After Francis Poulenc´s sudden death on January 30, 1963, the American Arts Patron and Soprano Alice
Swanson Esty decided to organize a memorial concert in New York. In addition to the present work by
Tailleferre, she commissioned Darius Milhaud, Henri Dutilleux, Sir Lennox Berkley, Ned Rorem and others
to write songs for this memorial which took place in January 1964 at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Tailleferre heard of Poulenc´s death by a newpaper reporter who telephoned her to ask for a reaction.
According to family members, she was horrified by the news and was very affected by the death of her old friend.
This short, concise setting of a poem by Guillaume Apollinaire, a poet closely associated with Poulenc, is a direct
expression of her feelings at the time and requires no explanation.
Alice Esty´s papers were given to the Edmund Muskie library at Bates College in Maine after her death.
The manuscript located in that collection is the source for this present edition.