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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Kullervo on April 10, 2008, 04:54:27 PM

Title: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Kullervo on April 10, 2008, 04:54:27 PM
A cursory search returned no thread dedicated to this very prolific composer of whom I would love to hear more. This (excellent) set is all I have so far:

(http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z245/tapiola/55414.jpg)

What are your favorite pieces, recordings, etc?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: gomro on April 10, 2008, 05:06:59 PM


What are your favorite pieces, recordings, etc?

One piece I wish I could get on CD, with "modern sound," etc. is the Protee suite, which was a really wonderful thing.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: The new erato on April 10, 2008, 08:40:14 PM
Violin concerto nr 2 is superb and one of my favorites. Try Steinbacker on Orfeo!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: pjme on April 13, 2008, 11:47:26 PM
Mon cher Milhaud....! It is a composer I follow since a long time.
Scaramouche (for 2 pianos) opened up a whole world of,at first, easy & lighthearted pieces, later on, strangely intimidating studies in complexity ( stringquartet 14 & 15 can be played together as an octet),massif oratoria and operas...Tango, Brazilian rythms,percussion, Jewish prayers, Biblical scenes, film music : Milhaud's autobiography is called "My happy life" - yet he suffered from a severe form of reumatoid arthritis....
He knew or met Eric Satie, Paul Claudel, Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg, Copland, Kurt Weill,Mitropoulos, Scherchen,Monteux...

My edition of "Ma vie heureuse" ( Belfond / Paris 1973) mentiones 441 works written between 1910 and 1972. Sure, not all of them masterpieces, but, AFAIK, an extravagantly generous and highly personal outpouring of "joie de vivre " and "condition humaine".

Here are a few works I enjoy:
Suite Provençale (1936) -for orchestra . Great 1955 performance of Charles Munch/Boston SO. 8 short pieces ( 18th century Provençal themes & melodies, some by Campra) arranged and orchestrated in a stirring, "folksy" way.

"l'Orestie"  part 1 : Agamemnon (soprano dramatique, male chorus & orchestra /1913)
               part 2: Les Choéphores ( soprano, baritone, reciter,chorus & orch. -1915-1916)
               part 3: Les Euménides ( reciter, various soloists,chorus & orch.1917-1922)
Les Choéphores ( ca 35-40 mins.) is an extraordinary composition and shows Milhaud's talent at its peak. Three parts ( Présages, Exhoration and Conclusion) are written for female reciter ( parlé-rythmé) ,chorus and percussion and still impress today.
Two recordings : Bernstein/NYPO ( Vera Zorina as reciter), Markevitch/Lamoureux ( Claude Nollier reciter). Neither is perfect ( they both show their age sonically, Zorina is weird, Nollier very good, the Paris university chorus ...mediocre). Still, the excitement is there and both versions can be bought cheaply ( SOny /DGG).
A well prpared version of the complete work would be welcome. Les Euménides is  the biggest, longest( ca 90 mins.if I remember well) and most difficult part. The constant polytonality, the intricacy of the many layers ( the voice of the goddess Athena is sung by three sopranos, the people of Athens is represented by a large chorus, a very large orchestra) make it a tough,but intoxicating experience. I'm glad to have witnessed Reinbert De Leeuw's performance in Amsterdam ( June 1988) - draining,but really grandiose (hmm,like a Bruckner or Mahler symphony...!)

Symphonies nr 1,2,3 (with chorus/Te Deum),4 and 8 (Rhodanienne), violinconcerto nr 2, the concerto for two pianos and 4 percussion ( now on Bridge!) , the ballet 'l Homme et son désir, La création du monde, Protée( indeed, a superb work!),the 3rd stringquartet ( with soprano), la mort d'un Tyran ( chorus, clarinet, tuba, piccolo and percussion)....amply prove Milhaud's unique voice,originality & style.

Milhaud composed very easily -sometimes all too easily : one can detect note spinning and banal formulas, rather un-subtle orchestration, in late works a lack of concission or focus ( Pacem in Terris), ungrateful,highlying vocal parts. But much has to be re-discovered, many works never got a second performance. His large scale operas and oratoria (David, Bolivar,Fiesta, La sagesse, La tragédie humaine, Le château de feu...) disappeared from the podia.

There is a healthy dose of Berlioz-like generosity in Milhaud's works. That may help to stand the test of time.

Peter







Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Kullervo on April 14, 2008, 03:26:09 AM
Illuminating as always. Thanks, PJ.  :)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: pjme on April 14, 2008, 04:08:25 AM
One piece I wish I could get on CD, with "modern sound," etc. is the Protee suite, which was a really wonderful thing.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/216945BCNAL._SL500_AA130_.jpg) This BBC Carlton can be found on the Internet - at amazon (used).
The performance is OK ( The BBC SO/ Milhaud)- the sound a bit boxy.It isq coupled with the first concerto for two pianos & orch., (parts!!) of the Suite Provençale and 3 fragments from "Les mariés de la tour Eiffel. Maurice Abravanel's version with the UTAH SO should be reissued! But a (complete!!) Protée would be more than welcome.

Peter
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: violinconcerto on April 14, 2008, 04:25:40 AM
Violin concerto nr 2 is superb and one of my favorites. Try Steinbacker on Orfeo!

I would also recommend the 2nd violin concerto and also his Concertino de printemps, both for violin and orchestra. But I cannot recommend Arabella Steinbac*h*er, because the old but very intense recording with Louis Kaufman, the Orchestre Philharmonique de l'O.R.T.F under Milhaud himself is far better than the recording of Steinbacher! So go for this one and you will get the best recording of the Concertino de printemps too (and the only recording of the fine violin concerto by Sauguet):

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2003/July03/LouisKaufma1.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2003/July03/LouisKaufma1.htm)

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2003/July03/Miolhaud_Kaufman.jpg)


The other violin+orchestra works are not that good. The first violin concerto is just a short study work, the 3rd violin concerto is ok, but nothing special and the suite francaise I cannot remember right now.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 14, 2008, 04:02:28 PM
I am afraid that I struggle a bit with Milhaud!

It is not that I dislike his music. Far from it, I find most of it very pleasant, amiable, cheerful. Ultimately, however, I find myself unable to remember one piece from another!

He just seems to have written too much. I have-for example-all of the symphonies and all five of the piano concertos but there just seemed very little which was memorable about any of them. I did make the mistake of playing all of the piano concertos in sequence(which at least was not the mild torture of playing all of Malipiero's piano concertos after each other!).

He reminds me sometimes of Villa-Lobos. Composing obviously came fairly easily to him and compositions flowed from his pen but perhaps not always totally uncritically?

Maybe I am being unfair and maybe I should give the symphonies a second chance?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: vandermolen on April 14, 2008, 09:15:52 PM
I am afraid that I struggle a bit with Milhaud!

It is not that I dislike his music. Far from it, I find most of it very pleasant, amiable, cheerful. Ultimately, however, I find myself unable to remember one piece from another!

He just seems to have written too much. I have-for example-all of the symphonies and all five of the piano concertos but there just seemed very little which was memorable about any of them. I did make the mistake of playing all of the piano concertos in sequence(which at least was not the mild torture of playing all of Malipiero's piano concertos after each other!).

He reminds me sometimes of Villa-Lobos. Composing obviously came fairly easily to him and compositions flowed from his pen but perhaps not always totally uncritically?

Maybe I am being unfair and maybe I should give the symphonies a second chance?

Very much in agreement here. I have the box set of all the symphonies but I never play them. Which is the best? I will have another go with it.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: The new erato on April 15, 2008, 01:37:31 AM
I would also recommend the 2nd violin concerto and also his Concertino de printemps, both for violin and orchestra. But I cannot recommend Arabella Steinbac*h*er, because the old but very intense recording with Louis Kaufman, the Orchestre Philharmonique de l'O.R.T.F under Milhaud himself is far better than the recording of Steinbacher! So go for this one and you will get the best recording of the Concertino de printemps too (and the only recording of the fine violin concerto by Sauguet):

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2003/July03/LouisKaufma1.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2003/July03/LouisKaufma1.htm)

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2003/July03/Miolhaud_Kaufman.jpg)


The other violin+orchestra works are not that good. The first violin concerto is just a short study work, the 3rd violin concerto is ok, but nothing special and the suite francaise I cannot remember right now.

Agree about the Kaufman and I have it of course.....
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: The new erato on April 15, 2008, 01:39:03 AM
Very much in agreement here. I have the box set of all the symphonies but I never play them. Which is the best? I will have another go with it.

If not there's always room for another refusal bin...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: pjme on April 15, 2008, 02:44:17 AM
Well, I wonder what Bernstein or Markevitch would have made of these symphonies. !! Alun Francis and the Basle SO are correct, but nothing more than that. Milhaud's own conducting of nrs 3,4 and 8 is superior ( and the ORTF Phil.isn't the Chicago symphony either...).

Bernstein gives a very good account of La création du monde (French Nat.O).

Peter





Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: karlhenning on April 15, 2008, 02:51:52 AM
Very much in agreement here. I have the box set of all the symphonies but I never play them. Which is the best? I will have another go with it.

Hear, hear. Agreeable stuff, well enough made;  my ears don't find a lot of traction.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 15, 2008, 04:42:48 AM
Well, I wonder what Bernstein or Markevitch would have made of these symphonies. !! Alun Francis and the Basle SO are correct, but nothing more than that. Milhaud's own conducting of nrs 3,4 and 8 is superior ( and the ORTF Phil.isn't the Chicago symphony either...).

Bernstein gives a very good account of La création du monde (French Nat.O).

Peter









I have no doubt that music like this deserves the best possible interpretation to make it come to life. A number of great conductors of the past used to champion unfashionable composers-one thinks of Beecham, for example, for (almost) single-handedly championing Delius and who was noted for his sparkling performances of music like Goldmark's Rustic Wedding Symphony. Barbirolli and Boult were other British conductors who were enthusiastic about the music of apparently lesser composers. In our own time, Handley and Hickox have done the same(and the late lamented Bryden Thomson.) Bernstein was enthusiastic about much American music as well as the great classics of the repertoire.

Nowadays-sadly-this is much less the case. The most famous conductors seldom perform repertoire out of the mainstream.

Yes, no doubt Alun Francis's performances of the Milhaud symphonies are no more than 'correct' but we are probably unlikely to get much better unless we go back to the now aged recordings made by Milhaud himself. At least conductors like Francis, Werner Andreas Albert, David Porcelijn and CPO's other regulars or David Lloyd-Jones for Naxos, for example, are obviously happy to explore unusual repertoire.

