The admonition is not a hard one to follow, because almost all the music Poulenc wrote for the solo piano arouses a sense of joy, or provokes and bewilders. He was not ‘’great’’ or “deep” like Chopin, but vital, brilliant and spiritual like Mozart. He is the embodiment of the 1920s and demonstrates a technical and musical mastery of the small-scale form. This is why one delights in his work, and never finds it tiring!
The French composer Francis Poulenc (7/1/1899 - 30/1/1963) took up the piano when still a child, and became, with the help of his teacher Ricardo Viñes, an excellent pianist. As a composer Poulenc was largely self-taught, but also studied under Charles Koechlin. The piano is included in many of his compositions, although his works for the solo piano are for the most part on a small scale. He wrote music for the theatre, orchestral and chamber music, and his songs and choral works occupy a place of special prominence. Poulenc was for a long time underrated, but now stands out as one of the most original figures among twentieth century French composers. Inspired by Debussy and Ravel, and influenced by the popular music of the time and jazz, he left his mark on an epoch - and defined a style.