This has been a dark couple of weeks. It's raining and grim all weekend in Boston, and I feel like I've heard nothing lately but crappy news about how the world economy is mush and so forth. And at this stage in my learning the music, it's an intellectual exercise, something challenging and diverting and fun that can take me outside of my own worry-steeped brain. We all know that listening to music can be transportive and moving, but learning music can have that effect as well. I've been really glad to devote the time to Poulenc, who, when he was writing this in Nazi-occupied France, frankly had much bigger problems than I do. I'll bet composing this was freeing for him too.
The movement I've been enjoying the most lately has been the 5th, Riant du ciel et des planetes-- Eluard's poetry in this one is so sardonic, and the music is so glib and stark, that it's been good fun and seems to suit my mood. (At least I THINK the poetry seems sardonic-- my French dates back to high school and is nothing near fluent!)