Valse en ut

Francis Poulenc

Valse en ut in C major

FP17 • “Valse in C”

About this work

Francis Poulenc's compositional identity is inextricably linked to Les Six, a group of composers who represented the French musical avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s. This loosely confederated group of friends--which also included Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric, Germaine Tailleferre, and Louis Durey--had a substantial impact on both French music and that of the legions of composers who flocked to France for musical study in the first half of the twentieth century. Although the group undertook, and even brought to fruition, a number of collaborations, only once did all six composers agree to be truly linked together in a collective effort.

The result of this project was a book of short piano pieces published in 1919 as Album des Six. For this volume, Poulenc supplied his childlike Valse in C major. The Valse is hardly Poulenc's most distinguished effort, especially given the vast quantity of music the composer wrote for the piano. Still, the work has its own particular charm and retains historical interest as a document of the composer's early compositional efforts and his association with Les Six.