POULENC Francis, Sonata for clarinet and bassoon

Poulenc wrote this Sonata in September 1922 – it is one of his three early sonatas for wind instruments without piano. The first performance took place at a concert on 4 January 1923, in which Poulenc’s music was played alongside Satie’s La Belle Excentrique and Socrate. Among those present (along with Satie and Poulenc) were two of the great patrons of modern music, Misia Sert and Serge Diaghilev. The Sonata was particularly admired by Stravinsky (not always a fan of Poulenc’s music), who wrote to fellow composer Georges Auric in November 1922 after seeing the manuscript of this work and another of Poulenc’s sonatas from the same time. “I very much loved the music of these two sonatas,” Stravinsky said, “very fresh music where the originalist of Poulenc manifests itself as it does in none of his other works. Moreover, this music is very, very French.” 


© Nigel Simeone


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