Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (7 January 1899 – 30 January 1963, Paris) was a French composer and a member of the French group Les Six. He composed solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, choral music, opera, ballet music, orchestral music and some wind chamber works.
Poulenc is considered one of France’s most distinguished composers. He was introduced to the piano at age five, and by the time he was a teenager he had dedicated himself to a musical career. Poulenc was part of a group of French composers dubbed “Les Six” by reviewer Henri Collet that also included Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, and Germaine Tailleferre. “Les Six” formed while they were students at the Paris Conservatory under the guidance of Erik Satie. Their music was, in part, a reaction to German opera composer Richard Wagner and the French musical impressionism of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Poulenc’s compositional style is generally described as a mixture of Parisian (his mother’s influence) and Provincial elements (his father’s influence). Ravel commented that he envied Poulenc’s ability “to write his own folk songs:’ Yet “urban irony” is evident in the flourishes with which many of his works tend to finish.
Works for Winds
- Concerto for Winds (tr. Singleton) (1918/1939/2011)
- Les Biches (arr. Cailliet) (1964)
- Movements perpetuals (arr. Wiggins) (1984)
- Quatre Poèmes de Max Jacob (1921)
- Sextour (1930-32/1939)
- Sonata for Horn, Trumpet and Trombone
- Suite Française d'après Claude Gervaise (1935)
- Francis Poulenc, Wikipedia
- U.S. Marine Band concert program, 14 December 2016