Francis Poulenc: Gloria
Francis Poulenc’s music is often characterized by its good humor and general lightness, even in the case of the sacred Gloria for soprano, chorus and orchestra. The Gloria was actually a commission by the Koussevitzky Foundation, who originally asked Poulenc to compose a new symphonic work, but the composer refused. After a bit of back and forth, the Foundation finally proposed that Poulenc compose something of his choosing, and that was the Gloria. But the work was also a result of some soul searching that the composer embarked upon after the deaths of two close friends. So, while the Gloria by Poulenc is a buoyant work, it is also introspective.