Francis Poulenc

~ Person


Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (French: [fʁɑ̃sis ʒɑ̃ maʁsɛl pulɛ̃k]; 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 opera Dialogues des Carmélites (1957), and the Gloria (1959) for soprano, choir and orchestra.

His wealthy family intended Poulenc for a business career and did not allow him 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.

In addition to composing, Poulenc was an accomplished pianist. He was particularly celebrated for his performing partnerships with the baritone Pierre Bernac (who also advised him in vocal writing) and the soprano Denise Duval, touring in Europe and America with each, and making many recordings. He was among the first composers to see the importance of the gramophone, and he recorded extensively from 1928 onwards.

In his later years, and for decades after his death, Poulenc had a reputation, particularly in his native country, as a humorous, lightweight composer, and his religious music was often overlooked. During the 21st century more attention has been given to his serious works, with many new productions of Dialogues des Carmélites and La Voix humaine worldwide, and numerous live and recorded performances of his songs and choral music.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1958 Dialogues des Carmélites Francis Poulenc; Orchestre de l'Opéra National de Paris, Chœur de l’Opéra de Paris, Pierre Dervaux 2
1966 Peter Ustinov Tells the Stories of Babar the Elephant and the Little Tailor Poulenc, Harsányi; Peter Ustinov, Paris Conservatoire Orchestra, Georges Prêtre 1
1967 Poulenc: Les Animaux modèles / Saint-Saëns: Le Carnaval des animaux Saint‐Saëns, Poulenc; Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, Aldo Ciccolini, Alexis Weissenberg, Georges Prêtre 1
1983 Bacchanales Warlock, Poulenc, Arnold, Couperin, Bartók; Equale Brass 1
1984 Aubade / Concerto pour piano / Concerto pour 2 pianos (Bernard Ringeissen, Gabriel Tacchino) Francis Poulenc 2
1985 Stabat Mater / Litanies a la Vierge Noire (Chœurs et Orchestre National de Lyon, Direction: Serge Baudo) Francis Poulenc 1
1985 Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms / Poulenc: Gloria Stravinsky, Poulenc; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Robert Shaw 1
1987 Concerto in G Minor for Organ / Gloria / Quatre Motets Pour En Temps De Pénitence Francis Poulenc 1
1987 Les Soirées de Nazelles / 3 Mouvements perpétuels / 3 Novelettes / 9 Improvisations Poulenc; Pascal Rogé 1
1988 Figure humaine, motets, Salve Regina, prières Francis Poulenc 1
1988 Gloria and Other Choral Music (The Cambridge Singers & The City of London Sinfonia feat. conductor: John Rutter) Francis Poulenc 1
1989 Voyage à Paris: The Mélodies of Francis Poulenc Francis Poulenc; Felicity Lott, Graham Johnson 2
1989 Gloria / Stabat Mater Poulenc; Kathleen Battle, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa 2
1989 Chamber Music Poulenc; Pascal Rogé, Gallois, Bourgue, Portal, Wallez, Cazalet 1
1989 Poulenc: Chamber Music (Ensemble Wien-Berlin feat. piano James Levine) Francis Poulenc 2
1989 Gloria / Stabat Mater Francis Poulenc; Chœur de Radio France, Orchestre National de France & Georges Prêtre 1
1989 Les mamelles de Tirésias / Le Bal masqué Francis Poulenc 1
1990 The Complete Music for Solo Piano Poulenc; Paul Crossley 1
1990 Figures Humaine - Motets (Harry Christophers) Francis Poulenc 1
1990 Mass in G major / Motets for Christmas and Lent (Robert Shaw Festival Singers feat. conductor: Robert Shaw) Francis Poulenc 1
1990 Organ Concerto / Concerto Champêtre / Gloria Francis Poulenc 1
1990 Piano Music Francis Poulenc;Pascal Rogé 1
1990 Saint-Saëns: Le Carnaval des animaux / Poulenc: Concerto pour 2 pianos et orchestre Saint-Saëns, Poulenc; Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, Marek Janowski, Güher & Süher Pekinel 1
1990 Sonatas and Ballade for Cello and Piano Debussy, Martin, Poulenc; William Conway, Peter Evans 1
1991 Ibert: Divertissement / Concertino da camera / Poulenc: Sinfonietta Jacques Ibert, Francis Poulenc; San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Donald Barra, Michael Whicombe 1
1992 Francis Poulenc Plays Poulenc & Satie Poulenc, Satie, Chabrier; Francis Poulenc, Pierre Bernac 1
1992 Dialogues des Carmélites (Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon feat. conductor: Kent Nagano) Francis Poulenc 1
