Still, it is difficult not to hear the song in the context of the time, particularly when it arrives at its wrenching conclusion:. The harmony then softens from minor to major, with a D-sharp adding an almost sentimental sweetness. Poulenc makes the prospect of apocalypse seem like a respite, a moment of grace. The sobs of the title hardly register, vanishing into a melancholy haze. Rather, the song evokes a consuming descent into an inner world of memory and regret. With Poulenc, these wonders of compression are almost routine.
Francis Poulenc’s Drunken Angels
Francis Poulenc’s Drunken Angels | The New Yorker
Not surprisingly, this trend directly stemmed from events in the composer's life. Raised Catholic, Poulenc did not practice the faith seriously until his close friend Pierre-Octave Ferroud was killed in an auto accident in Deeply anguished by this, Poulenc proceeded to embark on a pilgrimage to Notre Dame de Rocamadour, a church in the mountains of southwestern France. The church -- which holds a statue of the Virgin carved in black stone -- has been a pilgrimage site for some nine centuries, and while there, Poulenc experienced a reconversion to Catholicism. The Litanies were the product of that experience.
Francis Poulenc: Figure Humaine/Choral Works
Francis Poulenc — was born in Paris. He became widely known while still a young man by his songs Le Bestiaire, After meeting the choreograph Diaghilev he composed the ballet Les Biches, an immediate success. His many choral works all date from after Inspiration came from getting to know the motets of Monteverdi and the poems of Paul Eluard.
The subtitle, Notre-Dame de Rocamadour , refers to the venerated black sculpture of Mary. The composition is Poulenc's first piece of sacred music. In he wrote a version for voices accompanied by string orchestra and timpani. Poulenc returned to the Catholic faith of his youth in and began to compose sacred music with this piece. A few days earlier I'd just heard of the tragic death of my colleague