Poulenc Couldn’t Believe What Ravel Said about Saint-Saëns

Kile Smith | composer

Camille Saint-Saëns

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday 5–6 pm on WRTI-FM… One hundred years ago, 18-year-old Francis Poulenc was looking for a composition teacher, and being recommended by the pianist Ricardo Viñes to Maurice Ravel, went to meet him, scores in hand. Ravel was already well-known, having composed much of the music for which he is famous today.

He was also part of the new breezes blowing through French music at the time of the First World War. Generations were traveling in new directions with Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, Ravel, and others, away from the German symphonic tradition and away from the 19th century. Viñes and Ravel were part of a group, in fact, that met regularly to play for each other and to discuss these very issues. “The Apaches” they called themselves, the name not only of the Native American nation, but also a French word…

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4 responses to “Poulenc Couldn’t Believe What Ravel Said about Saint-Saëns

  1. I love Saint Saëns! Check out Dong-Suk Kang’s performance of the Violin Concerto. On Spotify search Saëns Kang. I don’t think links copy over, but here it may or may not be: https://open.spotify.com/album/42mvBwh9cfHPQLWSZaqhof

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