By Nicolas Southon, Roger Nichols
'He performs the piano well,' wrote the society hostess Mme de Saint-Marceaux in her diary on 18 March 1927. 'His compositions will not be without expertise yet he isn't a genius, and i am afraid he thinks he is.' clever even though the girl used to be, she bought this one spectacularly incorrect. Poulenc has actually outpaced his colleagues in Les Six by way of many a mile, as singers and instrumentalists around the globe will attest, and whereas he might by no means have permitted the name of 'genius', who prefer 'artisan', a genius is more and more what he looks to have been.Part of the reply lay in continually being his personal guy, and this independence of spirit exhibits via in his writings and interviews simply as brightly as in his tune, no matter if it really is boasting that he'd feel free by no means to listen to The Mastersingers ever back, mentioning that what critics condemn because the 'formlessness' of French tune is one among its delights, voicing his outrage at makes an attempt to 'finish' the incomplete Symphony, writing 'in compliment of banality' - or remembering the affair of Debussy's hat. And in each case, his intelligence, humour and generosity of spirit aid clarify why he was once so broadly and deeply loved.This quantity contains chosen articles from Francis Poulenc: J'ecris ce qui me chante (Fayard, 2011) edited through Nicholas Southon. a lot of those articles and interviews haven't been on hand in English sooner than and Roger Nichols's translation, shooting the very essence of Poulenc's energetic writing kind, makes extra extensively available this important contribution to Poulenc scholarship.
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Additional info for Francis Poulenc, Articles and Interviews: Notes from the Heart
The worldwide revival of an unfairly forgotten instrument is due to a woman of genius. 2 What might initially have seemed like the whim of an academic writer on music today blazes forth in all its rightness. That a woman so frail in appearance can be the greatest interpreter of the giant Bach is something that is at first astounding. But when you get to know Wanda, you realize that her exquisite femininity is merely the outer covering of a prodigious musical intelligence. 44 Francis Poulenc: Articles and Interviews At the age of 70, famous, widely loved and in full command of her powers, Wanda Landowska prepared for her recording of Das Wohltemperierte Klavier with extraordinary care and labour, to produce ‘my life’s work’, as she calls it.
44 Francis Poulenc: Articles and Interviews At the age of 70, famous, widely loved and in full command of her powers, Wanda Landowska prepared for her recording of Das Wohltemperierte Klavier with extraordinary care and labour, to produce ‘my life’s work’, as she calls it. Comparing variant editions, without pedantry but with the insight of the true scholar, fingering every note, pondering a registration over several weeks, Landowska achieves this miracle (the secret shared by artists like Toscanini and Casals): giving the impression of spontaneity by arduous study.
In 1964, Ashton invited Nijinska to revive Les Biches with the Royal Ballet. ‘Francis Poulenc on His Ballets’ 2 41 The Russian dancer Vera Nemtchinova (1899–1984) danced the role of The Lady in Blue, and also in Milhaud’s Le Train Bleu in 1924. 3 The Russian dancer and choreographer Bronislava Nijinska (1891–1972) had, like her brother Vaslav Nijinsky, belonged to Diaghilev’s Ballets russes since 1909. As well as inventing the choreography for Les Biches, she danced the role of the Hostess, alternately with Ninette de Valois.