Poulenc Among the Flowers

Central Park Conservatory Garden, October 30, 2017.

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And here is Poulenc:

Poulenc in Paris

Listening List

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), Trois mouvements perpétuels (1918), performed by Pascal Rogé.

. . . Trois mouvements perpétuels . . . swept the drawing-rooms of Europe. Here the Parisian and provincial elements in Poulenc’s make-up jostle each other, with occasional attempts at coalescence: the tunes are superbly naïve (Ravel envied Poulenc his ability “to write his own folksongs”), while the little flourishes with which each piece “signs off” are the epitome of urban irony.  [citation]


Credits: The source for the quotation may be found at the link in the text. The secondary source for the photograph of Poulenc is here; the original source can no longer be found. The remaining photographs, as always on the blog unless otherwise indicated, are mine.



10 thoughts on “Poulenc Among the Flowers

  1. Friko

    These are beautiful pictures. Hard to believe that there is still so much colour around, particularly the gorgeous Michaelmas daisies. For me here the grey period has started, grey skies, grey gardens, grey outlook. But I am determined to revamp the much neglected garden, starting now, in order to awaken to a bright spring . Here’s hoping, anyway.

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      Friko: So pleased to hear from you! The Conservatory flowers do make an amazing display, and so cheering just when one feels the grayness closing in. Closer to home, ah, yes, the issue of revamping the garden. Ours hardly qualifies as a garden (back yard full of weeds, more like), but this year we actually (with a LOT of help) did some revamping, too. It’s only a start, but anything at all would be an improvement, so we are hopeful. Spring will tell . . .

  2. David N

    Your autumn, at least in the city, is less advanced than ours. But at least in London, we’ve been enjoying many of those perfect October days, extended today into October. Those lilypads with the almost animal-like markings are exquisite,

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      David: Nice to hear you’ve had many perfect October days in London–it is a wonderful time of year. Over here, yes, those lilypads are something, aren’t they? I love the way they give that little pond a burst of razzle-dazzle just when other things are starting to fade. We’ll be back in NYC later this week (two concerts, first Mahler’s 3 (Mehta/Israel Phil), then The Exterminating Angel at the Met Opera), and we hope to have a look at what’s doing in the garden then, as well.

  3. shoreacres

    Do you remember the couple I wrote about, who set about importing coffee from Central American via sail? They were the ones who pulled the wine from the Oak Island Winery out of the ditches after Hurricane Ike.

    Someone else has the same idea. When I found this article about bringing sail freight back to the Hudson, I thought of you at once. If you see such a sight on the Hudson one day, you’ll know what it is. This is one of those stories that’s worth following.

    Your photos, as always, are exquisite. I’m especially taken by the multi-colored water lily leaves. And the Poulenc is perfect for this dew-ridden morning, where I’m dawdling just a bit with an extra cup of coffee before heading out to work. I love Ravel’s comment about Poulenc having the ability to “write his own folk songs.” I haven’t figured out yet how to express how I understand that, but I think it’s charming.

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      shoreacres: I DO remember that couple, and I will definitely keep an eye out come this spring, as well as local news reports of it. Definitely one of those stories that’s worth following. So pleased you are enjoying the Poulenc. Last week I spotted in a bin and picked up a second hand CD of his piano pieces performed by Rogé, including the three featured in this post. The whole CD, for me, yields one charm after the next.

  4. Steve Schwartzman

    On Turner Classic Movies yesterday afternoon we watched a 1956 Japanese movie we’d never heard of, “The Burmese Harp.” It takes place in Burma at the end of World War II but it’s unlike any war movie I’ve seen; reviews label it anti-war. I bring it up because music, in particular choral singing, occurs on and off through the film—and not as background, but as an integral part of the plot. Poulenc lived until 1963, so there’s a slim chance he saw this film.

    You can find more info at


    I see that on November 15th Amazon will have the DVD back in stock:


    It includes interviews with the director and one of the main actors. The Austin Public Library has copies, so a public or college library in your area might as well.

  5. sackerson

    I love the idea (who suggested it?) that the first Mouvement is a cycle ride round Paris during which we wobble on the cobbles and hear the church bells. I’m a great fan of the music of Les Six (especially Milhaud).

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