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One of the greatest modernist composers comes alive in this illuminating biography, a must-have for musicians and music-lovers alike.
“...a vital new book on the songs which are here placed ingeniously in the context of the composer's life... the definitive guide to Poulenc's melodies...” — Jon Tolansky, Classical Music
“Admirably written, long-pondered and scrupulously researched… Johnson proves a marvellous guide to [Poulenc’s songs’] various qualities and the contexts in which they emerged. ” — Rupert Christiansen, Literary Review
“If ever such a book as this was needed, this is it. Graham Johnson's masterly study cannot be improved upon in terms of detail, musical understanding and thoroughgoing grasp of the subject. It is beautifully written, chock-full of apposite detail and is superbly illustrated... This wonderful and deeply original study will disabuse any who continue to underestimate Poulenc's genius. It is a major achievement by any benchmark... this outstanding volume deserves a place in any self-respecting musicians' library.” — Musical Opinion
“"...an entertaining and learned new biography... [Johnson] has unparalleled practical knowledge of the terrain... [his] real concern is the music: [he is] convinced of its complexity, depth and importance... The translations (by Jeremy Sams ) also make this a valuable compendium, not to say a triumph of copyright clearance.” — Oliver Soden, The Observer