Francis Poulenc

Concerto in G minor for Organ, Strings, and Timpani, S. 93

        Francis Poulenc will forever be remembered by students as a member of the French group, “Les Six,” of the nineteen twenties--a coterie of close friends who had little in common stylistically. This misleading appellation was given to a group of young French composers with connections to Eric Satie and Jean Cocteau who espoused a musical style that was the very antithesis of the impassioned, heavy style of late Romanticism.   Typical of the country and time, they were a cheeky lot, with a penchant for light, simple, even sarcastic compositions that were heavily influenced by French popular music.   Of the so-called six, only Poulenc, and, of course, Darius Milhaud, went on to significant careers as composers, although Arthur Honegger enjoyed some success.