SeatonMusic entertained by Babar the Elephant

18:30 27 January 2013


Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) is not a well known composer for most music enthusiasts, but since last Thursday, SeatonMusic and Seaton Primary School pupils know him better, thanks to the music club’s workshop and concert.

The French composer’s output includes piano music, religious works, opera, symphonic works, jazz and chamber music.

Soprano Jacqueline White and pianist Clive Matthews presented a recital of songs and piano music spanning his life, from his early Mouvements perpétuels of 1918 to his song set La Courte Paille, of 1960, together with a commentary putting the works into the context of his life.

From the outset, the musicians delighted their small audience (the weather made it impossible for some members to come!) with Poulenc’s energy and humour.

In the piano Improvisations and the Nocturne, Intermezzo and Novelette, London recitalist Clive Matthews brought out the changing moods of the works, from exuberant and dramatic to reflective.

The song sets, from Vocalise, (which has vowel sounds but no text) to settings of poems by war poet Louis Aragon, novelist Louise de Vilmorin and children’s writer Maurice Carême, have sometimes abstract or surreal texts which might by their very nature have been hard to understand, but opera singer Jacqueline White’s dramatic and exciting performance gave a fascinating insight into the range of Poulenc’s music.

Centre point of the recital was Poulenc’s musical story Babar the Elephant, an unrealistic, but charming story for children with musical interludes depicting the baby elephant at play, travelling by car (!), leaving his family and returning to be married and crowned king!

Not only SeatonMusic now know more about Poulenc, but in the afternoon, Seaton Primary School pupils had had a workshop with the performers, which had been enthusiastically received.

SeatonMusic’s next concert is on Thursday, January 31, at the later time of 8pm.

The young Swedish group The Nordic Ensemble will perform works by Mozart, Schubert, Lars-Eric Larsson and the sextet for wind and piano by Francis Poulenc.

Peter Dawson


Other Entertainment Stories

Sidmouth carnival. Ref shs 4171-40-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Final preparations are under way for this year’s Exmouth Carnival, to be held this Saturday, October 10.

Read more
Rhubarb Crumble Cake

Country Markets – a network of country markets across the UK – is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:32
The puppets are ready for showtime.

The puppet masters of Exeter Little Theatre Company dazzled on their opening night as they started their five-night run of Avenue Q at Exeter’s Barnfield Theatre, writes Clarissa Place.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30
Pok the Bard

On Wednesday, October 14, at 8pm and every other month on the second Wednesday, folk host and singer Sue King leads The Beehive Folk Café.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30

A rising star of the Royal School of Music, brilliant young violinist Soh-Yon Kim will be performing with pianist Maksim Stsura in Colyton.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30

The very popular Red Dirt Skinners will be playing at the Dunkeswell Village Hall.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:01

In 2012, Sidmouth Music brought pianist Ivana Gavric, then hailed as a ‘rising star’ by the musical press, to Sidmouth to open the concert season.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:59

A colourful and exciting exhibition by Magic Carpet’s Honiton Day Project participants opens today (Wednesday, October 7), at The Beehive and will run until October 31.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:31
Richard Prowse (left) welcomes new North Devon Theatres chairman Richard Purchase

Trust welcomes former NHS chairman on board

Read more
Yesterday, 12:21
Singer/pianist Liane Carroll is performing at North Devon Jazz Club in The Beaver, Appledore on October 19.

‘Unmissable’ gig at The Beaver, Appledore on Monday, October 19

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read Entertainment

Great British Life

Great British Life

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Find a job in Devon

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications