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Francis Poulenc

7 jan 1899 (Paris) - 30 jan 1963 (Paris)


Books about Francis Poulenc and his music

bookBenjamin Ivry Francis Poulenc (20th-Century Composers)
Phaidon Press, 1996; ISBN 071483503X; 240 pages
The consistent wit and charm of Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) has often led to an underestimation of its value, yet there is now a growing recognition of his stature to which this biography will add. Admired for his fine songs and relgious works, he is perhaps best known for his humorous, insouciant pieces. From the freshness of his ballet "Les Biches", composed for Diaghilev in 1924, to his ambitious 1956 opera, "Dialogues des Carmelites", the author discusses Poulenc's work in the context of his homosexuality and against the colourful background of Paris in the first half of the century. His friendships with such key figures of the time as Jean Cocteau, Igor Stravinksy and Darius Milhaud were complex, but always artistically enriching. For 25 years he toured as an accompanist to the great French baritone, Pierre Barnac, for whom he wrote many of his works, and also performed as piano soloist in some of his own compositions. Despite the contradition between Poulen'c frequent homosexual encounters and his Catholic piety, he accepted both aspects of his nature, and was directly inspired by his lovers when composing some of his best religious music. His own self-image as an ageing homosexual was expressed indirectly in his one-act opera, "La Voix humaine" (1958) and more explicitly in the vocal work "La Dame de Monte Carlo" (1961). The composer's love affairs with working-class men and his sensitivity about his role in wartime occupation France have always been somewhat obscured; in this fresh insight into Poulen'c life, the author uses recently published documents to shed new light on the composer and the man. A full range of existing documents is cited to form a three-dimensional portrait of the complex and sometimes contradictory composer. Price indication: $ 16.47
bookCarl B. Schmidt The Music of Francis Poulenc (1899-1963): A Catalogue
Oxford University Press, 1995; ISBN 0198163363; 640 pages
Schmidt's catalogue of Poulenc's works represents the first comprehensive listing of his life's works. The book describes each work, finished and unfinished, lists and describes all known editions and manuscript copies, and provides detailed compositional histories, often based on unpublished letters and documents. The catalogue also identifies a number of unpublished works and adds a small group of compositions to Poulenc's canon for the first time. Price indication: $ 160.00
bookRichard D. E. Burton Francis Poulenc (Outlines)
Absolute Press, 2004; ISBN 1899791094; 144 pages
Richard Burton explores the fascinating world of early to mid-twentieth century artistic gay Paris and in particular the links between Poulenc's sexuality, his music and his relgious beliefs, with extensive reference to other artists in his circle, including Cocteau and Radiguet. Price indication: $ 10.36
bookWilfrid Mellers Francis Poulenc (Oxford Studies of Composers)
Oxford University Press, 1995; ISBN 019816338X; 208 pages
Once considered as little more than the froth in the wake of the First World War, a witty boy-hedonist who, in the giddy Twenties, tweaked the noses of moribund establishmentarians, Poulenc has in fact proved unexpectedly durable--more so than any of his colleagues among Les Six, Here is a survey of Poulenc's music, based on careful selection of his works, and written by an authoritative guide. Adopting a broadly chronological approach, Mellers traces Poulenc's development as a composer from enfant terrible to a mature composer both for secular society and for the liturgy of the Catholic Church; in so doing he points to the reasons for the durability and pertinacity of his appeal. Mellers further assesses Poulenc's place in the French tradition, and, in a Postlude, pays tribute to the warm regard with which Poulenc was held by so many of his fellow musicians. Price indication: $ 55.00
bookManuel Rosenthal Satie, Ravel, Poulenc: An Intimate Memoir
Hanuman Books, 1987; ISBN 0937815098; 81 pages Price indication: $ 5.95
bookSidney Buckland Francis Poulenc: 'Echo and Source' : Selected Correspondence 1915-1963
Victor Gollancz, 1992; ISBN 0575050934; 448 pages Price indication: (used only): from $ 70.26
bookFrancis Poulenc and Myriam Chim Correspondance, 1910-1963
Fayard, 1994; ISBN 2213030200 Price indication: $ 93.55
bookPierre Bernac Francis Poulenc: The man and his songs
V. Gollancz, 1977; ISBN 0575023287; 233 pages Price indication: (used only): from $ 94.96

Sheet music, libretti, etc.

Dialogues of the Carmelites - Ricordi

Francis Poulenc: Mouvements Perpetuels - Chester Music

Francis Poulenc: Sonata for Clarinet & Piano - Chester Music

Francis Poulenc: Suite for Piano - Chester Music

La Dame De Monte Carlo : - Poulenc - Ricordi

La Voix Humaine - Ricordi



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