(I think that I am beginning to sound like a marketing officer for CPO on this forum! :))
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: edward on April 15, 2008, 06:25:32 AM
Hear, hear. Agreeable stuff, well enough made;  my ears don't find a lot of traction.
I'll toss in yet another seconding for this view: I never fail to enjoy Milhaud but I'm not drawn back as I am with his Six-fellows Honegger and Poulenc.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Tsaraslondon on April 15, 2008, 06:55:18 AM
I love Milhaud's Suite for Ondes Martenot and piano (also arranged for Ondes and String Quartet by Takashi Harada). The closing Elegie is aboslutely haunting. It has been recorded, both in its original piano form and the arrangement for string quartet. I doubt either is available now however.

Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: pjme on April 18, 2008, 07:36:50 AM
I listened again to Milhaud's second symphony (1944- -dedicated to Nathalie Koussevitsky.
5 mouvements : Paisible (peaceful) - Mystérieux (mysterious) - Douloureux(painful) - Avec sérénité (with serenity) - Alleluia

It is a funereal work, mostly dark and dramatic. Quite impressive and beautiful.

(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/images/records/dg4762197.jpg)

Plasson / Toulouse - excellent!

Peter
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: hautbois on April 20, 2008, 06:00:42 AM
I admiration for Milhaud boils down mostly towards his chamber music for winds, which are always witty, cheerful, sarcastic, and fun.

Howard
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 20, 2008, 09:10:23 AM
Isn't this the guy who said that Brahms was "bogus genius"? So amusing coming from the bogus composer.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: pjme on April 21, 2008, 04:45:19 AM
Here's a compact & clear bio:

Darius Milhaud 1892–1974
by Ronald Crichton

Darius Milhaud, the French composer, died in Geneva on June 22; he was 81.

Milhaud was born in 1892 at Aix-en-Provence where his father, of Jewish descent and religion, was an almond merchant. There can be few active musicians able to remember a time when Milhaud’s name was not familiar, fewer still who can claim knowledge of the vast quantity of work produced during a long career by this incessantly prolific and versatile composer. Milhaud’s musical training began in his native city. At the age of 17 he went to the Paris Conservatoire. His teachers were Dukas, Leroux and Gédalge. Among his friends were Auric and Honegger. Of equal if not greater importance were literary friendships with, for example, Jammes and Claudel, two of the great influences (Gide was the third) on the early years of Milhaud’s career. By 1917, when Claudel took Milhaud to Rio de Janeiro as a member of his ambassadorial staff, the composer had set La brebis égarée of Jammes as an opera, Alissa, prose excerpts from Gide’s La Porte étroite for voice and piano, and the first two parts (Agamemnon and Les choéphores) of Claudel’s Oresteia trilogy. Milhaud later described the visit to Latin America as the equivalent for him of a stay in Rome (the war of 1914 had prevented his competing for the Prix de Rome). Brazil brought him into fruitful contact with a civilisation half-Latin, half-exotic, with Latin-American popular music and with jazz. When he returned to post-war Paris he won notoriety with such works as Machines agricoles, Le boeuf sur le toit, La création du monde, Le train bleu, and the three tiny opéras-minutes written for Germany. He was a member of the group Les Six, and although his style was already formed, and although the group’s mentor Cocteau was never so deep an influence on Milhaud as the writers mentioned earlier, the glitter of that brilliant butterfly period has stuck. The fading in the 30s was symbolized, in Milhaud’s case, by the cool reception given to his Maximilien at the Paris Opéra in 1932. But the output flowed on, only briefly interrupted by a painful uprooting from his homeland in 1940. The years after the Armistice were spent in the USA at Mills College, where Pierre Monteux and other friends had obtained him a teaching post. Milhaud, who had for some years been an invalid confined by rheumatic afflictions to a wheelchair, nursed by his devoted wife, returned to France in 1947, and was offered the post of professor of composition at the Paris Conservatoire. He spent alternative academic years in Paris and at Mills. For many years he attended the summer music school at Aspen, Colorado, and taught at a number of other establishments in the USA. In spite of ill-health, and of persistent attachment to Paris and to his native Provence, Milhaud remained a willing, indefatigable traveller.

The label ‘member of Les Six’ is emphatically not enough. It is not easy to pin him down. The Jewish-Provençal background was important. It led directly to some of his best works, to the Poèmes juifs (1916), to operas with texts by his compatriot Armand Lunel – Les malheurs d’Orphée (1924) and Esther de Carpentras (1938, written earlier), to the Suite provençale (1936), and it lends a melancholy pastoral colour to other scores not overtly of Provençal or Jewish origin. Milhaud’s style set early and evolved hardly at all. He seems, in spite of a fondness for working with themes from past composers, especially of the 18th century, to have taken little from other people or other periods. He gave more than one explanation of the origins of his use of polytonality, which he regarded as a Latin solution to the problem of the decay of tonality. One was a recurrent, quasi-mystical experience at night in the country, when he felt rays and tremors converging on him from all points of the sky and from below ground, each bearing its own music – ‘a thousand simultaneous musics rushing towards me from all directions.’ Another explanation of the origin was the study of a duetto by Bach in which the original entries of the two voices appeared to be in different keys. Milhaud never erected polytonality into a system. It was more a question of colour, adding a characteristic tang to the melodic and contrapuntal facility, sometimes clarifying the texture, sometimes, in the later music especially, making it opaque. Side by side with the Latin qualities of Milhaud’s music there exists a strain of expressionism, a penchant for thick timbres. Like many French musicians of his generation, he rejected Wagner and Brahms, but he accepted Mahler and Strauss. Schoenberg, whom he admired greatly, was a friend of many years standing.

In a series of radio interviews (published as Entretiens avec Claude Rostand(, Paris, 1952), Milhaud drew attention to his simultaneous and continuous cultivation of a number of musical forms which he listed in order of importance as: large operas, chamber music, symphonic works, concertos, music for chamber orchestra or small combinations, musique de divertissement (not quite the same thing as light music), ballets, works using or deriving from folk music, works ‘after’ classical composers. The Heugel catalogue stops in 1956 at op. 354. In the feature devoted to Milhaud after his death, Le Monde gave the total as 426 works. This terrifying figure includes several large operas or opera-oratorios – the Oresteia trilogy, Christophe Colomb (1930), Maximilien, Bolivar (1950), David (1952), Saint-Louis, Roi de France (1972). To the smaller operas mentioned above should be added Le pauvre matelot (1927) and Médée (1939). Among the chamber music are eighteen string quartets, of which nos. 14 and 15 may be played together as an octet. Milhaud, who in the 20s had written six ‘little’ symphonies for small combinations, waited until he was nearly 50 before embarking in 1939 on a series of 12 symphonies for full orchestra (the Third has a choral finale). There are many choral works, a mass of film scores and incidental music for the theatre, a number of undeservedly neglected songs. Among his prose writings is a volume of memoirs, Notes sans musique (Paris, 1949, translated 1952), which includes a chapter on the death of Satie. Milhaud had an air of inner serenity and benign authority which impressed those who had even the slightest acquaintance with him, and won him the affection and respect of musicians of all tendencies and ages. At this stage the least one can say is that when the dust has settled and the grain has been separated from the chaff, there should remain a balance-sheet of which any composer might be proud.

Musical Times, August 1974
 
 

 
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on April 29, 2009, 04:57:43 PM
I once wrote out Milhaud's and Martinu's work lists to try to make some sense.

I was sure the Van/Dun were gonna be chirping lovely songs about the symphonies, but no? Only one mention of the great Plasson/DG recordings of 1-2/6-7. I can see if you have the entire Francis box you might not be able to get a handle, but as packaged by DG, these syms (along with 4/8 on Erato), to me, sound like the greatest 1940s type symphonies. No, at the moment I can't tell them apart (4/8 is another story), but they all have that laid back French country sound...I mean, who else Frenchy was writing syms. (now I've done it!)? Maybe I just like it cause it's on DG :o.
Sym.3 has the vocals (death for me), Sym.5 is like 8min. long, and Sym.10 was the last one anybody had anything good to say about. So I think the 2 DGs and the Erato would be the place to go.

come on, symphony guys...give 1-2,6-7 another spin (preferrably on a sunny/rainy afternoon)...but 4/8 are really quite rollicking. These syms are all amoungst my favs (20th cent.). Just appealing, I think.

I've had my fair share of wayward Milhaud discs, including the Vox 2cd that had a welter (!) plethora (stop) of interesting quirky and sometimes annoying pieces. Most of the annoying stuff is either early or late (that's why I think the syms.,squarely in the middle, benefit). But there's a lot of annoying Milhaud out there for me, too.

However, along with the syms. discs I mentioned, the Erato piano concerto disc (2/4+) w/Claude Hellfter? is music I've really enjoyed, especially the big cto. No.4. Glittering, happy, and gay.

Besides the 17 SQs, which I would like to address seperately, Milhaud's chamber music is a throw up your hands in defeat affair. I had his complete viola music cd, and there wasn't anything "wrong" with it, but...same for violin sonata No.2. And the wind music and wind sonatas don't make me forget Poulenc.

But the one standout is an early sonata for piano and winds (that ole london cd of french chamber music) that has the languid sound I was searching for in Milhaud.

Cello sonata (1958) and piano trio (1971?) show that his amicable style stayed with him.

I'm looking over his work list now. Half of it is songs and trifles, and when you whittle down the "obvious" discards, things get a "little" more manageable. Yea, there doesn't seem to be anything else that make me drool, so I'm going to considered myself sated.

BUTTT.....Milhaud is one of my fav composers for the above works mentioned, and the box of 17 SQs (Parisii). I'll append another post for them, but as a cycle I find a lot more variety than say Villa-Lobos or Rosenberg. You can dip into different decades and really see growth..and yes, there is a "late period".
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Dundonnell on April 29, 2009, 05:19:43 PM
I can only echo what I wrote back in April of last year.

I am more of a 'Scandinavian/Germanic' man myself with regard to musical taste. French music has less general appeal and those French symphonies or other orchestral works which attract me are those which are most influenced by central European composers(like d'Indy or Magnard or Tournemire) or are imbued with a rich exoticism(like Koechlin or Schmitt). The easy-going Milhaud idiom is pleasant enough but there is an ultimate lack of distinction or of development in Milhaud's music....for me. I have a lot of Milhaud in my collection-both Plasson on DG and Francis on CPO-and I can listen with pleasure to the symphonies but I find the concertos tedious, to be honest. Milhaud just seems to be eitjher chattering away with his mixture of Brazilian or jazzy dance rhythms or meandering languidly through a sun-kissed Provencal landscape that sends me to sleep.

