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Dialogues of the Carmelites

  • Date Submitted: 04/12/2013 07:34 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.4 
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Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a composer of French nationality, responsible for a vast output of pieces, ranging from solo piano music, opera, ballet and orchestral music.   Although he is known largely for his affinity for the woodwind family, in addition Poulenc wrote, several vocal works of lasting importance.   One such work, Dialogues of the Carmelites provides a modern opera based on a story that occurred nearly two-hundred years prior.   The work expresses a sensitivity to the antiquated traditions of the Roman Catholic Church,while using modern composition techniques to achieve a deferential and powerful result.
At a young age, Poulenc studied under Ricardo Vines, an accomplished Spanish pianist.   With years of study Poulenc also became an accomplished pianist, focusing on the works of Debussy and Ravel.   In the years following his formal training, these composers would make   an audible impact on the works of Poulenc.[1]
Poulenc's second opera, Dialogues of the Carmelites, is a French opera composed in 1956. The novella “Die Letzte am Schafott” by Gerturd von Le Fort inspried Poulenc's newest masterpiece. The novella is a historical account of the monastery of Carmelite in Compiegne, immediately following the French Revolution.   Dialogues of the Carmelites follows the chain of events that led   to the seizure of the monastery’s assets and the eventual execution of the nuns of the Carmelite Order, following a vow of martyrdom.
When Poulenc began working on the opera in 1953, he had recently recommitted himself to Roman Catholicism, despite his open homosexuality.[2]   Within the opera, Poulenc symbolically expresses his fears for France following the Great Wars, specifically, the threat of confinement and censorship in Europe, a war torn continent, racing to find normalcy. (will elaborate slightly on this)
Not only would Dialogues of the Carmelites act as a soap box for Poulenc, but it also pushed Poulenc further into the category of a first class...

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