Poulenc and Koechlin: 58 lessons and a friendship
DOI link for Poulenc and Koechlin: 58 lessons and a friendship
Poulenc and Koechlin: 58 lessons and a friendship book
Between 1899 and 1950, at least 240 students of varying ages and talents passed through Charles Koechlin’s expert hands in Paris and during his visits to America. However, only one page of rather ordinary two-part counterpoint survives, with a few improvements by Koechlin to three short exercises. Many of Koechlin's twenty-seven comments in November 1921 are, in fact, in praise of Poulenc's musicality and ingenuity, with only a few inadvertent parallel octaves coming in for real criticism. Undeniably, Poulenc was greater composer of songs, choral music and stage works, yet he never achieved Koechlin's breadth of vision and textural virtuosity in orchestral writing, and completely avoided the developmental aspect that meant so much to his teacher. Happily, the age of compact disc has at last vindicated Koechlin's reputation as much as it has further enhanced that of Poulenc, and Poulenc would have been the last to begrudge him his return to the esteem he enjoyed when their 58 lessons began.