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Le bestiaire, ou Cortège d'Orphée, FP15a

composer
1918/9; dedicated to Louis Durey
author of text
Nos 10, 4, 17, 19, 22 and 23 of Le bestiaire

 
Apollinaire, a great bibliophile, knew all about the exquisitely illustrated medieval bestiaries; in 1906 his friend Picasso had made some experimental woodcuts of animals. He published eighteen of the eventual thirty poems in 1908 in a review, La phalange, and promised his readers an illustrated edition. Picasso, ever elusive, was otherwise engaged; the poet persuaded Raoul Dufy (whom he had met through Derain, illustrator of Apollinaire’s first work) to provide the artwork, the first of that artist’s many illustrations. Apollinaire casts himself as Orpheus in this work in poems 1, 13, 18 and 24 (all of which are ignored by Poulenc). The work was an artistic triumph and commercial disaster for its authors.

As he was leaving for war service in 1918 Adrienne Monnier handed Poulenc a packet of books which included a later edition of Apollinare’s work. The composer had already heard the poet read his lyrics, and he fell in love with them, selecting twelve to set to music in Pont-sur-Seine where he found himself stationed.

Having set these twelve poems to music, Poulenc reduced the number to six on the advice of Georges Auric. On learning that Louis Durey, fellow-member of Les Six, was working at the same time on setting the entire collection, Poulenc rather gallantly dedicated his own set to Durey.

The poems Poulenc chose for his published Le bestiaire were numbers 10, 4, 17, 19, 22 and 23 of Apollinaire’s collection.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2013

Recordings

Poulenc: The Complete Songs
CDA68021/44CDs for the price of 3
Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 4
Studio Master: SIGCD323Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Le Bestiaire
A66149Archive Service (LP transfer)This album is not available for download

Details

No 1: Le dromadaire  Avec ses quatre dromadaires
Track 2 on CDA68021/4 CD3 [1'19] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 1 on SIGCD323 [1'27] Download only
Track 15 on A66149 [1'14] Archive Service (LP transfer)
No 2: La chèvre du Thibet  Les poils de cette chèvre et même
Track 3 on CDA68021/4 CD3 [0'38] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 2 on SIGCD323 [0'42] Download only
Track 16 on A66149 [0'39] Archive Service (LP transfer)
No 3: La sauterelle  Voici la fine sauterelle
Track 4 on CDA68021/4 CD3 [0'28] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 3 on SIGCD323 [0'29] Download only
Track 17 on A66149 [0'25] Archive Service (LP transfer)
No 4: Le dauphin  Dauphins, vous jouez dans la mer
Track 5 on CDA68021/4 CD3 [0'33] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 4 on SIGCD323 [0'28] Download only
Track 18 on A66149 [0'28] Archive Service (LP transfer)
No 5: L'écrevisse  Incertitude, ô mes délices
Track 6 on CDA68021/4 CD3 [0'50] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 5 on SIGCD323 [0'47] Download only
Track 19 on A66149 [0'48] Archive Service (LP transfer)
No 6: La carpe  Dans vos viviers, dans vos étangs
Track 7 on CDA68021/4 CD3 [1'15] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 6 on SIGCD323 [1'41] Download only
Track 20 on A66149 [1'00] Archive Service (LP transfer)

Track-specific metadata for CDA68021/4 disc 3 track 3

La chèvre du Thibet
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-13-02303
Duration
0'38
Recording date
5 January 2012
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Poulenc: The Complete Songs (CDA68021/4)
    Disc 3 Track 3
    Release date: October 2013
    4CDs for the price of 3
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