Sheet Music – £ – Six short Piano pieces for children by French composer Francis Poulenc. Francis Poulenc: Villageoises, petites pièces infantines, FP65 – Play streams in full or download MP3 from Classical Archives (), the largest . Francis Poulenc Villageoises Petites pieces enfantines pour piano. Six Pieces. Published by Editions Salabert, Paris. 11 pages, Minor light age/shelf wear.

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Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc French: 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.

Poulenc soon came under the influence of Erik Satieunder 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 s a much more serious side to his nature emerged, particularly in the religious music he composed from 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 Duvaltouring in Europe and America with each, and making many recordings.

He was among the first composers to see the importance of the gramophoneand he recorded extensively from 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.

Jenny Poulenc was from a Parisian family with wide artistic interests.

In Poulenc’s view, the two sides of his nature grew out of this background: Poulenc grew up villageoisrs a musical household; his mother was a capable pianist, with a wide repertoire ranging from classical to less elevated works that gave him a lifelong taste for what he called “adorable bad music”.

Other composers whose works influenced his development were Schubert and Stravinsky: He later franciis many of their poems to music. He was a most delightful man, a bizarre hidalgo with enormous moustachios, a flat-brimmed sombrero in the purest Spanish style, and button boots which he used to rap my shins when I didn’t change the pedalling enough.

I admired him madly, because, at this time, inhe was the only virtuoso who played Debussy and Ravel. I owe him everything When Poulenc was sixteen his mother died; his father died two years later. Georges Auric and Erik Satie. Auric, who was the same age as Poulenc, was franci early villageoiises musically; by the time the two met, Auric’s music had already been performed at important Parisian concert venues.

The two young composers shared a similar musical outlook and enthusiasms, and for the rest of Poulenc’s life Auric was his most trusted friend and guide. There was a fashion for African arts in Paris at the time, and Poulenc was delighted to run across some published verses purportedly Liberian, but villlageoises of Parisian boulevard slang. He used one of the poems in two sections of the rhapsody.

Francis Poulenc – Villageoises for Piano.

The baritone engaged for the first performance lost his nerve on the platform, and the composer, though no singer, jumped in. This jeu d’esprit was the first of many examples of what Anglophone critics came to franciz “leg-Poulenc”. In Poulenc got to know Ravel well enough to have serious discussions with him about music. He was dismayed by Ravel’s judgments, which exalted composers whom Poulenc thought little of above those he greatly admired.

Ravel’s modesty about his own music particularly appealed to Poulenc, who sought throughout his life to follow Ravel’s example. From January to January Poulenc was a conscript in the French army in the last months of the First World War and the immediate post-war period. Villafeoises July and October he served at the Franco-German frontafter which he was given a series of auxiliary posts, ending as a typist at the Ministry of Aviation. At this stage in his career Poulenc was conscious of his lack of academic musical training; the critic and biographer Jeremy Sams writes that it was the composer’s good luck that the public mood was turning against late- romantic lushness in favour of the “freshness and insouciant charm” of his works, technically unsophisticated though they were.


In completely arbitrary fashion Collet chose the names of six composers, Auric, Durey, Honegger, Poulenc, Tailleferre and myself, for no other reason than that we knew each other, that we were friends and were represented in the same programmes, but without the slightest concern for our different attitudes and our different natures. Auric and Poulenc followed the ideas of CocteauHonegger was a product of German Romanticism and my leanings were towards a Mediterranean lyrical art Collet’s article made such a wide impression villageolses the Groupe des Six had come into being.

Cocteau, though similar in age to Les Sixwas something of a father-figure to the group. Their piano suite L’Album des Six consists of six separate and unrelated pieces.

In the early s Poulenc remained concerned at his lack of formal musical training. Satie was suspicious of music colleges, but Ravel advised Poulenc to take composition lessons; Milhaud suggested the composer and teacher Charles Koechlin. From the early s Poulenc was well received abroad, particularly in Britain, both as a performer and a composer.

He ought to develop into a farceur of the first order. Neither of the French composers was influenced by their Austrian colleagues’ revolutionary twelve-tone system, but they admired the three as its leading proponents. As the decade progressed, Poulenc produced a range of compositions, from songs to chamber music and another ballet, Aubade. Hell suggests that Koechlin’s influence occasionally inhibited Poulenc’s natural simple style, and that Auric offered useful guidance to help him appear in his true colours.

At a concert of music by the two friends inPoulenc’s songs were sung for the first time by the baritone Pierre Bernacfrom whom, in Hell’s phrase, “the name of Poulenc was soon to be inseparable. He heard her as the soloist in Falla ‘s El retablo de maese Pedroan early example of the use of a harpsichord in a modern work, and was immediately taken with the sound. The biographer Richard D. Burton comments that, in the late s, Poulenc might have seemed to be in an enviable position: As she was not only well aware of his homosexuality but was also romantically attached elsewhere, she refused him, and their relationship became strained.