More variety than Villa-Lobos or Rosenberg? Well I would put Villa-Lobos in much the same category as Milhaud actually. Rosenberg....oh no! Much more to my taste anyway but given that we don't have recordings of three out of his eight symphonies(Nos. 1, 7 or 8) and only an ancient recording of No.5 I really don't think that it is fair to come to such a conclusion.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Daverz on April 29, 2009, 05:39:59 PM
I heard a lovely wind quintet by Milhaud with some delicious harmonies at a recent local concert: La Cheminée du roi René
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 03:06:06 AM
We played a Suite of some stripe in high school band . . . left me cold.  I want to like the symphonies more than it seems I do . . . .
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on August 15, 2010, 09:32:54 PM
DM doesn't seem to get much love around here, but I still find some fleeting moments of High Modernism

accck!,...what am I saying?? :o It's late, oy,...2:30,...

The stuff I like by him I like.
The stuff I don't like I don't like.

But, amoungst other stuff, I just recently piggy backed his Percussion/Marimba Concerto (from the '50s, I think) on a Markus Leoson recital, and, this piece is quite superbly joyous in that ingratiatingly Milhaudian manner. I can't remember if this was on that VoxBox (anyone?),...which, btw, is a hoot (one of the Concertos is a hot mess as I recall).

The newbie should always be careful wenst picking their first Milhaud! 8)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: just Jeff on August 15, 2010, 09:48:20 PM
Kinda trippy in a cool way, no?

Sgt Pepper cutouts meet in a Yellow Sub / flower power-four leaf clover during the summer of 1968 (the one after the Summer of Love)

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/LP%20covers_labels/milhaudphilips.jpg)

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/LP%20covers_labels/milhaudfrenchemift-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: just Jeff on August 16, 2010, 03:34:52 AM
But seriously,

La création du monde, ballet for orchestra, Op. 81 might be his masterwork imo.
Conducted by Charles Munch / Boston Symphony Orchestra on RCA is a sturdy performance of the work.

Sassy brassy and bold, avant-garde twists and turns.  I like it when tradition is turned inside out by those who know their history well enough to pull it off.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on August 17, 2010, 06:06:32 PM
So, I trudged through the Milhaud Thread at Amazon. The Marimba/Vibraphone Concerto (late '40s) is not the same as the Percussion Concerto ('20s), which is probably a good thing.

The VoxBox has the Viola, Percussion, 2Piano (or is it PC No.1?), and various Cello Concertos, along with other stuff. The first two I recall as noisy 1920s.

After page after page of Toit cds, I saw the only cd that's been plaguing me for years: the Largo/Clementi Trio cd of Piano Trios by Shostakovich (No.1!), Milhaud, Tailfairre (sic?), and Roslavets. It's currently going for way more than I'm willing to pay, but it's a great little cd of 20th Century PTs.

Also, there was a new recording of the Clarinet Concerto, previously unavailable. I'm curious about this one.

The only other thing would be to get the one cd that has ALL the typical pieces I pretend I don't want to hear. Which is the best for that, the EMI?



Currently, my Milhaud Collection consists of:

DG Symphonies 1-2
DG Symphonies 6-7 (both,...plus Suite Mediterranean & Suite Francaise)
Erato Symphonies 4/8

Erato Piano Concertos disc (Helffer, 2 and 4, plus Etudes, etc.)

Complete SQs (Parisii/Auvidis)
SQs 1-2 (Arriaga/Discovery)

DG Les Choephoerees (whatever ::)),...not something I picked

Sonata for fl, ob, cl, pf (1919; Decca)

Sonata for Cello & Piano (1948; Music & Arts)

Piano Trio (ok, not yet!)



And, honestly, I think that wind quartet Sonata above is Milhaud's best non-SQ chamber work. It's on a lot of different cds,... but, anyhow, it is more substantial than most any other Milhaud chamber work, and also has a carefree lyicism without any of that '20s kitsch. It's the best work of Milhaud's First Period (1912-19), along with the 2 SQs (ok ok, that doesn't leave much else, except the Violin Sonata, which is a mere pittance).

Which brings me to Milhaud's string Sonatas (one for violin (though it's No.2), two plus for viola, and one for cello). None are essenial, though M's viola works were all created around the same time for a specific performer (I had a disc on Centaur, I believe), a whole cd's worth of stuff, and, it's all pretty agreeable, though, I think viola lovers will like it especially. Just for myself I prefer the Cello Sonata (1958), an especially well crafted, though, of course, typical piece.



M's wind chamber music is where things get hairy, though, I'm not all that fond here. It's mostly quirky '20s stuff, and beyond, (I like Poulenc better here), so, that's why I say the early Sonata (1919) is his best. It's just music, without the extras. And, about 20mins.



I hope that helps a little. I went through a long bout with Milhaud early on, so, I hope you can trust me here. I've got the scars to prove it!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Sid on August 17, 2010, 07:54:39 PM
I like La creation du monde, probably my favourite classical-jazz crossover work. Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue sounds much less spontaneous. I have the Bernstein recording. I also like Scaramouche, in both the version for two pianos & for saxophone & orchestra. The last movement makes me feel I'm on the beach in Rio or something. Saudades do Brasil is another good work. I agree that his facile polyrhythms can be a bit repetitive at times (Ox on the Roof is my least favourite for this reason, he repeats that theme ad nauseum). & even his more serious works, like the Sacred Service, have this lightness of touch which is very elegant and French. The final year students at the Sydney Conservatorium will be doing his chamber opera The Sorrows of Orpheus in October, I'll be seeing that then (it's not often that his music is played live)...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: jurajjak on August 17, 2010, 07:58:48 PM
I am sympathetic to Milhaud, but much of his music does seem to blend together amorphously in my memory. His opera Christoph Colomb is another matter, though--a huge affair scored for large forces. When it was first performed, critical opinion was divided on the work, which was seen as an attempt to drag grand opera into the 20th century. It is worth searching out, and is testament to Milhaud's ability to write more than jazzy trifles.


andrew
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: The new erato on August 18, 2010, 03:40:52 AM
Opera`s? Christophe Colombe used to be available, and I have Le Pauvre Matelot (?) - the poor sailor -  on an ASV CD.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: pjme on August 18, 2010, 04:46:25 AM
I suppose that we have a quite incomplete view of Milhaud's oeuvre. ( more than 400 opusnumbers).
Not all is - as can be expected- of the some quality. But he has -at least- a very distictive voice, a very recognisable style/writing.

I tend to agree that some of his early works are fresher, more original, less repetitive. Much, however, is never played or played by orchetras or conductors not really sympathetic to his musical world.


Opera's
Voltooid in titel aktes première libretto
1910-1914 La Brebis égarée, op. 4 3 aktes, 20 taferelen 10 december 1923, Parijs, Opéra-Comique Francis Jammes
 
1913/1915-1916-1922 L'Orestie d'Eschyle, trilogie

Agamemnon, opus 14 (Aischylos Paul Claudel, 1e deel van de Oresteia) - toneelmuziek voor sopraan, mannenkoor en orkest;
Les Choéphores, opus 24, (naar Aischylos bewerkt door Paul Claudel, 2e deel van de Oresteia) - zeven toneelmuzieken voor sopraan, bariton, vrouwelijke spreekstem, gemengd koor, slagwerk en orkest
Les Euménides, opus 41
 3 aktes 18 november 1949, Brussel, Radio INR (Aischylos Paul Claudel, 3e deel van de Oresteia)

1925 Les Malheurs d'Orphée, opus 85 3 aktes 7 mei 1926, Brussel, Koninklijke Muntschouwburg Armand Lunel

1925-1927 Esther de Carpentras, opus 89 2 aktes concertant: 1937, Radio Rennes; scenisch: 1 februari 1938, Parijs, Opéra-Comique Armand Lunel

1926 Le Pauvre Matelot, opus 92 3 aktes 16 december 1927, Parijs, Opéra-Comique; 2e versie: 15 november 1934, Genève Jean Cocteau

1926-1927 Les Opéras-minute - Trilogie

L'Enlèvement d'Europe, opus 94
L'Abandon d'Ariane, opus 98
La Délivrance de Thésée, opus 99
17 juli 1927, Baden-Baden, Kammermusikfest
20 april 1928, Wiesbaden, Staatstheater
20 april 1928, Wiesbaden, Staatstheater
 Henri Hoppenot

1928 Christoph Colomb 2 aktes, 27 taferelen 5 mei 1930, Berlijn, Staatsoper Unter den Linden; 2e versie: concertant: 2 juni 1956, Parijs, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées; scenisch: juni 1968, Graz, Sommerspiele Paul Claudel

1930-1931 Maximilien, opus 110 3 aktes, 9 taferelen 5 januari 1932, Parijs, Opéra Garnier Franz Werfel/Rudolf Stephan Hoffmann/Armand Lunel

1938 Médée, opus 191 eenakter 7 oktober 1939, Antwerpen, Vlaamse Opera Madeleine Milhaud

1943 Bolívar, opus 236 3 aktes 12 mei 1950, Parijs, Opéra Garnier Jules Supervielle/Madeleine Milhaud

1952-1953 David, opus 320 5 aktes concertant: 1 juni 1954, Jeruzalem; scenisch: 2 februari 1955, Milaan, Teatro alla Scala Armand Lunel

1958 Fiesta, opus 370 eenakter 3 oktober 1958, Berlijn, Deutsche Oper Boris Vian

1964-1965 La Mère coupable, opus 412 3 aktes 13 juni 1966, Genève, Grand Théâtre Madeleine Milhaud, naar Beaumarchais

1970 Saint-Louis roi de France, opéra-oratorio, opus 434 2 delen concertant: 18 maart 1972 Rome, RAI; scenisch: 14 april 1972, Rio de Janeiro, Teatro Municipal Paul Claudel/Henri Doublier

The ballet 'lHomme et son désir , Protée, symphonies 1.2.3,4 and 8, the concerto for 2 pianos and 4 percussion, violinconcerto nr2...I find highly enjoyable .
Les Choéphores ( recently played in Lille / Casadesus) is very impressive.
P;


Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: karlhenning on August 18, 2010, 04:49:57 AM
I suppose that we have a quite incomplete view of Milhaud's oeuvre. ( more than 400 opusnumbers).
Not all is - as can be expected- of the some quality. But he has -at least- a very distictive voice, a very recognisable style/writing.

I tend to agree that some of his early works are fresher, more original, less repetitive. Much, however, is never played or played by orchetras or conductors not really sympathetic to his musical world.

