He plays the piano well, wrote the society hostess Mme de Saint-Marceaux in her diary on 18 March 1927. His compositions are not devoid of talent but hes not a genius, and Im afraid he thinks he is. Intelligent though the lady was, she gotMoreHe plays the piano well, wrote the society hostess Mme de Saint-Marceaux in her diary on 18 March 1927. His compositions are not devoid of talent but hes not a genius, and Im afraid he thinks he is. Intelligent though the lady was, she got this one spectacularly wrong.
Poulenc has in fact outpaced his colleagues in Les Six by many a mile, as singers and instrumentalists all over the world will attest, and while he would never have accepted the title of genius, preferring artisan, a genius is increasingly what he appears to have been.Part of the answer lay in always being his own man, and this independence of spirit shows through in his writings and interviews just as brightly as in his music, whether its boasting that hed be happy never to hear The Mastersingers ever again, pointing out that what critics condemn as the formlessness of French music is one of its delights, voicing his outrage at attempts to finish the Unfinished Symphony, writing in praise of banality - or remembering the affair of Debussys hat.
And in every case, his intelligence, humour and generosity of spirit help explain why he was so widely and deeply loved.This volume comprises selected articles from Francis Poulenc: Jecris ce qui me chante (Fayard, 2011) edited by Nicholas Southon. Many of these articles and interviews have not been available in English before and Roger Nicholss translation, capturing the very essence of Poulencs lively writing style, makes more widely accessible this significant contribution to Poulenc scholarship