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La fraîcheur et le feu, FP147

composer
April to July 1950; Sept mélodies sur des poèmes de Paul Éluard; dedicated to Igor Stravinsky
author of text
1940; Le livre ouvert I

 
The poems for this cycle were taken from Paul Éluard’s Le livre ouvert I (1940). Very unusually for Poulenc he decided to set a complete Éluard poem exactly as printed, in seven numbered sections (its original title was Vue donne Vie, ‘Sight gives life’), only later asking the poet for an alternative title. (It is strange that Poulenc adored Éluard’s poems—he would never have changed their poetic content—but he very seldom found the original titles suitable for his musical purposes.) Poulenc wrote the songs in Noizay and Brive between April and July 1950—a full decade after the poems were written in the first year of the Nazi occupation. Thirteen years had elapsed since the composition of Tel jour telle nuit. The cycle is dedicated to Igor Stravinsky, whose music Poulenc had admired since his teens and who was now resident in America. Poulenc once said that he regarded himself as the spiritual son of Stravinsky, but he wrote to Milhaud that he was pleased to be able to dedicate something to ‘père Igor’ in a form for which Stravinsky did not possess the secret (i.e. the writing of songs).

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2013

Recordings

Poulenc: The Complete Songs
CDA68021/44CDs for the price of 3
Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 3
Studio Master: SIGCD272Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

No 1: Rayons des yeux
Track 31 on CDA68021/4 CD2 [1'12] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 17 on SIGCD272 [1'17] Download only
No 2: Le matin les branches attisent
Track 32 on CDA68021/4 CD2 [0'45] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 18 on SIGCD272 [0'45] Download only
No 3: Tout disparut
Track 33 on CDA68021/4 CD2 [1'34] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 19 on SIGCD272 [1'52] Download only
No 4: Dans les ténèbres du jardin
Track 34 on CDA68021/4 CD2 [0'31] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 20 on SIGCD272 [0'29] Download only
No 5: Unis la fraîcheur et le feu
Track 35 on CDA68021/4 CD2 [1'15] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 21 on SIGCD272 [1'25] Download only
No 6: Homme au sourire tendre
Track 36 on CDA68021/4 CD2 [1'52] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 22 on SIGCD272 [2'08] Download only
No 7: La grande rivière qui va
Track 37 on CDA68021/4 CD2 [1'01] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 23 on SIGCD272 [0'53] Download only

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