Many of Francis Poulenc's songs are verses by 20th-century French poets set to music, and this diary is an answer to what the composer felt were frequent misinterpretations of his work. To set the record straight, Poulenc describes the origins of each song, comments on performances, offers guidelines for interpretation of his work, and discusses his methods for arranging vocal music. In this new edition of the diary, the original French text and the English translation appear on facing pages, and a bibliography, a discography, and extensive notes are included.
“Read within the context of his own distinctive tone of voice (Poulenc's comments) take on a totally fresh hue in a book that is much more than simply a catechism for singers, but rather a revevealingly idiomatic self-portrait, redolent of the Parisian boulevards and artistic salons, childhood memories, melancholy rainy afternoons, or the invigorating bitterness of a flower once plucked and munched in the surroundings of the Grande Chartreuse. Robert Henderson, Daily Telegraph ”