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Françis Poulenc: Montparnasse

My preferences change a lot, so only two things have earned from me the immutable stamp of “absolute favorite” over the years. My absolute favorite color: green. My absolute favorite art song: Poulenc’s “Montparnasse.”

Green is obvious, it’s the best color. But can we take a moment to chat about, and to adore this song? I fell in love with it several years ago when Steve programmed and played it on Manning the Canon, and Scott Murphree sang it so beautifully. Fun fact: it took Poulenc four years to write the song, because it came to him in bits and bobs, and in various unrelated keys. And yet this bittersweet meditation on Apollinaire’s youth and folly seems so fresh and so right, as if it was simply plucked from the ether, fully formed.

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