Thursday, October 2, 2008

Eluard reading Liberté

Poulenc wrote Figure humaine on the poetry of Paul Eluard, a surrealist poet and all-around interesting and frequently (it seems) miserable guy. I'd always known him most infamously as the guy whose wife left him for Salvador Dali. But I've been reading more about him and his work; his poems in Figure humaine are tremendous, most especially Liberte, an over-the-top, extremely moving litany. The RAF dropped thousands of copies of this poem over occupied France during World War II.

Especially if you have any degree of French fluency, you'll want to check out this recording of Eluard reading his poem.

It's really no wonder Poulenc was inspired to set this one to music. This poem is the text of the eighth movement of Figure humaine, and it just makes for an unforgettable finale.

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