I can only hope that there will be a symphony cycle by someone who believes in the music as a vital thing.  The cpo cycle has, in effect, convinced me that it's the sonic equivalent of mashed potatoes.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on August 18, 2010, 11:44:37 AM
pjme:

I wrote down all his Opus Numbers on paper, four pages, whilst leaving holes for things like Songs and Opera. Now, if we take your list and chop it off, add the Songs (you didn't list Songs, did you?), and chop them off, and maybe even take the 4cds of Piano Music and chop that off...

whew!

Then I think we are left with quite a manageable ouevre. His Concertos aren't endless (though, the confusion around the Four Seasons had me going). His Chamber Music output is very large, but when you cut out the fat, and, hmmm, excuse me, but he waaas fat!, when you cut it down to the wire, I think we could come up with a good consensus.

But yea, when you simply seperate all that Vocal output from the rest, that does a lot to clear things up.



btw- Things get pretty easy in the last decade of M's composing, or, starting around the '60s. This is when he was writing all these Music for... pieces (like Music for Prague), the Globetrotter bit, more Vocal stuff, and the odd Wind Quintet and Piano Trio. Hardly any of this music is recorded, and, it probably doesn't matter. Looking over my list, I see no screaming Masterpieces, or even, anything really interesting (though, haha, I am looking for that PT).

So, perhaps, M's work peaks around the early '50s, with the last SQs and Symphonies, and other larger works? Oy, all of a sudden I'm thinking Villa-Lobos. Is he next on the prune-o-meter? ;D
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2010, 07:09:01 PM
I can tell Milhaud is going to be like Martinu was for me: pleasant on first hearing, but needs more time to sink in. I have heard next to nothing by Milhaud. I'm about to finish up listening to his symphonies, but I know I'm going to have to spend more time with the music. It is very attractive music. The polytonal lines do sometimes, not all the time, seem directionless, but the way he used them is very upfront and accessible. He made music clash against each other and sometimes this, in conjunction with a strong rhythm, can sound quite good. Milhaud's symphonies aren't without their moments of tenderness either. The slow movement to Symphony No. 6 is so gorgeous.
 
Anyway, I can understand why many wouldn't like his music, but at the same time, it makes me wonder how much time and effort the listener has put into understanding the music? I've liked what I have heard so far.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Dax on September 12, 2010, 08:43:21 PM
La création du monde is an enjoyable rather than admirable work - and not because it has anything much to do with jazz. It's the earlier works that seem to have more going for them, whereas some of the later more popular things like Scaramouche seem pretty tiresome, at least to me. (The beginning of the last movement, which is the bit that everybody remembers, is lifted from the beginning of Ernesto Nazareth's Brejeiro). The actual amount that he wrote is not a criticism per se, but the impression that he's a note-spinner tells against him and, with respect, I don't think the same accusation can be made against, say, Villa-Lobos or Liszt.

The early chamber symphonies (especially nos 2 + 3) have always retained a charm, but then perhaps I'm easily seduced by the perversely polytonal.

Here's no 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAhaoqPqLKE&feature=related

and no 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Z6d6WGwWBw&feature=related

And the others can easily be accessed if anyone's interested.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on September 13, 2010, 04:41:18 AM
I finally got this disc with Piano Trios (Largo; Clementi Trio) by DSCH (No.1), Roslavets, Taillferre, and Milhaud.

I was quite surprised by Milhaud's PT (1968). One may not know what to expect from the vintage, but in this case, M has put his whole lifetime's knowledge into this piece. As far as I can tell, it's serialist,... rather, it sounds influenced by Schoenberg, which, for M, is a good thing.

The PT starts off semi-mysteriously, and continues as if it were a more genial cousin of Schoenberg's String Trio. This may be the most "post 1950s" work I've heard from Milhaud. The word "substance" seems to be operative here; there really is a lot of good stuff in its four mvmts. Of course, it's not mind blowingly freaky, or anything, but, as far as Modern Piano Trios go, hey, I don't know too many winners.

So, if anyone is looking for a perfect disc of PTs, this Largo disc is for you.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: karlhenning on September 13, 2010, 04:49:25 AM
I finally got this disc with Piano Trios (Largo; Clementi Trio) by DSCH (No.1), Roslavets, Taillferre, and Milhaud.

I was quite surprised by Milhaud's PT (1968). One may not know what to expect from the vintage, but in this case, M has put his whole lifetime's knowledge into this piece. As far as I can tell, it's serialist,... rather, it sounds influenced by Schoenberg, which, for M, is a good thing.

The PT starts off semi-mysteriously, and continues as if it were a more genial cousin of Schoenberg's String Trio. This may be the most "post 1950s" work I've heard from Milhaud. The word "substance" seems to be operative here; there really is a lot of good stuff in its four mvmts. Of course, it's not mind blowingly freaky, or anything, but, as far as Modern Piano Trios go, hey, I don't know too many winners.

So, if anyone is looking for a perfect disc of PTs, this Largo disc is for you.

Very interesting, thanks!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2010, 03:03:01 PM
Just ordred this disc:
 
(http://images.contentreserve.com/ImageType-100/0992-1/%7B4A3FB93C-B549-4AF1-8AC6-AE0F65A4A64E%7DImg100.jpg)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Sid on September 13, 2010, 04:15:27 PM
La création du monde is an enjoyable rather than admirable work - and not because it has anything much to do with jazz. It's the earlier works that seem to have more going for them, whereas some of the later more popular things like Scaramouche seem pretty tiresome, at least to me. (The beginning of the last movement, which is the bit that everybody remembers, is lifted from the beginning of Ernesto Nazareth's Brejeiro). The actual amount that he wrote is not a criticism per se, but the impression that he's a note-spinner tells against him and, with respect, I don't think the same accusation can be made against, say, Villa-Lobos or Liszt.

The early chamber symphonies (especially nos 2 + 3) have always retained a charm, but then perhaps I'm easily seduced by the perversely polytonal...

I think the problem with some listeners is that they approach Milhaud a bit too seriously. I think it's better to listen to his stuff just for the pleasure of listening. Creation is the favourite work that I know by him, followed by things like Scaramouche (the version for two pianos is a hoot), and I also like others like Carnival d'Aix and Saudades do Brasil. Things like the Ox on the Roof go on too long for the material (imo). The latest work that I have heard by him is the Sacred Service, and this is also a light and tuneful work. I haven't heard any of his symphonies or string quartets, they don't really interest me by the sound of them, but the Piano Trio mentioned above might be something I want to hear, especially since I love this genre, and I've been going to see many Piano Trios live this year. As one writer said, his music reminds one of the cubist collages of Braque and Picasso, were things like wood grain veneers and printed words or sheet music is stuck onto the painting/drawing. This is done as an effect, not necessarily because it is highly profound, but simply because it pleases the eye. Milhaud's music does similar things to the ear, but I agree with some critics that Les Six was a bit of a passing fad, not a huge amount that they wrote when they were together passess muster today as really worth listening to the same way as some of the more serious stuff. But it is an interesting footnote in musical history of the C20th (French in particular) & in many ways, some of Les Six's most interesting works came from the years following their break-up. Once the roaring twenties were over, and the world had experienced the depths of the depression and the second world war, their charm, elegance and wit was not enough to pass muster, it was by then a cliche and they either adapted or repeated themselves (or both?)...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2010, 04:26:06 PM
I think the problem with some listeners is that they approach Milhaud a bit too seriously. I think it's better to listen to his stuff just for the pleasure of listening. Creation is the favourite work that I know by him, followed by things like Scaramouche (the version for two pianos is a hoot), and I also like others like Carnival d'Aix and Saudades do Brasil. Things like the Ox on the Roof go on too long for the material (imo). The latest work that I have heard by him is the Sacred Service, and this is also a light and tuneful work. I haven't heard any of his symphonies or string quartets, they don't really interest me by the sound of them, but the Piano Trio mentioned above might be something I want to hear, especially since I love this genre, and I've been going to see many Piano Trios live this year. As one writer said, his music reminds one of the cubist collages of Braque and Picasso, were things like wood grain veneers and printed words or sheet music is stuck onto the painting/drawing. This is done as an effect, not necessarily because it is highly profound, but simply because it pleases the eye. Milhaud's music does similar things to the ear, but I agree with some critics that Les Six was a bit of a passing fad, not a huge amount that they wrote when they were together passess muster today as really worth listening to the same way as some of the more serious stuff. But it is an interesting footnote in musical history of the C20th (French in particular) & in many ways, some of Les Six's most interesting works came from the years following their break-up. Once the roaring twenties were over, and the world had experienced the depths of the depression and the second world war, their charm, elegance and wit was not enough to pass muster, it was by then a cliche and they either adapted or repeated themselves (or both?)...

I think some of Milhaud's best music, that I've heard so far anyway, has been post-Les Six. I have never been that impressed with Les Six anyway. I do enjoy Honegger's and Poulenc's music, but Milhaud has proven to me to be quite an able composer in his older age. His symphonies, which don't sound like his earlier music are of particular fascination with me right now. One listen to Symphony No. 6, for example, I think will prove that there was much more to Milhaud than attractive surfaces. The two slow movements in this symphony are more profound than anything I've heard from the other member's pens. Have you heard this symphony, Sid? I doubt that many people have heard his symphonies at all, but I think one listen to his 6th will reveal a depth to his music not quite heard before.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Sid on September 13, 2010, 04:35:27 PM
No, haven't heard any of his symphonies. But I already have some of his orchestral works, I'm more interested in (say) getting into some of his songs (there are a few good cd's on Naxos). I especially like the way he writes for voice/choir in the Sacred Service, and wouldn't mind hearing something more intimate (voice & piano). The final year opera students at the Sydney Conservatorium will put on his opera The Sorrows of Orpheus in October, I'll probably go if I'm in the mood as it's inexpensive...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2010, 05:02:39 PM
No, haven't heard any of his symphonies. But I already have some of his orchestral works, I'm more interested in (say) getting into some of his songs (there are a few good cd's on Naxos). I especially like the way he writes for voice/choir in the Sacred Service, and wouldn't mind hearing something more intimate (voice & piano). The final year opera students at the Sydney Conservatorium will put on his opera The Sorrows of Orpheus in October, I'll probably go if I'm in the mood as it's inexpensive...

