Les chemins de l’amour
is an Yvonne Printemps song, written for Léocadia
by Jean Anouilh (1910–1987). It gives us a glimpse of how easily Poulenc could have written ‘hits’ of the time, or film music like his colleague Georges Auric. This waltz is much sung in recitals these days and over-used as an applause-earning encore. After all, España
is not the best of Chabrier, nor Boléro
the best of Ravel, though both are masterpieces in their way. Poulenc would have regarded this charming trifle as a petit-four to be presented only after a substantial serving of his great mélodies. But as all gourmets and song enthusiasts know, an excellent petit-four is irresistible at the right time.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1985