Francis Poulenc (1899 – 1963) was a French composer almost as famous for his personal life as his music, including his Gloria and piano works.
Born in Paris in 1899, Poulenc's mother was an amateur pianist who taught him to play.
Poulenc was one of the first openly gay composers, who was at ease with his sexuality in the context of his religious faith. There's still debate among music scholars who see the diverse range of styles in his music as an outward representation of Poulenc's inner moral wrestlings.
During the completion of his opera, Dialogues des Carmelites, Poulenc suffered from severe depression, but his recovery led him to compose more serene music later in life.
He died of heart failure in Paris in 1963.
His organ concerto is just fabulous!
I still remember painting a bedroom window in our old house, and listening to the whole shebang on a small cassette recorder, and being oblivious to the world for that glorious half-hour...
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