1992 Sécheresses / 7 Répons des ténèbres (Nouvel Orch. Phil. de Radio France, Georges Prêtre) Francis Poulenc 1
1993 Werke für Violine und Klavier Auric, Françaix, Milhaud, Poulenc, Satie; Frank Peter Zimmermann, Alexander Lonquich 1
1993 Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra / Complete Works for Two Pianos Francis Poulenc; Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Frans Rasmussen, Thorson & Thurber 1
1993 La Musique de Chambre Francis Poulenc; Jean-Pierre Armengaud, Solistes de l'Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France 1
1993 La Voix humaine Francis Poulenc; Françoise Pollet, Orchestre National de Lille, Jean-Claude Casadesus 2
1994 Piano Concerto / Concerto for 2 pianos / Organ Concerto (Philharmonia Orchestra feat. conductor: Charles Dutoit) Francis Poulenc 1
1994 Die Geschichte von Babar, dem kleinen Elefanten (L'Histoire de Babar) Francis Poulenc, Leonard Bernstein, Leroy Anderson, Пётр Ильич Чайковский 1
1994 Poulenc: Organ Concerto / Widor: Symphony no. 5 for Organ / Guilmant: Symphony no. 1 for Organ and Orchestra Poulenc, Widor, Guilmant; BBC Philharmonic, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Ian Tracey 1
1994 Stabat Mater Szymanowski, Poulenc; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Robert Shaw 1
1994 Stabat mater / Gloria / Litanies à la viegre noire Francis Poulenc 2
1995 Gloria Poulenc; Kathleen Battle, Simon Preston, Trevor Pinnock, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Ozawa 1
1995 Gloria / Stabat Mater Francis Poulenc; BBC Singers, BBC Philharmonic, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Janice Watson 1
1996 Poulenc: Organ Concerto / Gloria / Sextuor / Concert Champêtre / Concerto for 2 pianos Francis Poulenc 1
1996 Gloria Francis Poulenc 1
1996 Works for Clarinet and Piano Schumann, Debussy, Poulenc, Françaix; Sharon Kam, Itamar Golan 1
1997 Chœurs profanes Poulenc, Ravel; Chœur de Chambre Accentus, Laurence Équilbey 2
1997 Francis Poulenc - Œuvres sacrées (Accentus feat. conductor: Laurence Equilbey) Francis Poulenc 2
1997 French Choral Music Saint‐Saëns, Fauré, Debussy, Poulenc, Duruflé, Villette; Elizabeth Lane, Richard Egarr, Nicholas White, The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Timothy Brown 1
1998 Piano Music, Volume 1 Francis Poulenc; Olivier Cazal 1
1998 Intégrale musique de chambre Francis Poulenc 1
1998 Poulenc: Piano Music volume 3 Pascal Rogé, Francis Poulenc 1
1999 BBC Music, Volume 8, Number 1: Love Sacred, Love Profane Fauré, Poulenc, Messiaen; BBC Singers 1
1999 Complete Chamber Music, Volume 1 (piano: Alexandre Tharaud) Francis Poulenc 1
1999 Aubade, Les Biches, etc. (Orchestre National de France feat. conductor: Charles Dutoit) Francis Poulenc 1
1999 Berlioz: Les nuits d'été / Ravel: Shéhérazade / Debussy / Poulenc Berlioz, Ravel, Debussy, Poulenc; Régine Crespin 1
2000 Complete Chamber Music, Volume 3 Francis Poulenc 1
2001 Figure Humaine Francis Poulenc; RIAS Kammerchor, Daniel Reuss 1
2001 Figure humaine Francis Poulenc; Chœur de Chambre Accentus, Laurence Équilbey 1
2001 La Voix humaine Francis Poulenc; L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Armin Jordan, Felicity Lott 2
2002 Poulenc: Concerto for Organ / Petit: Concertino / Barber: Toccata Festiva Francis Poulenc, Pierre Petit, Samuel Barber; Gillian Weir, English Chamber Orchestra 1
2002 French Violin Sonatas Poulenc, Debussy, Saint-Saëns; Midori, Robert McDonald 1
2004 La voix humaine (Orchestre National de France feat. conductor: Georges Prêtre, soprano: Julia Migenes) Francis Poulenc 1
2004 Concerto pour 2 pianos / Concerto pour piano / Aubade (Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège feat. director: Stéphane Denève) Francis Poulenc 1
2004 Les Biches \ Pastourelle \ Aubade \ Les Animaux modèles (Philiharmonia Orchestra & Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire feat. conductor: George Prêtre) Francis Poulenc 1
2004 Sacred & Secular Choral Works Francis Poulenc; Groupe Vocal de France, John Alldis 1
2004 Tu es Petrus / Grande Messe Solennelle Maurice Duruflé, Simone Plé, Francis Poulenc, Thierry Escaich; Le Madrigal de Paris, Pierre Calmelet 1
2005 Poulenc: Organ Concerto / Alain, Duruflé: Organ Works Poulenc, Duruflé, Alain; Marie-Claire Alain, Bamberger Symphoniker, Jean-Jacques Kantorow 2
2005 Figure humaine (RIAS-Kammerchor feat. director: Daniel Reuss) Francis Poulenc 1
