• Francis Poulenc
  • L'Histoire de Babar (orch Blomhert) (1940)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Bastiaan Blomhert
Bastiaan Blomhert

  • 2(2pic)2(ca)2(bcl)2(cbn)2101
  • 2(pic)2(ca)2(bcl)2(cbn)/22(cnt)11/timp.perc/hp/str
  • Narrator
  • 22 min
  • Francis Poulenc
  • Jean de Brunhoff
  • French, English, German

Programme Note

Poulenc completed his STORY OF BABAR, THE LITTLE ELEPHANT for narrator and piano in 1945. The music was composed after the famous French children's book written and illustrated by Jean de Brunhoff in 1930. Jean de Brunhoff's son, Laurent, added many more Babar stories and created over the years a vast number of cartoons that are appearing daily on TV. Today, Babar is as a result a favourite character of millions of children (and grown-ups).

The delightful music by Poulenc was orchestrated by Jean Françaix in 1963 and found its way to many larger concert halls.

In 1985 Bastiaan Blomhert, the Dutch wind ensemble specialist, created his version for 12 winds. This arrangement was authorised by the Poulenc Estate in Paris and is now available on hire for performance in a more intimate atmosphere, as well as for recording and broadcast.

The configuration of the ensemble is 2 flutes (both doubling piccolo), 2 oboes (2nd doubling cor anglais), 2 clarinets (end doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (2nd doubling double-bassoon),2 French horns, trumpet and tuba. Performing time is 27 minutes (including narration).

THE STORY OF BABAR, THE LITTLE ELEPHANT, provides a marvellous opportunity for wind ensembles to reach a wide audience and to invite leading personalities of today to participate as the narrator.

A recording of the work (Amsterdam Wind Ensemble conducted by Bastiaan Blomhert with Jane Asher as reciter) is available on STH-Favourites CD 19245.