Following the huge success of ‘Dichterliebe’ in March, Leandros and pianist Jozef Janik are delighted to return to The Forge in Camden on Sunday 10 November for a concert to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of French composer Francis Poulenc. In a year notable for so many significant composer anniversaries (Verdi, Wagner and Britten to name a few), Poulenc has slipped under the radar somewhat and this programme represents something of a ‘pet project’ for Leandros and Jozef.

Poulenc was a prolific composer of song, the perfect medium to explore his love of poetry and the human voice and brilliantly suited to the mixture of wit, irony, tenderness and melancholy that characterises his music. Much of his output was written specifically with his partner, the baritone Pierre Bernac, in mind. Le Bestiaire and Banalités are settings of Guillaume Apollinaire, whose poetry, often simultaneously joyous and sad, was a constant inspiration to Poulenc. Le Travail du Peintre is a setting of surrealist poet Paul Éluard’s celebration of great artists of the time, while Chansons Gaillardes is a bawdy romp through anonymous seventeenth-century texts. By way of both a compliment and contrast to Poulenc, this recital presents work by arguably the two greatest French composers of the early Twentieth Century. Debussy’s second set of Fêtes Gallantes is an awkward reflection on romantic encounters in the composer’s characteristic impressionist style. Ravel’s Don Quichotte à Dulcinée takes its influence from Spanish dances in the old knight’s songs to his beloved. The two solo piano works, Debussy’s L’isle joyeuse and Ravel’s Jeux d’eau represent a similar milestone for each composer – their first truly great piano work and the catalyst for the brilliant solo piano pieces that followed, as well as the cementing of their unique musical language.

The concert is on Sunday 10 November at 3pm at the Forge, 3-7 Delancey Street, Camden Town, London NW1 7NL, a short walk from Camden Town underground station.  The Forge is a contemporary state-of-the-art chamber music venue with superb acoustics and an intimate atmosphere and the adjoining Foundry restaurant and bar will be open for meals and drinks before and after the concert.  Tickets are £12 (£10 concessions).  For more information and ticket bookings, pease visit http://www.forgevenue.org/whats-on/eventdetails/10-nov-13-poulenc-anniversary-concert-the-forge/

We hope to see you there!