Born: 1899, Paris
Died: 1963, Paris
"I know perfectly well that I'm not one of those composers who have made harmonic innovations…but I think there's room for new music which doesn't mind using other people's chords."
The supreme master of mélodies in the 20th century, Poulenc also composed widely in other forms and genres, particularly works for the theater and the church. He was equally accomplished as a pianist, touring as a soloist and as an accompanist for singers, especially the baritone Pierre Bernac and the soprano Denise Duval. Curious and independent, he had little use for the more systematic dogmas of his century, but accepted other influences, such as jazz and neo-Classicism.
Gloria (1959-60) Catherine Dubosc, soprano; Westminster Singers, City of London Sinfonia, Richard Hickox (Virgin Classics)
Mélodies (songs) Michel Piquemal, baritone; Christine Lajarrige, piano (Naxos)