Poulenc, Britten, Aldeburgh: a chronicle
DOI link for Poulenc, Britten, Aldeburgh: a chronicle
Poulenc, Britten, Aldeburgh: a chronicle book
A weekend-long festival entitled 'Britten and the French Connection', held at Aldeburgh in October 1994, did much to point up the biographical and musical links between Benjamin Britten and Francis Poulenc. Indeed, it says a great deal for the esteem in which Poulenc was held by Britten that the latter was prepared to undertake this role. It would seem likely from the context that Hussey, possibly inspired after hearing the broadcast of Figure humaine, was keen to commission a choral work from Poulenc and sought Britten's help. From Britten's correspondence, it is evident that Poulenc had proposed Bernac's participation at Aldeburgh and had suggested a performance of the cantata Le Bal masque. Poulenc had encountered a Balinese gamelan at the Exposition Coloniale in Paris in 1931 oddly enough, from the village of Peliatan whose 1950s recordings provided Britten with valuable source material when he too made use of Balinese borrowings in his three-act ballet The Prince of the Pagodas.