The French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) is often dismissed as the lightweight composer of short, clever pieces, lumped in with the rest of "Les Six." In this volume--one of Phaidon's 20th-Century Composers series--author Benjamin Ivry argues for more consideration and respect for the man who wrote Dialogues of the Carmelites.
As is the rule with Phaidon's series, the book is rich in photographs and integrates the composer's life and work in a relatively brief (240 pages, including index), very accessible form; there are no musical examples, although they might be helpful. Mr. Ivry approaches his task with more humor than some of his colleagues, and he is open throughout about Poulenc's homosexuality and its effect on the composer's work and personal life.
'Ivry's much-needed and informative Poulenc captures the French between-wars scene vividly.' (Sunday Telegraph) 'His narrative is fluent, full of interesting stories and very thorough.' (Classical Music) 'Such a fascinating man; such fascinating music; such good reading.' (American Record Guide) 'As a series, Phaidon's 20th Century Composers has brought remarkable variety and a welter of information, both necessary and delightfully trivial. Intended both for the general reader and for the more enthusiatically musical...' (The Scotsman)