It is traditional wisdom that a composer's popularity wanes for at least ten years after his death. Not so with Poulenc whose music gained almost universal acceptance immediately after his death at the age of sixty-four. The present documented biography charts a new course in Poulenc scholarship by relying on thousands of primary sources many of which have not been consulted by previous Poulenc biographers. It is a detailed scrutiny of his day-to-day activities and his relationships with many friends and acquaintances. This study seeks not only to examine Poulenc as a composer but to place proper emphasis on his extensive career as a pianist accompanist and recording artist. Written by Carl B. Schmidt the author of the invaluable volume The Music of Francis Poulenc (1899-1963: A Catalogue this fascinating and rewarding biography caps the year-long celebrations of the Poulenc centenary by allowing the reader to enter into the world of this complex sophisticated and witty homme du monde.
Carl B. Schmidt: