This week’s composer was part of Les Six, this group of young Parisian composers that were probably brought together by Cocteau in the early 1920s, and whose aesthetics came in reaction to Wagner’s influence and impressionistic music: Francis Poulenc.
The only difficulty in this name is the pronunciation of the nasal in -en, which is usually pronounced as an ã, a nasal a as I like to refer to them, as in blanc, white. But no, here this nasal is pronounced with an i nasal, as in vin for wine. Combined with the unusually pronounced final c (a strong K sound), Poulenc will rhyme with cinq, French for 5 (weird for a member of Les Six !) Alright, here it is:
Of course, this is just a suggestion. Winston Churchill was quite right when he said: “Everybody has a right to pronounce foreign names as he chooses.”
Before I let you go, here is a fantastic video of Poulenc himself (left) playing his Two-Piano concerto (with Jacques Février, right), under the baton of a young Georges Prêtre.:
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