On her death he wrote, “All my youth departs with her, all that part of my life that belonged only to her. I am now twenty years older”. At the start of the decade, Poulenc returned to writing songs, after a two-year break from doing so. His “Epitaphe”, to a poem by Malherbewas written in memory of Linossier, and is described by the pianist Graham Johnson as “a profound song in every sense”. Destouches, who married in the s, remained close to Poulenc until the end of the composer’s life. Two unrelated events in combined to inspire a reawakening of religious faith and a new depth of seriousness in Poulenc’s music.

His fellow composer Pierre-Octave Ferroud was killed in a car crash so violent that he was decapitated, and almost immediately afterwards, while on holiday, Poulenc visited the sanctuary of Rocamadour. A few days earlier I’d just heard of the tragic death of my colleague As I meditated on the fragility of our human frame, I was drawn once more to the life of the spirit. Rocamadour had the effect of restoring me to the faith of my childhood. This sanctuary, undoubtedly the oldest in France In that work I tried to get across the atmosphere of “peasant devotion” that had struck me so forcibly in that lofty chapel.

In he composed his first major liturgical work, the Mass in G major for soprano and mixed choir a cappellawhich has become the most frequently performed of all his sacred works.

In Poulenc began giving frequent recitals with Bernac.

They continued to perform together for more than twenty years, in Paris and internationally, until Bernac’s retirement in Throughout the decade, Poulenc was popular with British audiences; he established a fruitful relationship with the BBC in London, which broadcast many of his works.

Poulenc was briefly a soldier again during the Second World War ; he was called up on 2 June and served in an anti-aircraft unit at Bordeaux. He spent the summer of that year with family and friends at Brive-la-Gaillarde in south-central France. At Brive-la-Gaillarde he began three new works, and once back at his home in Noizay in October he started on a fourth. For most of the war, Poulenc was in Paris, giving recitals with Bernac, concentrating on French songs.


In Januarycommissioned by the French government, Poulenc and Bernac flew from Paris to London, where they received an enthusiastic welcome. The child was brought up without knowing who her father was Poulenc was supposedly her “godfather” but he made generous provision for her, and she was the principal beneficiary of his will.

In the post-war period Poulenc crossed swords with composers of the younger generation who rejected Stravinsky’s recent work and insisted that only the precepts of the Second Viennese School were valid.

Poulenc defended Stravinsky and expressed incredulity that “in we are speaking as if the aesthetic of twelve tones is the only possible salvation for contemporary music”. This led him to focus on his more serious works, and to try to persuade the French public to listen to them.

In the US and Britain, with their strong choral traditions, his religious music was frequently performed, but performances in France were much rarer, so that the public and the critics were often unaware of his serious compositions. In Poulenc made his first visit to the US, in a two-month concert tour with Bernac. Poulenc began the s with a new partner in his private life, Lucien Roubert, a travelling salesman. He considered the story of St Margaret of Cortona but found a dance version of her life impracticable.

Poulenc found it “such a moving and noble work”, [35] ideal for his libretto, and he began composition in August During the composition of the opera, Poulenc suffered two blows. He learned of a dispute between Bernanos’s estate and the writer Emmet Laverywho held the rights to theatrical adaptations of Le Fort’s novel; this caused Poulenc to stop work on his opera. As his personal wealth had declined since the s he required the substantial income earned from his recitals.

The opera was first given in January at La Scala in Italian translation. It was a tremendous success, to the composer’s considerable relief. Poulenc in a letter []. In Poulenc embarked on a collaboration with his old friend Cocteau, in an operatic version of the latter’s monodrama La Voix humaine. Poulenc visited the US in and Among his works given during these trips were the American premiere of La Voix humaine at Carnegie Hall in New York, with Duval, [] and the world premiere of his Gloriaa large-scale work for soprano, four-part mixed chorus and orchestra, conducted in Boston by Charles Munch.

List of compositions by Francis Poulenc – Wikipedia

On 30 Januaryat his flat opposite the Jardin du LuxembourgVkllageoises suffered a fatal heart attack. His funeral was at the nearby church of Saint-Sulpice. Poulenc’s music is essentially diatonic. In Henri Hell ‘s view, this is because the main feature of Poulenc’s musical art is his melodic gift.

Poulenc said that he was not inventive in his harmonic language. The composer Lennox Berkeley wrote of him, “All through his life, he was content to use conventional harmony, but his use of it was so individual, so immediately recognizable as his own, that it gave his music freshness and validity.

If you take away either part, the serious or the non-serious, you destroy him. If one part is erased you get only a pale photocopy of what he really is. Poulenc’s principal works for large orchestra comprise two ballets, a Sinfonietta and four keyboard concertos.

List of compositions by Francis Poulenc

The first of the ballets, Les bicheswas first performed in and remains one of his best-known works. Villagoises writes in Grove that the clear and tuneful score has no deep, or ooulenc shallow, symbolism, a fact “accentuated by a tiny passage of mock- Wagnerian brass, complete with emotive minor 9ths “.

Nichols comments that the fanfares in the last movement bring to mind the bugles in the barracks of Vincennes in the Paris suburbs.