Bernac [Bertin], Pierre
- Alan Blyth
(b Paris, Jan 12, 1899; d Avignon, Oct 17, 1979). French baritone. He began taking singing lessons at the age of 18, and was first taught by the composer André Caplet. He was later coached by Yvonne Gouverné, who accompanied him at his first recital, in Paris, in 1925. He quickly became a renowned interpreter of mélodies, and in 1926 he gave the first performance of Poulenc’s Chansons gailliardes, a harbinger of things to come. He made only two excursions into opera, both as Pelléas, at Paris in 1933 (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées) and at Geneva with Ansermet in 1936. From 1930 to 1932 he studied lieder with Reinhard von Wahrlich. Then, in 1934, looking for a pianist to partner him at a Debussy recital at the Salzburg Festival, he approached Poulenc. Their musical rapport was so great that they decided there and then on a musical partnership. Their first official recital together was at the Ecole Normale in Paris on ...