, timpani and strings in G minor, FP 93
Francis Poulenc
L'embarquement pour Cythère
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L'embarquement pour Cythère
Francis Poulenc
Concerto for two pianos in D minor
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Concerto for two pianos in D minor
Francis Poulenc
Rondeau (Les biches)
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Rondeau (Les biches)
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata (1st mvt)
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Flute Sonata (1st mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Oboe Sonata
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Oboe Sonata
Francis Poulenc
Petites voix pour voix egales a capella
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Petites voix pour voix egales a capella
Francis Poulenc
Riant du ciel et des planetes (Figure Humaine)
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Riant du ciel et des planetes (Figure Humaine)
Francis Poulenc
Rag-Mazurka (Les biches)
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Rag-Mazurka (Les biches)
Francis Poulenc
Quatre petites prieres de Sant Francois d'Assise
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Quatre petites prieres de Sant Francois d'Assise
Francis Poulenc
Chansons Gaillarde
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Chansons Gaillarde
Francis Poulenc
Liberté
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Liberté
Francis Poulenc
Dialogues des Carmélites (Act 3: excerpt)
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Dialogues des Carmélites (Act 3: excerpt)
Francis Poulenc
Dialogues des Carmélites (Act 2: excerpt)
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Dialogues des Carmélites (Act 2: excerpt)
Francis Poulenc
Rondeau (Les biches)
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Rondeau (Les biches)
Francis Poulenc
Suite pour piano
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Suite pour piano
Francis Poulenc
Les Animaux modeles: I. Le petit jour & II. Le lion amoureux
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Les Animaux modeles: I. Le petit jour & II. Le lion amoureux
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
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Past BBC Events

Proms 1933: Prom 37
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ep5p5v
Queen's Hall
1933-09-23T02:24:28
23
Sep
1933

Proms 1933: Prom 37

Queen's Hall
Proms 1931: Prom 25
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/efq6v2
Queen's Hall
1931-09-05T02:24:28
5
Sep
1931

Proms 1931: Prom 25

Queen's Hall

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