Francis Poulenc has been for most of my life a reference in composition for his sensibility and melodic expression as well as his sense of the stage and dramatic direction. Together with Olivier Messiaen, they are also an inspiration in how they integrate their beliefs within the fabric of their compositions. Poulenc’s works with flute, and particularly his late Sonata for Flute and Piano (1956-7) are great examples of his remarkable sense of humor in music, yet poignant melodism and attractive harmonic designs.
2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Francis Poulenc. In celebration of the man and his compositions, I have written this work, which will serve as a humble homage of this composer to the 20th-Century master. It features three movements: a humoresque, a solemn processional, and a boisterous final dance. Although there are some references to specific motives of some of Poulenc’s pieces, particularly his Flute Sonata, the work is intended to capture the spirit of his music, rather than directly refer to specific ideas from his works.