Francis Poulenc’s Music through Screen Media
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scientific journal, artistic journal
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Francis Poulenc’s Music through Screen Media


1931. F. Poulenc writes Quatre Poemes de Guillaume Apollinaire (FP 58), containing the poem Avant le cinema (3rd part). While not sharing the poet’s insight about the fate of cinema and its creators, the composer accurately reproduced the image of Le cinéma muet with fluctuating and colourful music in respect to the cinema of that time. Meanwhile, the era of films with sound began. Although he tried to write music for films, Poulenc did not literally become a “master of soundtracks”. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the 21st century, the composer’s music confidently takes root on the silver screen. Its presence in films, firstly, testifies to the status of F. Poulenc’s composer heritage as a “musical classic”, taking the position of a “strong style”, and secondly, expands its perception experience, introducing the “new Poulenc” within “double coding”. Thirdly and finally, the composer’s creativity appears as an open conceptual project in the new “cinema incarnations”. Along with this, the article also keeps in mind the “film looking” effect on F. Poulenc’s vocal and instrumental creativity. It is of note that F. Poulenc in his chamber vocal cycle Calligram shows his interest in the potential of synaesthetic relations of the music with graphic arts and cinema arts. Analysis of piano cycles and samples of certain genres produce the conclusion that “editability” in the French composer’s creativity often goes as a forming tool and as a sensemaking principle of the composition.


Key words

Poulenc’s creativity. Film music. Film score. Interpretation. Montage.


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DRACH, I., CHERKASHINA-GUBARENKO, M., CHERNYAVSKA, M. et al. : Francis Poulenc’s Music through Screen Media. In European Journal of Media, Art and Photography, 2021, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 92-105, ISSN 1339-4940.