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Poèmes de Ronsard, FP38

December 1924 to January 1925
author of text

Poulenc set these poems during the four-hundredth anniversary of Ronsard’s birth, but not early enough in 1924 to feature in the special Ronsard number of La revue musicale featuring newly commissioned settings of the poet by Dukas, Roussel, Caplet, Honegger, Delage and Ravel. The dying Fauré had also intended to contribute a song to that collection.

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


Poulenc: The Complete Songs
CDA68021/44CDs for the price of 3
Poulenc: The Complete Songs, Vol. 4
Studio Master: SIGCD323Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


No 1: Attributs  Les épis sont à Cérès
Track 1 on CDA68021/4 CD4 [1'14] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 10 on SIGCD323 [1'22] Download only
No 2: Le tombeau  Quand le ciel et mon heure
Track 2 on CDA68021/4 CD4 [2'35] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 11 on SIGCD323 [2'47] Download only
No 3: Ballet  Le soir qu’Amour vous fit en la salle descendre
Track 3 on CDA68021/4 CD4 [2'08] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 12 on SIGCD323 [2'12] Download only
No 4: Je n'ai plus que les os
Track 4 on CDA68021/4 CD4 [3'51] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 13 on SIGCD323 [3'26] Download only
No 5: À son page  Fais rafraîchir mon vin de sorte
Track 5 on CDA68021/4 CD4 [1'35] 4CDs for the price of 3
Track 14 on SIGCD323 [1'36] Download only

Track-specific metadata for CDA68021/4 disc 4 track 1

Recording date
5 January 2012
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Poulenc: The Complete Songs (CDA68021/4)
    Disc 4 Track 1
    Release date: October 2013
    4CDs for the price of 3
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