As I stated above, his symphonies are very different from his other orchestral works. There is a seriousness that runs deep through the music, but at the same time it does have many of his trademarks, but the jazz influence is less apparent in these works.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2010, 06:50:31 PM
Just purchased this:
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51qDK3gxN8L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
Another late Milhaud work that is very serious in tone. Sid, you should forget about the early output and look into his late works. They are magical!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Sid on September 13, 2010, 07:03:48 PM
I have got that Naxos disc of the Sacred Service. I know it intimately. I actually think it's pretty light & tuneful. I especially like the background music to the parts spoken by the rabbi (who is Australian, by the way). This music is far more interesting than most things that one would call background music. The additional prayers for Friday evening are more intimate in tone, and an interesting contrast...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2010, 07:20:42 PM
I have got that Naxos disc of the Sacred Service. I know it intimately. I actually think it's pretty light & tuneful. I especially like the background music to the parts spoken by the rabbi (who is Australian, by the way). This music is far more interesting than most things that one would call background music. The additional prayers for Friday evening are more intimate in tone, and an interesting contrast...

Now, you should hear the symphonies. :D
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on September 13, 2010, 07:26:31 PM
Just purchased this:
 
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51qDK3gxN8L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 
Another late Milhaud work that is very serious in tone. Sid, you should forget about the early output and look into his late works. They are magical!

The early works I recommend are the SQs 1-2 and the Sonata for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano. The latter has that languid French feel, length and substance, and is free of 1920s jokiness. It's just nice, semi-impressionistic music. Available on many cds.

The SQ No.1 has the obligatory Debussy SQ reference (I'm starting to hear that Deb intro in all kinds of French SQs).

M's early phase lasts until his trip to Brazil (1919?), and there's not much more chamber worth mentioning other than the tiny Violin Sonata No.2, which is tiny!

However, try the three pieces above for M's early impressionistic phase. He definitely switches gears in the 20s (I'm pretty eh on the 20s classical/jazz thing).

Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 20, 2010, 11:32:00 AM
The early works I recommend are the SQs 1-2 and the Sonata for flute, oboe, clarinet and piano. The latter has that languid French feel, length and substance, and is free of 1920s jokiness. It's just nice, semi-impressionistic music. Available on many cds.

The SQ No.1 has the obligatory Debussy SQ reference (I'm starting to hear that Deb intro in all kinds of French SQs).

M's early phase lasts until his trip to Brazil (1919?), and there's not much more chamber worth mentioning other than the tiny Violin Sonata No.2, which is tiny!

However, try the three pieces above for M's early impressionistic phase. He definitely switches gears in the 20s (I'm pretty eh on the 20s classical/jazz thing).

I'm actually, as with most composers, more interested in his orchestral output, which I have been getting a good bite on lately. I just ordered a Hyperion recording with some works like La Carnaval d'Aix for piano and orchestra on it and from what I heard it sounded great.
 
Again, I still think people should give his symphonies a chance even if they've already heard the only box set available of these works (on CPO). I think he deserves more a chance to get under people's skin. He's a composer a listener has to spend some time with in order to understand better. He loved polyphony, but as I mentioned above the way he used it is so accessible.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on September 20, 2010, 09:00:05 PM

I'm actually, as with most composers, more interested in his orchestral output, which I have been getting a good bite on lately. I just ordered a Hyperion recording with some works like La Carnaval d'Aix for piano and orchestra on it and from what I heard it sounded great.
 
Again, I still think people should give his symphonies a chance even if they've already heard the only box set available of these works (on CPO). I think he deserves more a chance to get under people's skin. He's a composer a listener has to spend some time with in order to understand better. He loved polyphony, but as I mentioned above the way he used it is so accessible.

I've got 1-2, 6-7 (DG), and the 4/8 on Erato, and all of them are charming. The DG presentation makes those four sound like sprawling comforters, reminding me also of your fav V-L. The Erato disc is more bracing, with both symphonies' programs aiding the excitement. I especially enjoyed the depiction of the river all thoughout 8.

I know some say that his Symphonies put them to sleep, but if I need something truly relaxed, that is modern and not Mozart, then those two DG disc are what I go to. Serene and Mediterrainean (sic).
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 21, 2010, 07:21:55 AM
I've got 1-2, 6-7 (DG), and the 4/8 on Erato, and all of them are charming. The DG presentation makes those four sound like sprawling comforters, reminding me also of your fav V-L. The Erato disc is more bracing, with both symphonies' programs aiding the excitement. I especially enjoyed the depiction of the river all thoughout 8.

I know some say that his Symphonies put them to sleep, but if I need something truly relaxed, that is modern and not Mozart, then those two DG disc are what I go to. Serene and Mediterrainean (sic).

Milhaud's Symphony No. 6 is probably my favorite of his symphonies. The music sounds so personal. I love the two slow movements. I need to relisten to the 8th.
 
I think if anybody really sat down and listened to Symphony No. 6 they would realize what a master composer he truly was, but many people expect fireworks right from the beginning and I'm glad to say this symphony doesn't deliver on what the listener expects. It delivers on only the music itself, which is beautifully displayed and executed.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: karlhenning on September 21, 2010, 07:38:15 AM
Milhaud's Symphony No. 6 is probably my favorite of his symphonies. The music sounds so personal. I love the two slow movements. I need to relisten to the 8th.
 
I think if anybody really sat down and listened to Symphony No. 6 they would realize what a master composer he truly was, but many people expect fireworks right from the beginning and I'm glad to say this symphony doesn't deliver on what the listener expects. It delivers on only the music itself, which is beautifully displayed and executed.

I'll give the Sixth a fresh listen.  I made my way through the set some time ago, though it appears to have found greater sympathetic resonance with your esteemed self.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 21, 2010, 07:46:55 AM
I'll give the Sixth a fresh listen.  I made my way through the set some time ago, though it appears to have found greater sympathetic resonance with your esteemed self.

To be honest, Milhaud did very little for me when I heard him over a year ago. I bought a 2-CD set on Erato with Kent Negano conducting and I remember being disappointed in the music. It has only been within this month that I've listened to his music again. I had bought that symphony set on Cpo earlier this year and it just sat there for months. One reason I bought the set is because it was cheap at the time I bought it. I finally buckled down and listened to this set and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I went into my listening with no pre-conceived notions and just listened to the music. I did some research on the composer and read a lot about him and what can I say? I understand his music much better now and it actually resonated with me this time. Good stuff.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: CD on September 21, 2010, 01:42:27 PM
You know, I'd forgotten I started this thread way back when I was Kullervo!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on September 21, 2010, 05:12:00 PM

Milhaud's Symphony No. 6 is probably my favorite of his symphonies. The music sounds so personal. I love the two slow movements. I need to relisten to the 8th.
 
I think if anybody really sat down and listened to Symphony No. 6 they would realize what a master composer he truly was, but many people expect fireworks right from the beginning and I'm glad to say this symphony doesn't deliver on what the listener expects. It delivers on only the music itself, which is beautifully displayed and executed.

Maybe it was 6.

For those of you who have the box, I hear 10 is the best of the latter bunch. Guys?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 21, 2010, 06:23:30 PM
Maybe it was 6.

The 6th is amazing from start to finish. As I stated, it is my one of my favorites along with the 1st, 4th, and 5th. I really need to go back and relisten to the others. I don't remember the 10th, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was bad.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 04, 2011, 07:45:16 AM
Does anybody else own this 2-CD set too?

(http://www.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/0761203716227.jpg)

Anyone interested in Milhaud's works for piano and orchestra should acquire this set, it's fantastic!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Daverz on January 04, 2011, 10:02:44 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/6197Oc8PkXL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

All delightful music.

I've been back and forth through the "big" symphonies, and while they all sound beautiful, none really stick out in my mind yet.  It was probably an overload of music.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 28, 2011, 07:59:57 PM
Very much in agreement here. I have the box set of all the symphonies but I never play them. Which is the best? I will have another go with it.

In my opinion, Symphonies Nos. 3, 5, & 6 are amazing in not only their rhythmic vitality, but there is a lyricism that runs deep through these works. Symphony No. 6, in the first two movements, contain some of the most beautiful musical passages I've ever heard come from his pen.

This said, I can understand that not everybody will like Milhaud's music whether they're listening to his symphonies, chamber works, ballets, concertos, etc. His style is very difficult to grasp or take in even for experienced classical listeners. There's so much polytonality, which, for some people, this is a rather distracting compositional technique. The polytonality doesn't bother me, because so much of his music is catapulted by strong rhythms and he always has fascinating harmonies that keep the music from sinking into an abyss of overabundant clatter.

I make up a small group of GMG members that have been moved by his music, but I do hope that you will continue to listen to his music. Like I said, it's not for everyone, but I think if one is patient (like I have been with Holmboe's music) that in due time you will reap the rewards of your efforts. You may never enjoy the music, but you will truly never know unless you keep trying.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 28, 2011, 08:01:22 PM
For those of you who have the box, I hear 10 is the best of the latter bunch. Guys?

The 10th is very good indeed, but the 11th has some beautiful moments that I simply can't choose between them.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on March 29, 2011, 06:23:15 AM
Milhaud is one of my favorite composers - I especially like his string quartets.  I have the Quatuor Parisii  set, and would highly recommend it, but it is, sadly, very hard to find.



They cover many differing styles, from beautiful to acerbic. Impossible to pick favorites here! Thanks for reminding me.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 29, 2011, 10:28:10 AM
Milhaud is one of my favorite composers

Milhaud is one of my favorites as well, but would you care to elaborate on why you enjoy his music so much? What is about his sound-world that attracts you?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 29, 2011, 11:15:03 AM
I generally like French composers: Debussy, Faure, Ravel, Poulenc and Milhaud are all composers whose music I enjoy.  I can't put my finger on what it is about the music other than a certin piquant quality, a effervescent classicism (this is starting to sound like a small wine).  If that makes any sense? 

In the case of Milhaud I also like the fact that he wrote for instruments not often enough featured, e.g. saxophone and marimba, and his style is easy-going but also not without some thorniness.

I am terrible at this kind of thing, I usually cannot define why I like one composer's music more than another, other than in very general terms, e.g. I don't like heavy late romantic composers and prefer more transparent and witty music.

I understand where you're coming from. Those of us who like his music often find it difficult to answer why we like it. I can say that from my own experience that I like all kinds of music whether it be as you say "heavy" late-Romantic or Neoclassicism or Impressionism or Minimalism. If I connect with it, then all the walls come down and I just listen to the music.

