Souvenirs Violoncello-Piano - Francis Poulenc

Poulenc Souvenirs Violoncello-Piano
908526, 9790048060715
Salabert Edition
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Francis Poulenc 1899-1963
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Cello-Piano [Bc]
Cello Salabert
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Souvenirs Violoncello-Piano - Francis Poulenc

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A previously unreleased piece by Francis Poulenc, published with permission from the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris and Benoît Seringe, secretary of the Association des amis de Francis Poulenc [Association of the Friends of Francis Poulenc]. Le Voyageur sans bagage [The Traveller Without Luggage], which had been premiered in 1937 with music by Darius Milhaud, was reprised on 1 April 1944 at the Théâtre de la Michodière; Francis Poulenc was asked to compose new stage music. The entire unpublished score lay undiscovered until Bérengère de l’Épine, a librarian at the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, announced the existence of a manuscript in the Association de la Régie Théâtrale collection. Poulenc finalised the score between 19 and 21 March 1944. It contains nine songs, all written for a small instrumental ensemble including oboe, clarinet, cello and piano. However, at the end of the manuscript, the composer echoes the second song – Lent [Slow] – and creates another version for cello and piano; curiously, the original version of the song has not been erased in the manuscript. Poulenc seems to suggest that we consider the piece for cello and piano, that we have published here, as a different piece of music. It was premiered on Wednesday 23 January 2013 by Marc Coppey, accompanied by Jean-François Heisser, in the organ auditorium of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Paris (CNSMDP), during the symposium for the fiftieth anniversary of Poulenc’s death. Given in a dramatic context, some elements allow us to get an idea of the character of the piece, which Benoît Seringe, Poulenc’s beneficiary, judiciously chose to name Souvenirs. The main character of Anouilh’s play, Gaston, is suffering from amnesia at the end of World War One. Several families try to claim him; they want him to be their missing relative. The Renaud family prove to be particularly stubborn, but Gaston does not recognize himself in the child and young man they depict: a ruthless and violent person. In Act 1 Scene 3, left alone for a moment, overwhelmed by the story of the “old Gaston” that is gradually coming to light, and outraged by the desire of those around him to appropriate him (to the detriment of the person he would like to be from now on), he whispers these words: “You all have proof, photographs that look like me, memories as clear as day… I’ve listened to you all and it’s slowly causing a hybrid person to rise up in me; a person in which there is a piece of each of your sons and nothing of me.” Poulenc chose to place the second piece from his stage music score as these words are spoken. He borrowed part of the material, as he often did, from an earlier composition. In this particular case, the beginning is a recycled version of the “slow and melancholic” section from L’Histoire de Babar , composed between 1940 and 1945, and premiered in 1946 (unless it is Babar that reuses the musical idea from Voyageur ). The eponymous elephant decides to leave in search of the great forest. He embraces the old lady, promises her he will return and reassures her that he will never forget her. Left alone, the old lady, feeling sad and pensive, wonders when she’ll see her friend Babar again. The situation is similar to that in Voyageur sans bagage: solitude, sadness, a distressing and introspective time, fear of oblivion, the presence of memories…

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