Rapsodie Nègre is the work with which Poulenc made his compositional début in Paris. It utilizes an unusual grouping of instruments and draws on African/Oriental exoticism and pentatonic melodies, coupled with a tone of detachment. The baritone solo in the third movement deserves a special mention. The text is allegedly the work of Liberian poet Makoko Kangourou, but is actually nonsense onomatopoetic syllables. Kangourou was the invention of two Parisian writers, Marcel Ormoy and Charles Moulié, who may have been satirizing the then current Parisian love affair with ‘art nègre’.The work is dedicated to Erik Satie.
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