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.
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