Francis poulenc (1899-1963).

Lot 239
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12000 - 15000 EUR
Francis poulenc (1899-1963).
autograph manuscript signed "Francis Poulenc"; Les Mamelles de Tirésias. Corrections for a reduced orchestration (1962) ; 2 folio notebooks of 30 and 19 leaves, mostly double-sided (plus blank pages), yellow cardboard covers, spiral back (35 x 27 cm, Heugel Archives stamps on covers). Very interesting document for the re-orchestration of Les Mamelles de Tirésias. As early as 1939, Poulenc worked on the musical setting of Guillaume APOLLINAIRE's play, Les Mamelles de Tirésias; he composed his opéra-bouffe in 1944, orchestrated it in 1945, and the premiere took place at the Opéra-Comique on June 3, 1947 under the musical direction of Albert Wolff, in a staging by Max de Rieux, sets and costumes by Erté, with the wonderful Denise Duval in the role of Thérèse. The vocal-piano score was published in April 1947 by Heugel. In May 1962, Poulenc decided to redo the orchestration; it is this "new version" that was published by Heugel in January 1963, and which is now performed. Les Mamelles de Tirésias, an opera buffa in two acts and a prologue [FP 125], in which Poulenc marvellously translated the surrealist spirit of Apollinaire's play into music, is an imperishable masterpiece of comicality, but also of poetry, sensitivity and musical humour.The manuscript of these Corrections pour une orchestration réduite is written in blue ink and red ballpoint pen in two notebooks of 28-line music paper. It is signed and dated at the end "Noizay, May-June '62". On the covers, Poulenc has noted the title and signed, the first book being for Act I, the second (which bears the mention "orchestration par deux") for the Entr'acte and Act II. A title page bears the words 'Corrections pour les Mamelles de Tirésias - orchestration réduite', and the date 'Mai 62'. Then Poulenc lists the composition of the orchestra: "2 flutes (2nd =small flute), 2 oboes (2nd =English horn), 2 Bb clarinets, 1 Bb bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 1 trombone, 1 tuba, kettledrums, drums (one player) [celesta, xylophone, glockenspiel, drums], 1 harp, 1 piano, 10 first violins, 8 second violins, 6 violas, 4 violoncellos, 3 double bass. Total 50 musicians"; the 1946 orchestra included 3 bassoons, 4 horns and 3 trumpets. After giving indications to the engraver, Poulenc began his work of reorchestration, which was not only a reduction of the number of musicians, but often the rewriting of certain parts. Each page of the score to be corrected is noted in red pen, before the corrections in blue ink. Sometimes these are simple indications of corrections to the reduced parts, but more often Poulenc rewrote whole bars of his music. Thus, page 1, 3 bars for the woodwinds; pages 3 and 4, indications; page 5, 3 bars for the horns; page 6, indication; page 9, 3 bars for the flutes and oboes; page 10, 4 bars for the winds; page 11, 4 bars for almost the whole orchestra... Etc. Discography: Denise Duval et al, Chœurs et Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra-Comique, André Cluytens 1953 (EMI 1989).
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