Poulenc, Francis (opera) (Jean Marcel )
- Jeremy Sams
(Jean Marcel )
(b Paris, Jan 7, 1899; d Paris, Jan 30, 1963). French composer . His youth and early career were characterized by wealth, happiness and good fortune. His parents were well off and well connected, but it was through a rather worldly ‘Oncle Papoum’ as well as his piano teacher, the influential Ricardo Viñes, that he secured his entrées into Parisian social and musical life. His good fortune was that his first attempts at composition, though technically insecure, displayed a freshness and insouciant charm which accorded with the contemporary backlash to the sophistication of post-Wagnerian French music. The new fashion, led by Jean Cocteau and endorsed by Erik Satie, was for simplicity: the sounds of the street, bals musettes and circuses rather than the once fashionable belle époque. Poulenc’s early works – the Rapsodie nègre (1917), the Trois mouvements perpetuels (1918), the miniature song cycles Le bestiaire...