In 1935 Poulenc re-worked the music of the sixteenth-century composer Claude Gervais into his Suite française
(both a chamber work and a piano suite). À sa guitare
, also from this period, shows the hand of the tasteful pasticheur. All this music was, in fact, written for Margot
, a play by Édouard Bourdet about Marguerite de Valois, although Poulenc chose to set lines by Pierre de Ronsard (1524–1585). It was first sung by the famous singing actress Yvonne Printemps. The orchestration of the song, as heard on Printemps’ famous recording of it, has since been lost.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1985