Hyperion Records

Deux mélodies inédites du bestiaire, FP15b
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'Poulenc: The Complete Songs' (CDA68021/4)
Poulenc: The Complete Songs
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'Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 4' (SIGCD323)
Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 4
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No 1: Le serpent  Tu t’acharnes sur la beauté
No 2: La colombe  Colombe, l’amour et l’esprit

Deux mélodies inédites du bestiaire, FP15b
Poulenc set six further Bestiaire poems in 1918: of these Le bœuf, La mouche and La tortue have disappeared. La puce was reworked in 1960 as a tribute to Raoul Dufy, and La souris was newly composed in 1956. Le serpent and La colombe reappeared in 1944, not as published works, but as miniatures copied out for a friend. In the absence of an extant autograph of the twelve songs from 1918, it is not clear whether Poulenc changed or revised them as he did so. Le serpent is cast as a mock-seductive cancan in Satie’s cabaret style; the chromatic vocal line of La colombe is woven around a static and strangely hypnotic accompaniment that evokes the cooing of doves. ‘Marie’ refers to the poet’s beloved, the painter Marie Laurencin. The composer was probably wise to cut from his printed cycle a song where requiring singers to intone ‘Jésus-Christ’ in this somewhat facetious context would have lessened the work’s popular appeal.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 2013

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