Francis Poulenc was a member of a group of French composers called “Les Six.” A charming and amusing man, much of his music is light-hearted and gay.
Poulenc was largely self-taught. Although he composed during the early part of the 20th century, when many musicians were experimenting with new sounds and techniques, his music is more traditional with bright colors and strong rhythms. Poulenc is particularly noted for his songs; he wrote over 150 of them. He had a great gift for writing melodies and was skilled at putting words to music in clever ways. He also wrote some beautiful religious choral music, three operas, and pieces for the piano, including a work called Mouvements Perpetuels that many pianists still play today.