Poulenc wrote a solo flute piece!?

August 9, 2012

Every flute player has either played or heard Poulenc’s Flute Sonata (and if you haven’t, stop everything and find it on YouTube!), but until just a few years ago, we all believed that this was the sum total of his flute works.  Not so!

Until the late ’90s it remained unknown, hidden in the collection of Frederick R. Koch, a Yale graduate, until it arrived in the hands of the Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The collection contained manuscripts of many of our valued composers: Debussy, Ravel, Berlioz, Faure, Gounod, Massenet, Duparc, Poulenc, Walton, Mozart, Schubert, Wagner, Puccini and Chopin, amongst others! Can you imagine having these manuscripts in your basement!?

Ransom Wilson, a professor at Yale, heard about this collection and immediately made an appointment to see the beautiful new acquisitions. He was not disappointed. The previously unknown work for solo flute is dated 1942. Wilson has this to say about the piece:

“Un Joueur de flute berce les ruines (A flute player lullabies the ruins) is in a modal, melancholic style. (…) Short and simple, but of undeniable beauty, [it] is undoubtedly an important addition to the solo flute repertoire.”
                                                              ~ Excerpt from Ransom Wilson’s Preface

Un Joueur de flute berce les ruines by Francis Poulenc is available at the Leading Note. Call or email today to order your copy!

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