The com­poser

BBC Music Magazine - - Building A Library -

Fran­cis Poulenc was born into a mu­si­cal, and wealthy, Parisian fam­ily. Though men­tored at an early age by the pi­anist Ri­cardo Viñes and the com­poser Erik Satie, he did not re­ceive any for­mal mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion. In 1920, he be­came part of a group of com­posers named ‘Les Six’ who, over the fol­low­ing three decades, col­lab­o­rated on var­i­ous projects. In the 1930s, the death of a close friend in a car crash and a visit to the re­li­gious sanc­tu­ary at Ro­ca­madour led to his largely light-hearted style be­com­ing in­flected with a more se­ri­ous, re­li­gious tone.

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