Francis Poulenc
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/960x540/p01bqt90.jpg
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 also made the acquaintance 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
Pavane from Suite française d'après Claude Gervaise, FP 80
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Pavane from Suite française d'après Claude Gervaise, FP 80

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Francis Poulenc
Petites voix pour voix egales a capella
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Petites voix pour voix egales a capella
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata arr Berkeley (1st mvt)
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Flute Sonata arr Berkeley (1st mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Sinfonietta for orchestra
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Sinfonietta for orchestra
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata: 2nd mvt
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Flute Sonata: 2nd mvt
Francis Poulenc
Capriccio (excerpt Finale of 'Bal masque')
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Capriccio (excerpt Finale of 'Bal masque')
Francis Poulenc
La Bestiaire
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La Bestiaire
Francis Poulenc
Promenades
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Promenades
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata
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Flute Sonata
Francis Poulenc
Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone
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Sonata for horn, trumpet and trombone
Francis Poulenc
'C' from 2 Poemes de Louis Aragon
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'C' from 2 Poemes de Louis Aragon
Francis Poulenc
Chansons gaillardes
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Chansons gaillardes
Francis Poulenc
Le Bestiaire
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Le Bestiaire
Francis Poulenc
Fiançailles pour rire
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Fiançailles pour rire
Francis Poulenc
Concerto in D minor for two pianos
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Concerto in D minor for two pianos
Francis Poulenc
Banalités
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Banalités
Francis Poulenc
Les chemins de l'amour
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Les chemins de l'amour
Francis Poulenc
Piano Concerto (1st mvt)
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Piano Concerto (1st mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Suite francaise
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Suite francaise
Francis Poulenc
Sinfonietta
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Sinfonietta
Francis Poulenc
Chansons Francaises
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Chansons Francaises
Francis Poulenc
Sept Chansons
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Sept Chansons
Francis Poulenc
Capriccio for two pianos
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Capriccio for two pianos
Francis Poulenc
Violin Sonata
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Violin Sonata
Francis Poulenc
Voyage from Calligrammes
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Voyage from Calligrammes
Francis Poulenc
Poulenc: Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano: III. Rondo
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Poulenc: Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano: III. Rondo
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata
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Flute Sonata
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata (2nd mvt)
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Flute Sonata (2nd mvt)
Francis Poulenc
Toccata (Three Pieces for Piano)
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Toccata (Three Pieces for Piano)
Francis Poulenc
Oboe Sonata
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Oboe Sonata
Francis Poulenc
La Blanche Neige; A peine deliguree (7 Chansons)
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La Blanche Neige; A peine deliguree (7 Chansons)
Francis Poulenc
Tel jour telle nuit
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Tel jour telle nuit
Francis Poulenc
Sonata for Oboe FP, 185; 1. Allegro
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Sonata for Oboe FP, 185; 1. Allegro
Francis Poulenc
Carte postale (4 Poemes de Guillaume Apollinaire)
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Carte postale (4 Poemes de Guillaume Apollinaire)
Francis Poulenc
Salve Regina
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Salve Regina
Francis Poulenc
Tout Puissant
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Tout Puissant
Francis Poulenc
Élégie en accords alternés
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Élégie en accords alternés
Francis Poulenc
La Reine de coeur
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La Reine de coeur
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata
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Flute Sonata
Francis Poulenc
Les animaux modèles Suite, FP 111: II. Le lion amoureux
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Les animaux modèles Suite, FP 111: II. Le lion amoureux
Francis Poulenc
Intermezzo in A flat major
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Intermezzo in A flat major
Francis Poulenc
Suite française for cello and piano
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Suite française for cello and piano
Francis Poulenc
III. Alerte - Un peu moins vite
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III. Alerte - Un peu moins vite
Francis Poulenc
Les animaux modèles suite, FP 111 (mvts 1-3)
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Les animaux modèles suite, FP 111 (mvts 1-3)
Francis Poulenc
Organ Concerto in G minor
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Organ Concerto in G minor
Francis Poulenc
Flute Sonata - 2nd movement
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Flute Sonata - 2nd movement
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
Novelettes Nos 1, 2 and 3
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Novelettes Nos 1, 2 and 3
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Past BBC Events

Proms 1933: Prom 37
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ep5p5v
Queen's Hall
1933-09-23T23:51:13
23
Sep
1933

Proms 1933: Prom 37

Queen's Hall
Proms 1931: Prom 25
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/efq6v2
Queen's Hall
1931-09-05T23:51:13
5
Sep
1931

Proms 1931: Prom 25

Queen's Hall

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