One reason I like Milhaud so much in terms of pure musicality is his music never stays in one spot too long and there's always so much variety in his compositions. He is a joyous composer, but not without his moments of tenderness however. I don't like everything the man composed, of course, like, for example, I loathe Le boeuf sur le toit. What a dreadful composition this is to me. It's almost as bad as Ravel's Bolero. Another aspect of his music I enjoy, besides the obvious: the rhythms and inventive harmonies, is his orchestration. It seemed like throughout his life, he always wanted to present his music in a very detailed, clear-headed way. Even when the music gets complicated, there is still a transparency there that I admire.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 02, 2011, 07:17:20 PM
Let me ask those who are having trouble with Milhaud's music, what is it about his music that is giving you the most difficulty or is it more of a matter of not being able to feel his music? I'm not going to criticize anybody for their opinion, I'm just genuinely curious as to why his music doesn't appeal to you?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Lethevich on April 02, 2011, 08:22:10 PM
I don't have as many problems now, but initially I found his music to be superficial. It was playful and nice, but when the music went into 'solemn' mode it felt like roleplay to me (opposed to Poulenc's austere choral music, for instance). In his symphonies, for example, I feel that he is merely playing the role symphonist - somewhat like Martinů, although IMO that composer emerged more successfully from this little 'game' of theirs (I view both composers as too urbane for me to describe it as anything other than a game, no matter how seriously they both took it).

I still feel that he may have spread himself a little too thinly, but there's not much to dislike about his output - it's pure pleasure, and unlike some of his compatriots, he did not feel the need to render his music as somewhat pointless trifles in aid of this goal - it's solid stuff which can quite reasonably stand on its own merits as highly accomplished and enjoyable compositions (just don't ask me for favourites - for some reason I struggle to memorise much about his music once played, somewhat in contrast to the also highly prolific Martinů).
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 02, 2011, 08:30:07 PM
I don't have as many problems now, but initially I found his music to be superficial. It was playful and nice, but when the music went into 'solemn' mode it felt like roleplay to me (opposed to Poulenc's austere choral music, for instance). In his symphonies, for example, I feel that he is merely playing the role symphonist - somewhat like Martinů, although IMO that composer emerged more successfully from this little 'game' of theirs (I view both composers as too urbane for me to describe it as anything other than a game, no matter how seriously they both took it).

I still feel that he may have spread himself a little too thinly, but there's not much to dislike about his output - it's pure pleasure, and unlike some of his compatriots, he did not feel the need to render his music as somewhat pointless trifles in aid of this goal - it's solid stuff which can quite reasonably stand on its own merits as highly accomplished and enjoyable compositions.

All valid points. He did spread himself too thinly I think as well. I re-listened to his Harp Concerto the other day and found it really enjoyable, but enjoyable on its own terms, which is the only way one can really take Milhaud IMHO. I'm going to try and re-listen to some of his piano concerti over the rest of the weekend. I remember liking them very much. His symphonies, however, are imprinted into my brain because I've listened to them so much. It's funny you mentioned Poulenc, because I'm going to try and get some of his chamber works, which I heard are great. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Lethevich on April 02, 2011, 08:39:51 PM
Poulenc's late chamber pieces for wind instruments is some of the finest music written in this idiom, or even by any composer. The rest of his output does have its ups and downs: as with most of Les Six, sometimes he brushed close to triviality, but the stready stream of minor and major masterpieces make up for this.

If you're thinking of the Brilliant Classics box, then it would be a very good purchase, as the performances are commendable.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 02, 2011, 08:49:15 PM
Poulenc's late chamber pieces for wind instruments is some of the finest music written in this idiom, or even by any composer. The rest of his output does have its ups and downs: as with most of Les Six, sometimes he brushed close to triviality, but the stready stream of minor and major masterpieces make up for this.

If you're thinking of the Brilliant Classics box, then it would be a very good purchase, as the performances are commendable.

Thank you Sarah for the information, I'll check out the Brilliant set.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 23, 2011, 02:45:12 PM
I've been neglecting Milhaud lately and I feel bad that I have. This is one of my favorite composers! I shouldn't be this way to him. He doesn't deserve it. :)

Anyway, I've been listening to his later symphonies. All of them are winners in my book. The third movement of Symphony No. 8 is just cool as hell. Loud, rambunctious, in-your-face, but always bright in mood. This is feel good music. Who needs rock music when you have this!

To those who own the CPO set of symphonies, what are your favorite symphonies?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on August 24, 2011, 07:03:26 PM
I've been neglecting Milhaud lately and I feel bad that I have. This is one of my favorite composers! I shouldn't be this way to him. He doesn't deserve it. :)

Anyway, I've been listening to his later symphonies. All of them are winners in my book. The third movement of Symphony No. 8 is just cool as hell. Loud, rambunctious, in-your-face, but always bright in mood. This is feel good music. Who needs rock music when you have this!

To those who own the CPO set of symphonies, what are your favorite symphonies?

I have the two DG, and the Erato (1-2, 4, 6-7, 8). These are all real great in my view. I hear 10 is the best of the latter. 5 is just a short band thing, no?

1-2 are nice and mellow, and 4 & 8 are more flourishing.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 24, 2011, 07:18:11 PM
I have the two DG, and the Erato (1-2, 4, 6-7, 8). These are all real great in my view. I hear 10 is the best of the latter. 5 is just a short band thing, no?

1-2 are nice and mellow, and 4 & 8 are more flourishing.

The 10th is excellent, but the 11th is even better with a gorgeous slow movement. The 5th and 6th share a lot of similarities. They both could be referred to as Milhaud's "pastoral" symphonies. Their overall mood is calm, but they do get a little rambunctious in the fast movements, but what's Milhaud without some jolting, polytonal jazzy rhythmic slaps in the face? ;) The 1st and 2nd have some nice moments. The 4th is excellent with it's choral accompaniment.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: pjme on August 25, 2011, 02:18:27 AM
Could it be that you are mixing up the early "petites symphonies" and the series of 12 mature symphonies?

Little Symphonies, for chamber orchestra/small ensemble

No. 1, "Le Printemps", Op. 43
No. 2, "Pastorale", Op. 49
No. 3, "Sérénade", Op. 71 
No. 4, "Dixtuor", Op. 74 for 10 strings
No. 5, "Dixtuor d'instruments à vent", Op. 75
No.6Little Symphony, for vocal quartet, oboe & cello No. 6

and

1939 Symfonie nr 1, opus 210
Pastorale - Modérément animé
Très vif
Très Modéré
Animé

1944 Symfonie nr 2, opus 247 - opgedragen in gedachtenis aan de echtgenote van de beroemde dirigent Serge Koussevitzky, Natalie;

1946 Symfonie nr 3 (Te Deum), opus 271
Fièrement
Très recueilli ( avec choeurs en vocalise)
Pastorale
Finale ( Te Deum)

1948 Symfonie nr. 4 1948 , opus 281

1953 Symfonie nr 5, opus 322
1955 Symfonie nr 6, opus 343
1955 Symfonie nr 7, opus 344

1957 Symfonie nr 8 (Rhodanienne), opus 362
1959 Symfonie nr 9, opus 380
1960 Symfonie nr 10, opus 382
1960 Symfonie nr 11 (Romantique), opus 384
1961 Symfonie nr 12 (Rurale), opus 390

P.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: karlhenning on August 25, 2011, 03:56:56 AM
Could it be that you are mixing up the early "petites symphonies" and the series of 12 mature symphonies?

Little Symphonies, for chamber orchestra/small ensemble

No. 1, "Le Printemps," Op. 43
No. 2, "Pastorale," Op. 49
No. 3, "Sérénade," Op. 71 
No. 4, "Dixtuor," Op. 74 for 10 strings
No. 5, "Dixtuor d'instruments à vent," Op. 75
No. 6,  "Little Symphony," for vocal quartet, oboe & cello No. 6

I like these well. Rather better than any of the "full-blown" symphonies, truth to tell.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: The new erato on August 25, 2011, 04:38:26 AM
I like these well. Rather better than any of the "full-blown" symphonies, truth to tell.
I'm working my way through the cpo set of the fullblown ones, and they seem very ...meandering... to put it mildly. But time will show if they grow on me.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: karlhenning on August 25, 2011, 04:39:30 AM
They didn't, on me, but YMMV, of course.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: The new erato on August 25, 2011, 04:42:15 AM
They didn't, on me, but YMMV, of course.
grow?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: karlhenning on August 25, 2011, 04:43:16 AM
Aye.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on August 25, 2011, 05:03:57 AM
I'm working my way through the cpo set of the fullblown ones, and they seem very ...meandering... to put it mildly. But time will show if they grow on me.

They do better if you don't pay attention to them! Some are so mellow that they make afternoon nap time a special event! You gotta have some sleepy time music, don't you? Milhaud's music seems like the kind they play just BEFORE the earthquake, haha!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: karlhenning on August 25, 2011, 05:08:27 AM
They do better if you don't pay attention to them!

May be true, but is hardly a musical commendation ; )
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on August 27, 2011, 07:36:27 AM
May be true, but is hardly a musical commendation ; )

Hey!! I like my lullaby music!!

I looked long and hard for 'limpid' music!! Milhaud gets the 'Summer Day' feeling just right in... I think it's Symphony 1 or 2.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Brewski on October 31, 2011, 10:38:55 AM
Tomorrow night, very much looking forward to seeing Milhaud's opera, Le pauvre matelot, performed by the Pocket Opera of New York (PONY). Rarity of the piece aside, the venue is also unusual: the Bissell Room in Fraunces Tavern, built in 1719 and (IIRC) the oldest building in Manhattan.

http://www.frauncestavern.com/room-bissell.php

--Bruce
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on September 09, 2012, 08:53:31 AM
bump
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 10, 2012, 08:49:17 PM
I've been thinking about Milhaud a good bit lately. What I love about his music is the overabundant feeling of joy that pours from the music. He really had a zest for life I think and you can hear it in the music. I know a few have expressed dislike for his symphonies, but I think they are, dare I say, some of the best French symphonies ever composed. For me, Honegger, Roussel, and Milhaud are the great French symphonists. I was listening to his Symphony No. 6 earlier today and this is such a beautiful work. The structure of the work is like this: slow movement, fast movement, slow, and fast. I think what gives many listeners a problem, like I have mentioned before, is the polytonality, but I think Milhaud used it masterfully. This is a compositional technique he employed a lot in his symphonies and many other works. Right now, I'm listening to his PCs (Korstick/Francis) and making my way through (again) the symphony set on CPO with Francis.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on September 11, 2012, 06:53:50 AM
I've been thinking about Milhaud a good bit lately. What I love about his music is the overabundant feeling of joy that pours from the music. He really had a zest for life I think and you can hear it in the music. I know a few have expressed dislike for his symphonies, but I think they are, dare I say, some of the best French symphonies ever composed. For me, Honegger, Roussel, and Milhaud are the great French symphonists. I was listening to his Symphony No. 6 earlier today and this is such a beautiful work. The structure of the work is like this: slow movement, fast movement, slow, and fast. I think what gives many listeners a problem, like I have mentioned before, is the polytonality, but I think Milhaud used it masterfully. This is a compositional technique he employed a lot in his symphonies and many other works. Right now, I'm listening to his PCs (Korstick/Francis) and making my way through (again) the symphony set on CPO with Francis.

