Distilling essences: Poulenc and Matisse
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Distilling essences: Poulenc and Matisse book
Poulenc’s interest in art and his eclectic taste are best defined in his own words, as seen in the quotations above, and in the words of those who were closest to him. Matisse's working method obviously struck a nerve with Poulenc, who realised that a less encumbered piano part for his melodies was appropriate. By the 1930s when Matisse illustrated Mallarme’s poetry, Poulenc had abandoned the dissonant language of the early 1920s and the technically difficult type of piano accompaniment found in Chansons gaillardes written in 1925-26 and piano music such as Napoli. It is unfortunate, however, that Poulenc habitually destroyed his working sketches or preliminary versions so there is little the people can do to document precise extent to which Poulenc retouched his accompaniments under the influence of Matisse's example of the swan. Nevertheless, the leitmotiv of Matisse in Poulenc's few writings on the subject provide ample evidence of the debt Poulenc felt toward an artist he greatly admired.