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

Yesterday, 18:32
Nibs van der Spuy is at Exmouth Folk Club on Sunday, October 18.

Nibs van der Spuy – described as ‘one of the most extraordinary and exciting world acoustic guitarists and exports to come out of South Africa’ – is performing an intimate solo show at Exmouth Folk Club on Sunday, October 18.

Read more
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Ruby Wax.

Ruby Wax is coming to the Exmouth Pavilion on November 13.

Read more
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Exmouth Players' in Curtain Up On Murder. Photo: Ian Whilden.

Preparations are well in hand for the Exmouth Players’ forthcoming production Curtain Up On Murder by Bettine Mantkelow. There’s very much a family feeing around the theatre as the group moves closer to the opening night this coming Monday (October 12).

Read more
Friday, October 9, 2015
Members of Exmouth Art Group who held their annual art exhibition at Ocean. Ref exe 1045-41-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Exmouth Art Group’s 69th annual exhibition – which runs at Ocean until Sunday, October 18 – is proving a big success, with some strong work, good footfall and encouraging sales.

Read more
Thursday, October 8, 2015
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
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Rhubarb Crumble Cake

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

Read more
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
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
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
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
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read Entertainment

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Exmouth

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Find planning applications