Francis Poulenc

The three works on WRTI’s Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast this Sunday, October 4th, all hail from France. To varying degrees, each echoes the marvelous 17th-century fables of Jean de La Fontaine, familiar to this day to every French schoolchild. It’s unfortunate that these compositions are usually confined to children’s programs, as there is much music in them that has universal appeal.

In 1929, an unusual work by a versatile 20th-century French composer premiered at the home of his wealthy patrons. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, this piece, still unique in the classical repertoire, is part piano concerto and part ballet, in a chamber music setting.