No 1: Attributs Les épis sont à Cérès
No 2: Le tombeau Quand le ciel et mon heure
No 3: Ballet Le soir qu’Amour vous fit en la salle descendre
No 4: Je n'ai plus que les os
No 5: À son page Fais rafraîchir mon vin de sorte
After the success of the ballet Les biches in Monte Carlo in 1924 Poulenc was already a celebrity, and the fame of each of these songs’ dedicatee-singers demonstrates that the composer already stood at the centre of Parisian music-making. It was also not every twenty-five-year-old who could persuade Picasso to design a cover, a Klee-like design with lines and dots in the shape of a viol or lute. So why are these Ronsard songs so seldom sung? Perhaps because the composer himself consistently gave them a bad press, and more or less renounced them. He felt in retrospect that the influence of Charles Koechlin, his teacher at the time, was not beneficial. In fact, as Robert Orledge has shown, Koechlin taught Poulenc a great deal, but the younger composer preferred his earlier Le bestiaire style, and saw his Koechlin period, perhaps unfairly, as a deviation from his ‘natural’ self.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 2013