2005 Piano Music / Chamber Works Poulenc; Pascal Rogé 1
2006 Sacred Choral Music Francis Poulenc; Netherlands Chamber Choir, Eric Ericson 1
2008 Gloria / Motets Poulenc; Susan Gritton, Polyphony, Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, Britten Sinfonia, Stephen Layton 1
2008 Debussy / Poulenc Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc; Jean-Guihen Queyras, Alexandre Tharaud 1
2008 BBC Music, Volume 17, Number 3: 20th-Century French Classics Poulenc, Messiaen, Stravinsky 1
2009 Danses et Divertissements Poulenc, Taffanel, Jolivet, Tomasi; Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, Stephen Hough 1
2009 Concerto: Concertos for Keyboard Instruments Francis Poulenc; Hansjörg Albrecht 1
2010 Liebermann Flute Concerto and Works by Hüe, Poulenc and Nielsen Lowell Liebermann, Georges Hüe, Francis Poulenc, Carl Nielsen; Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Paul Daniel, Katherine Bryan 1
2011 Figure Humaine / Mass In G / Un Soir De Neige / Sept Chansons Poulenc; Swedish Radio Choir, Peter Dijkstra 1
2011 Franck / Debussy / Poulenc Franck, Debussy, Poulenc; Anne Gastinel, Claire Désert 1
2012 Complete Chamber Music Poulenc; London Conchord Ensemble 1
2013 The Complete Songs Francis Poulenc; Graham Johnson 1
2013 Gloria / Litanies à la Vierge noire / Stabat Mater Francis Poulenc; Orchestre de Paris, Chœur de l'Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi, Patricia Petibon 1
2013 Klavierkonzerte Debussy, Poulenc, Ravel, Françaix; Florian Uhlig, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, Pablo González 1
2014 Poulenc / Walton / Dallapiccola / Schnittke / Silvestrov Poulenc, Walton, Dallapiccola, Schnittke, Silvestrov; Duo Gazzana 1
2014 Lauridsen: Mid-Winter Songs / Poulenc: Un soir de neige Morten Lauridsen, Francis Poulenc; Phoenix Chamber Choir 1
2014 Stabat Mater / Sept Répons des Ténèbres Francis Poulenc; Carolyn Sampson, Cappella Amsterdam, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Reuss 1
3 Masses of the 20th Century Poulenc, Hindemith, Vaughan Williams; Mikaeli kammarkör, Anders Eby 1
Chœurs Sacrés (Groupe Vocal de France feat. conductor: John Aldis) Francis Poulenc 1
Concertos for piano Francis Poulenc; François-René Duchâble, Jean-Philippe Collard, Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, James Conlon 1
Francis Poulenc: La voix humaine / Jean Cocteau: Le bel indifférent Francis Poulenc; Jean Cocteau 4 1
Gloria / Stabat Mater / Litanies à la Vierge Noire (City of London Sinfonia feat. conductor: Richard Hickox, soprano: Catherine Dubosc, choir: Westminster Singers) Francis Poulenc 1
Les Chemins de l'amour Duparc, Ravel, Poulenc, Satie; Jessye Norman, Dalton Baldwin 1
Poulenc - Piano Music, Volume 3 Francis Poulenc; Olivier Cazal 1
Poulenc: Concerto pour 2 pianos et orchestre / Milhaud: Scaramouche Poulenc, Milhaud; Katia & Marielle Labèque, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa 1
Sextet / Violin Sonata / Élégie / Oboe Sonata / Clarinet Sonata Francis Poulenc; Prague Wind Quintet, Pascal Devoyon, Ivan Klánský, Pascal Moraguès, Gérard Poulet 1
The Concertos for Solo Keyboard Francis Poulenc; Maggie Cole, Gillian Weir & Jean-Bernard Pommier & City of London Sinfonia & Richard Hickox 1

Album + Audiobook

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Le Bal Masque / Le Bestiaire / Sextet / Trio Francis Poulenc; Thomas Allen, The Nash Ensemble, Lionel Friend 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1962 Magnificent Two-Piano Performances Debussy, Poulenc, Franck, Saint‐Saëns; Leonid Hambro, Jascha Zayde 2
1976 Parkening and the Guitar: Music of Two Centuries Handel, Couperin, Scarlatti, Weiss, Visée, Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Poulenc 1
1985 Complete Music for Wind Instruments and Piano Francis Poulenc 2
1987 Le bal masqué / Élégie pour cor et piano / Sonate pour flûte et piano / Trio pour piano, hautbois et basson Francis Poulenc 3
1988 Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms / Poulenc: Gloria / Bernstein: Chichester Psalms Stravinsky, Poulenc, Bernstein; New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein 1
1989 Chamber Music Francis Poulenc 2
1992 Janáček: Glagolitic Mass / Poulenc: Gloria Janáček, Poulenc; The Westminster Choir, New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein 1

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