Contents: Preface to the translation; Translators Note; Introduction; Part I Articles: Le Coq and Le Coq Parisien; On Igor Stravinsky's Mavra; On Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms; In praise of banality; Long live Stravinsky!; The composer and the sorcerer; Francis Poulenc on his ballets; For the harpsichord, Wanda Landowska has completed in New York her life's work'; Pages from America (diary extracts); Erik Satie's piano music; How I composed Les Dialogues des Carmelites; Opera in the cinema era. Part II Critical Articles and Reviews: On Richard Strauss's Elektra; On Oberon; The Paris Opera ought to put on Fidelio; The heart of Maurice Ravel. Part III Contributions to Works by Others: The lessons of Claude Debussy; Preface to Gabriel Laplane, Albeniz: sa vie, son /uvre; Notes on Ravel. Part IV Response to a Survey: Is there a 'Messiaen affair'? Part V Lectures: My teachers and my friends; My songs and their poets. Part VI Interviews: Interview with Andre Laphin; Interview with Lucien Chevallier; Interview with Jose Bruyr; Interview with Nino Franck; Interview with A.P.; Interview with Jeannie Chaveau; Interview with Claude Chamfray; Interview with Fernando Lopes-Graca; Interview with Paul Guth; Pulenc: an act of faith, Daniel Bernet; Interview with Henri Hell; Interview with Martine Cadieu; Interview: 'A Denizen of Noizay'; Interview with Denise Bourdet. Part VII Interviews with Claude Rostand: Preface to interviews; Interviews 1-18. Index.
Nicolas Southon has a doctorate in musicology and graduated from the National Conservatoire of Music, Paris. Il a enseigne a l'universite de Tours ainsi qu'au conservatoire de region d'Aubervilliers, a ete critique dans des revues musicales specialisees, et apparait regulierement comme producteur sur France-Musique. He has taught at the University of Tours and the Conservatoire of Aubervilliers, as well as writing reviews for numerous music magazines, and appears regularly as a producer on France Musique. Roger Nichols studied Music at Oxford University. In 1980 he became a freelance writer, broadcaster, critic, translator and pianist and has made numerous broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, mainly about French music. In 2006 he was appointed Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur for services to French culture.
'... this charming book is fascinating, amusing, provocative, lively, and informative for anyone interested in Parisian culture and the music of 'les six,' of which Poulenc was an important member. Tellingly, the book prompted this reviewer to dust off his Poulenc CD collection to hear again some delightful music ... the content is delightful ... Highly recommended. All readers.' Choice 'This volume ... benefits from a translation favouring sense above stylistic posing ... Sometimes catty but constantly captivating, Poulenc's prose is definitely worth reading'. International Piano Magazine '... a welcome addition to English-language literature on Francis Poulenc.' H-France '... nothing quite matches information 'from the horse's mouth' to be found in this charming new book, compiled almost entirely from Poulenc's own words. The warmth of Poulenc's conversational style is effortlessly conveyed in Roger Nichols' translation'. BBC Music Magazine ***** 'You will spend a couple delightful evenings with this sophisticated raconteur.' American Record Guide ' ... this invaluable new translation ... the evident warmth of his personality emerges from Roger Nichols's skilful translations, as does the fierce independence of his musical judgements'. Times Literary Supplement 'Nichols's translation is an important addition to the English literature on Poulenc. It contains key texts in which Poulenc describes the circumstances that led him to compose some of his most well-known works, discusses his favorite composers and performers (both of his own works and others), and shares many fascinating anecdotes about the leading composers of his generation.' Notes '... Southon's splendid collection deserves a place in every academic music library and on the shelves of scholars, performers, and devotees of the composer.' Fontes Artis Musicae