Wikipedia:Today's featured article/January 7, 2017

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Poulenc in the early 1920s

Francis Poulenc (7 January 1899 – 30 January 1963) was a French composer and pianist. His compositions include mélodies, solo piano works, chamber music, choral pieces, operas, ballets, and orchestral concert music. Among his frequently performed pieces are the piano suite Trois mouvements perpétuels (1919), the ballet Les biches (1923), the Concert champêtre (1928) for harpsichord and orchestra, the opera Dialogues des Carmélites (1957), and the Gloria (1959) for soprano, choir and orchestra. Largely self-educated musically, he studied with the pianist Ricardo Viñes and was influenced by the avant-garde composer Erik Satie. Initially composing light-hearted and irreverent works, he also wrote serious, sombre and religious pieces beginning in the 1930s. He was an accomplished pianist, and toured Europe and America performing with the baritone Pierre Bernac and the soprano Denise Duval. One of the first composers to see the importance of the gramophone, he recorded extensively from 1928 onwards. This century has seen many new productions worldwide of his serious works, including Dialogues des Carmélites and La Voix humaine. (Full article...)