Guillaume Apollinaire, eigentlich Wilhelm Apolinaris de Kostrowitsky, wurde 1880 in Rom geboren und starb 1918 in Paris. Seit 1902 lebte er in Paris, in ständigem Kontakt mit den avantgardistischen Künstlern der Epoche vor dem i. Weltkrieg. In seinen Gedichten und Texten (»Alcools«, 1913; »Calligrammes«, 1918) realisierte er Schreibverfahren, die den von den Kubisten bildnerisch entwickelten Gesetzmäßigkeiten entsprechen.
Francis Poulenc’s corpus of songs is one of the most generous and accomplished in the French repertoire. Born in 1899 and living until 1963, he inherited the art of the 19th century, which he succeeded in renewing while remaining within the bounds of tonal language, setting mostly contemporary poets (Apollinaire, Éluard, Aragon, Louise de Vilmorin). He drew his inspiration from the atmosphere specific to each text, but also from listening attentively to the timbre and rhythm of the poet reading his or her own works. This was, in the composer’s view, an essential key to penetrating the mystery of their creations. Associating the specific experience of the poet with his own personal memories, Poulenc created an expressive aura unique in the song output of his time.
I drew all that I could from Éluard, Apollinaire, Max Jacob, etc… I do not claim to have resolved the poetic problems musically through intelligence (the voices of the heart and of instinct are the most reliable).Francis Poulenc in Journal de mes mélodies
Mariss Jansons' EMI Shostakovich symphony cycle took nearly two decades to complete, yet it was mere weeks after the release of the final installment (Symphonies 3 & 14) that this new boxed set appeared, providing an opportunity for collectors to get all 15 symphonies at a bargain price. But don't let the packaging's diminutive dimensions fool you: there's nothing small-scaled about the music making.