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Critics have often criticised Poulenc's response to the horrors of World War Two - relatively wealthy and in possession of a well-appointed country house, after his national service he was able to largely escape the traumas of the conflict and continue his social life. Yet the war did affect him deeply musically.
Donald Macleod introduces four very different wartime compositions: a plangent motet, a furious violin sonata, a sneaky act of musical resistance aimed at ignorant German soldiers in the audience at the Paris Opera...and perhaps Poulenc's most charming and characteristic work: his setting of Jean de Brunhoff's "Babar The Elephant" for narrator and orchestra.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Thu 14 Jun 2012 18:30

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