Suite Francaise (1935), Francis Poulenc

In 1935, Poulenc composed the music to Edouard Bourdet's play La Reine Margot, about Margot de Valois, wife of the man who in 1594 was crowned King Henri IV of France. To create the correct period ambience, Poulenc turned to a collection of dances by Claude Gervaise, a composer and violinist of Margot's time. Poulenc orchestrated and reworked these dances for a mixed wind ensemble with percussion and harpsichord in such a personal way that they took on the composer's own unmistakable character. Noted Swedish composer Jonas Forssell (b. 1957) arranged Suite Francaise for saxophone quartet in 1991.