I've been coming around to these French Composers' more extrovert and 'light' works. I might finally be ready for that Bernstein disc (EMI) with the Saudades, Le Beouf, and... what is that third piece?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 11, 2012, 07:02:53 AM
I've been coming around to these French Composers' more extrovert and 'light' works. I might finally be ready for that Bernstein disc (EMI) with the Saudades, Le Beouf, and... what is that third piece?

La création du monde.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on September 12, 2012, 09:07:52 PM
I've been thinking about Milhaud a good bit lately. What I love about his music is the overabundant feeling of joy that pours from the music. He really had a zest for life I think and you can hear it in the music. I know a few have expressed dislike for his symphonies, but I think they are, dare I say, some of the best French symphonies ever composed. For me, Honegger, Roussel, and Milhaud are the great French symphonists. I was listening to his Symphony No. 6 earlier today and this is such a beautiful work. The structure of the work is like this: slow movement, fast movement, slow, and fast. I think what gives many listeners a problem, like I have mentioned before, is the polytonality, but I think Milhaud used it masterfully. This is a compositional technique he employed a lot in his symphonies and many other works. Right now, I'm listening to his PCs (Korstick/Francis) and making my way through (again) the symphony set on CPO with Francis.

Pulled out the DG 6-7. You have the whole set, right? I hear 10 is of high quality, what do you say about the last ones?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2012, 09:11:00 PM
Pulled out the DG 6-7. You have the whole set, right? I hear 10 is of high quality, what do you say about the last ones?

Yes, I own the whole CPO set with Alun Francis conducting. I don't really remember the later symphonies. I'll have to revisit them at some point. Symphonies Nos. 1, 4, 5, & 6 are the ones that stand out to me right now.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on September 12, 2012, 09:18:55 PM
Yes, I own the whole CPO set with Alun Francis conducting. I don't really remember the later symphonies. I'll have to revisit them at some point. Symphonies Nos. 1, 4, 5, & 6 are the ones that stand out to me right now.

Isn't No.5 the band work that's like under ten minutes?

I've got 1-2, 4, 6-8 and love them all, but I have stayed away from the 3rd. I'd like to compare the late Milhaud Symphonies with the late Villa-Lobos Symphonies.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 12, 2012, 09:21:51 PM
Isn't No.5 the band work that's like under ten minutes?

I've got 1-2, 4, 6-8 and love them all, but I have stayed away from the 3rd. I'd like to compare the late Milhaud Symphonies with the late Villa-Lobos Symphonies.

No, Milhaud's 5th is around 30 minutes and it's for full orchestra.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on December 12, 2012, 12:29:56 PM
DM doesn't seem to get much love around here,

Maybe not, but you'll never see me bad mouth the composer. He's one my favorites and has been since I've I plowed my way through the symphony and concerto sets on CPO with Francis. Truly rewarding music that may not be to everyone's tastes, but I find layers and layers of beauty in his music. Milhaud appeals to another part of my personality: the upbeat, enthusiastic side. This music genuinely puts me in a good mood. Not all of Milhaud's music should be taken as a joyful jolt of electricity though. There's a lot of tender, lyrical beauty in his music. His popularity may be waning and new recordings of his music less and less likely, but I'm optimistic that an enterprising conductor and orchestra will take up Milhaud's cause.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Parsifal on March 31, 2013, 08:38:12 AM
I've been feeling a lot of resonance with the music of Milhaud recently, after being indifferent to it upon my first exposure.  One work which made a big impression (and which has been discussed above, I notice) is the second Violin Concerto.  It is typical of Milhaud's style, I'd say, with seemingly inexhaustible melodic invention.  There is no grand melody to hook on to, but the music crawls with fascinating snatches of melody.  The concerto begins with a movement, marked "Dramatique" which I find utterly captivating.  I find it extremely expressive, which at the same time maintaining a certain detachment and classical poise.  At times, I imagine that Milhaud intended it as a parody, but other times it seems entirely sincere.  I find he has some similarity to Mozart, in his ability to invest seemingly simple material with deep significance.

I'm listening to the Arabella Steinbacher recording, which I find to be superb (and which has led me to search for other recordings she has made). 

(Name of artist corrected, as pointed out by sanantonio.)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: The new erato on March 31, 2013, 08:59:47 AM
I've been feeling a lot of resonance with the music of Milhaud recently, after being indifferent to it upon my first exposure.  One work which made a big impression (and which has been discussed above, I notice) is the second Violin Concerto.  It is typical of Milhaud's style, I'd say, with seemingly inexhaustible melodic invention.  There is no grand melody to hook on to, but the music crawls with fascinating snatches of melody.  The concerto begins with a movement, marked "Dramatique" which I find utterly captivating.  I find it extremely expressive, which at the same time maintaining a certain detachment and classical poise.  At times, I imagine that Milhaud intended it as a parody, but other times it seems entirely sincere.  I find he has some similarity to Mozart, in his ability to invest seemingly simple material with deep significance.

I'm listening to the Isalella Steinbacher recording, which I find to be superb (and which has led me to search for other recordings she has made).
Yep. One of my absolute favorite violin concertoes (I've known it since the 70ies with Gertler on Supraphon) and I've praised it on several occasions here. While I occasionaly find Milhaud slightly facile (in the sense that I think some of his works would have benefites from some more "resistance" while writing them), this work displays his sunny "joie de vivre" at its most infectious. It's very classical in its simplicity, yet far from simple. I have three versions on CD, including Steinbacher, yet I'm still very partial to Gertler.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Parsifal on March 31, 2013, 09:47:18 AM
Yep. One of my absolute favorite violin concertoes (I've known it since the 70ies with Gertler on Supraphon) and I've praised it on several occasions here. While I occasionaly find Milhaud slightly facile (in the sense that I think some of his works would have benefites from some more "resistance" while writing them), this work displays his sunny "joie de vivre" at its most infectious. It's very classical in its simplicity, yet far from simple. I have three versions on CD, including Steinbacher, yet I'm still very partial to Gertler.

Sounds like the Gertler is worth looking into.  I've also been listening to chamber music from Milhaud, particularly works for wind.  At some point I'll get back to the symphonies (since listening to the cpo cycle I've acquired some of Milhaud's own recordings on Erato).  I also have the Milhaud string quartet box set, untouched.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 31, 2013, 06:10:08 PM
I've been feeling a lot of resonance with the music of Milhaud recently, after being indifferent to it upon my first exposure.  One work which made a big impression (and which has been discussed above, I notice) is the second Violin Concerto.  It is typical of Milhaud's style, I'd say, with seemingly inexhaustible melodic invention.  There is no grand melody to hook on to, but the music crawls with fascinating snatches of melody.  The concerto begins with a movement, marked "Dramatique" which I find utterly captivating.  I find it extremely expressive, which at the same time maintaining a certain detachment and classical poise.  At times, I imagine that Milhaud intended it as a parody, but other times it seems entirely sincere.  I find he has some similarity to Mozart, in his ability to invest seemingly simple material with deep significance.

I'm listening to the Arabella Steinbacher recording, which I find to be superb (and which has led me to search for other recordings she has made). 

(Name of artist corrected, as pointed out by sanantonio.)

Yes, Milhaud's Violin Concerto No. 2 is a fine work. I would even say it's one of favorites, but Milhaud's oeuvre is so vast that I haven't even probably touched a quarter of it. Good to see you've made some connection with the music. Keep listening!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Brian on March 04, 2014, 12:24:17 PM
Perhaps you don't know, but Milhaud wrote a piece called "Carnival in New Orleans" with a Mardi Gras tribute!

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/LAN0025.jpg)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Ken B on March 04, 2014, 12:31:59 PM
I am afraid that I struggle a bit with Milhaud!
... He reminds me sometimes of Villa-Lobos. Composing obviously came fairly easily to him and compositions flowed from his pen but perhaps not always totally uncritically?

Maybe I am being unfair and maybe I should give the symphonies a second chance?
Yes, V-L is the natural comparison. Milhaud was incredibly inventive. Too much so sometimes. The symphonies I have heard are not that interesting, partly because he never plays with an idea the way one does in symphonies. Another idea comes along a couple bars later and, like an ADD child, off he goes. But a lot of the less structured music jiggles along pleasantly like a tasty blanc-mange on a shaken plate. I had a cd of him playing piano I really liked.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: ritter on March 05, 2014, 12:30:53 AM
Prompted by comments here, and in anticipation of the new Milhaud box on Erato due for April, I re-listened to two works by the French composer, spanning 40 years (and 319 opus numbers!) of his output.

I agree that Milhaud was perhaps so prolific that he was probably incapable of achieving sustained inspiration on many occasions. But I must comfess that I enjoyed re-listening to the two works listed below.


Les Choéphores, Op. 24 (1915)

A very striking setting of sections of Paul Claudel's quite beautiful translation of Aeschylus' play. Perhaps the language full of ostinatos can get a bit tiresome, but one should think that this is incidental music, meaning that the musical sections would be separated by long spoken passages (thus making the effect of the music less "insistent"). But there are some very effective parts (with onomatopoeic choruses, a diseuse, etc.). Orchestrally, all very "post-Sacre"...


Symphony Mr. 6, Op. 343 (1955)

A very sunny work, starting with a first movement marked "calme et tendre". Much "easier" music than the earlier work, very accessible and pleasant to listen to (but never falling into blandness)...

Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 05, 2014, 04:59:46 AM
I agree that Milhaud was perhaps was so prolific that he was probably incapable of achieving sustained inspiration on many occasions.

On a purely philosophical plane, I think I might argue with the idea.

In the context of this composer, though . . . I remember numerous disappointments when surveying the symphonies, so my objection is not entire.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: ritter on March 05, 2014, 05:32:38 AM
On a purely philosophical plane, I think I might argue with the idea.

In the context of this composer, though . . . I remember numerous disappointments when surveying the symphonies, so my objection is not entire.
I perfectly understand your objection, Karl. I probably didn't express it correctly: it sounded as if Milhaud's prolificity automatically meant that he could be uninspired (on occasions); that's obviously not the case. But just as you seem to do, I also recall listening to some works and thinking "mmm...this really isn't that good"  ::) On the other hand, I must confess that (enjoyable as his work can be) I've never been blown over by any of the pieces of his I know, and have never said to myself  "this is a masterpiece!" (whatever the word "masterpiece" may mean  ;) ).
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: The new erato on March 05, 2014, 05:50:49 AM
I perfectly understand your objection, Karl. I probably didn't express it correctly: it sounded as if Milhaud's prolificity automatically meant hat he could be uninspired (on occasions); that's obviously not the case. But as you seem to do, I also recall listening to some works and thinking "mmm...this really isn't that good"  ::) On the other hand, I must confess that (enjoyable as his work can be) I've never been blown over by any of the pieces of his I know, and have never said to myself  "this is a masterpiece!" (whatever the word "masterpiece" may mean  ;) ).
Except for the 2nd violin concerto, I agree.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: ritter on March 05, 2014, 06:09:03 AM
Except for the 2nd violin concertó...
...which I still haven't heard, and should do so soon! :) Thanks!

