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The Life in the Songs

Graham Johnson



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11 August 2020
Individual actors & performers; Music; Western "classical" music; Biography: arts & entertainment
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) is widely acknowledged as one of the twentieth century's most significant masters of vocal music-solo, choral, and operatic-quite apart from his achievements in instrumental spheres. But what it cost him, and the determined bravery it took for his unusual talent to thrive, has always been underestimated. In this seminal biography, which will serve as the definitive guide to the songs, acclaimed collaborative pianist Graham Johnson shows that it is in Poulenc's extraordinary songs, and seeing how they fit into his life-his hidden sexuality, addiction, and all-that we discover the composer's essential artistic being. With Jeremy Sams's vibrant new song translations, the first in over forty years, and the insight that comes from a lifetime of performing this music, Johnson provides an essential volume for singers, pianists, listeners, and readers interested in the artistic milieu of modernism in the first half of the twentieth century.
By:   Graham Johnson
Imprint:   Liveright
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 244mm,  Width: 163mm,  Spine: 41mm
Weight:   941g
ISBN:   9781631495236
ISBN 10:   1631495232
Pages:   576
Publication Date:   11 August 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Graham Johnson is an award- winning pianist and senior professor of accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. The author of Franz Schubert: The Complete Songs, he lives in London.

Reviews for Poulenc: The Life in the Songs

If ever such a book as this was needed, this is it. Graham Johnson's masterly study cannot be improved upon in terms of detail, musical understanding and thoroughgoing grasp of the subject. It is beautifully written, chock-full of apposite detail and is superbly illustrated... This wonderful and deeply original study will disabuse any who continue to underestimate Poulenc's genius. It is a major achievement by any benchmark... this outstanding volume deserves a place in any self-respecting musicians' library. -- Musical Opinion Admirably written, long-pondered and scrupulously researched... Johnson proves a marvellous guide to [Poulenc's songs'] various qualities and the contexts in which they emerged. -- Rupert Christiansen - Literary Review

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