I believe my local brick-and-mortar shop has the Steinbacher recording on Orfeo, so that will probably be an imminent purchase!  ;)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 05, 2014, 06:44:11 AM
On a purely philosophical plane, I think I might argue with the idea.

In the context of this composer, though . . . I remember numerous disappointments when surveying the symphonies, so my objection is not entire.

In general, I quite agree with you here, Karl. The symphonies aren't that good to my ears, in fact, Milhaud is far from a great composer IMHO, but I do have a soft-spot for Symphony No. 6 and a few of the concertante works, but that's about it. All of this said, I prefer Poulenc by a country mile.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on March 06, 2014, 07:16:50 AM
In general, I quite agree with you here, Karl. The symphonies aren't that good to my ears, in fact, Milhaud is far from a great composer IMHO, but I do have a soft-spot for Symphony No. 6 and a few of the concertante works, but that's about it. All of this said, I prefer Poulenc by a country mile.

sACRE bLEU!!

You can't just sit there and... and... preffffffffer Poulenc to Milhaud. Ah... uh... ack... quick, get the smelling salts! But seriously, 18 SQs vs. 0 SQs... you know, I have heard the Poulenc SQ in my head many times. It's quite a beautiful piece, maybe the greatest French SQ. I somewhat picture DSCH's 6th SQ here, but,  no, I hear the slow movement from Poulenc's 2 Piano  Concerto- or even the Piano Concerto.

Ah, yes, the Poulenc String Quartet is something to behold!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 06, 2014, 07:22:03 AM
sACRE bLEU!!

You can't just sit there and... and... preffffffffer Poulenc to Milhaud. Ah... uh... ack... quick, get the smelling salts! But seriously, 18 SQs vs. 0 SQs... you know, I have heard the Poulenc SQ in my head many times. It's quite a beautiful piece, maybe the greatest French SQ. I somewhat picture DSCH's 6th SQ here, but,  no, I hear the slow movement from Poulenc's 2 Piano  Concerto- or even the Piano Concerto.

Ah, yes, the Poulenc String Quartet is something to behold!

I find Poulenc's musical language much more to my liking even though Milhaud does have some good moments here and there. I personally feel he's not even close to being on the same inspired level as Poulenc. I think Milhaud just wrote too much music when he should have been more self-critical about what he's composing. The same goes for Villa-Lobos and Martinu even though I vastly prefer their oeuvres to Milhaud's.

Interesting you mentioned Poulenc's SQ, I have yet to hear it. I'll change this soon.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: The new erato on March 06, 2014, 07:37:44 AM
There's an ensemble called the Poulenc String quartet, but otherwise I think you are a victim to the snips fantasy.

Otherwise I agree in your assessments.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 06, 2014, 07:41:07 AM
There's an ensemble called the Poulenc String quartet, but otherwise I think you are a victim to the snips fantasy.

Otherwise I agree in your asessments.

Oh, how foolish of me. :-[
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Ken B on March 06, 2014, 07:50:51 AM
Oh, how foolish of me. :-[
The man preferred Milhaud to Poulenc John. He has to be making a joke.  ;D
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 06, 2014, 07:52:35 AM
The man preferred Milhaud to Poulenc John. He has to be making a joke.  ;D

I really hope so. One listen to Poulenc's Clarinet Sonata will make anyone quickly forget about Milhaud. ;D
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Ken B on March 06, 2014, 08:04:40 AM
I really hope so. One listen to Poulenc's Clarinet Sonata will make anyone quickly forget about Milhaud. ;D
I quite like Milhaud, especially the early stuff, but I don't see him as a front ranker.
But I like him more than say Berg.

Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: San Antone on March 06, 2014, 08:13:46 AM
I do not concern myself with ranking composers.  Both Poulenc and Milhaud wrote music which has brought me very many hours of enjoyment.  But since this thread is devoted to the music of Milhaud, here's some biograhical information (http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/milhaud.php) ~

"Milhaud, as a progressive artist and a Jew, was undoubtedly on somebody's list and so fled to the United States after the fall of France to the Nazis in 1940. On the boat, he received a job offer from Mills College in Oakland, California, where he taught for over thirty years. After the war, he became a professor of composition at the Paris Conservatoire and thus split his time between the United States and Europe. The music of the Forties and especially of the war show an intense identification with France and Judaism in works like the Suite française (1944), Cantate de la guerre (1940), Borechou shema Israël (1944), Service sacré (1947), and Kaddisch (1945).

"The late Forties and onward produced music of greater experimentation and severity, with an emphasis on virtuoso counterpoint (the string quartets #14 and #15 of 1948 can be played separately or simultaneously as an octet), as well as works that one might categorize as remembrance, like Le château de feu (1954), Pacem in terris (1963), based on the encyclical by Pope John XXIII, and Ani maamin (1972, text by Elie Wiesel)."
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 06, 2014, 08:16:06 AM
I quite like Milhaud, especially the early stuff, but I don't see him as a front ranker.
But I like him more than say Berg.

But you're not a fan of dodecaphonic music in general are you?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 06, 2014, 08:17:43 AM
I do not concern myself with ranking composers.

Generally, I'm not either, but here there's no debate on who I prefer and preference is the key word here.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Ken B on March 06, 2014, 08:33:18 AM
But you're not a fan of dodecaphonic music in general are you?
No, but I think some can make it work, or more accurately overcome it. Martin and Berg are examples. Martin I like a lot. But Dallapiccola was clearly a talented guy and I bet his music would have been better had he not been seduced by the cult.

It's not just the music.  I especially object to the way serialists took over the establishment and actively supressed other music.
Much of what we are rediscovering now was super obscure at the time.
And on classical music in general Look at the Mercury and Living Stereo boxes. They show what people were paying to hear in the late 50s. A very vibrant concert hall culture, open to modern music. That withered away for a long time. I like Glass's quote. Modern music became associated with epater les bourgeois and guys like our resident Stockhausen foghorn.

When I was in radio I played a lot of non 12 tone modern stuff, and got the reaction "I didn't know modern music could be so good." The cult's doing.

I also remember getting derided by a serialist friend in about 1978 for saying Shosty was a great composer. I think most agree now I won that debate!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 06, 2014, 08:38:32 AM
I was at one point was enthusiastic about the symphonies, but now I don't feel as strongly about them. I think they all sound so similar and there's not enough differences between them to really differentiate one from the other. I do think Milhaud was better in writing concertante works and ballets. I really enjoyed his VCs, PCs, and the Harp Concerto. I'd really like to hear some of his chamber music. I think his use of polytonality in many of his works is sometimes overused and can seem redundant, and tiring, after awhile. Anyway, he's a fascinating composer for sure, but what he strove for in his music didn't always seem to gel together into something cohesive. If anything, many of his works are hindered because a general lack of thematic development and variety in emotional temperature.

All IMHO of course.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 06, 2014, 08:47:57 AM
No, but I think some can make it work, or more accurately overcome it. Martin and Berg are examples. Martin I like a lot. But Dallapiccola was clearly a talented guy and I bet his music would have been better had he not been seduced by the cult.

It's not just the music.  I especially object to the way serialists took over the establishment and actively supressed other music.
Much of what we are rediscovering now was super obscure at the time.
And on classical music in general Look at the Mercury and Living Stereo boxes. They show what people were paying to hear in the late 50s. A very vibrant concert hall culture, open to modern music. That withered away for a long time. I like Glass's quote. Modern music became associated with epater les bourgeois and guys like our resident Stockhausen foghorn.

When I was in radio I played a lot of non 12 tone modern stuff, and got the reaction "I didn't know modern music could be so good." The cult's doing.

I also remember getting derided by a serialist friend in about 1978 for saying Shosty was a great composer. I think most agree now I won that debate!

I personally like serialism, but I like the 'older forms' created by the Second Viennese School. I can't say I'm interested so much in where it went after these composers, but we know of it's influence and it's continuing influence over composers. Whatever dogma there is surrounding this style of composition, it should be noted that there are always good and bad examples in any kind of style.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: San Antone on March 06, 2014, 09:03:00 AM
Quartetto per violino, viola, violoncello e pianoforte, Op.417 (1966)

https://www.youtube.com/v/SzzphLxg0Js
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: San Antone on March 06, 2014, 09:20:56 AM
I can't find a YouTube clip but this work is especially nice ~

Concerto No. 2 for Two pianos and Four percussionists, Op.394 (1961)

Included on this excellent recording, along with Poulenc and Bartok:

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/BCD9224.gif)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on March 06, 2014, 12:57:27 PM
Oh, how foolish of me. :-[

No harm- you heard it in your head, didn't you? Just the mere notion of a Poulenc SQ is what I meant~ Poor John, someone get him a scotch! I know, these aaare trying times we live in.


Still, kinda funny, no?!! 0:)


So, who actually wrote a "Poulenc String Quartet"? I  say you have no farther to look than Milhaud, whose 5th SQ (if I remember) is written to/for Poulenc, and I think may well have captured what FP might have put down. Maybe the 4th or 6th, but... somewhere around there...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on March 06, 2014, 01:02:28 PM
I can't find a YouTube clip but this work is especially nice ~

Concerto No. 2 for Two pianos and Four percussionists, Op.394 (1961)

Included on this excellent recording, along with Poulenc and Bartok:

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/BCD9224.gif)

Yes, I'm one of those who loves Late Milhaud, like I love Late Malipiero, and even Late Villa-Lobos,... but, yes, Milhaud gets points for Late Experimentation, certainly not a giving with Composer types! That 2 Piano looks pretty interesting. He also made a solo viola and percussion around the same time,

I'll have to check the Piano Quartet. I have the Late Piano Trio- it's like the perfectly French Schoenberg PT- it's on that Largo disc with DSCH and Roslavets.


I really do like the Double String Quartet/Octet- and I think both individual SQs are playful by themselves- one must admit to Quite An Achievement?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) Piano Concertos (CPO) 2Piano Cto.
Post by: snyprrr on April 06, 2014, 04:45:27 PM
Piano Concertos 1-5 (CPO)
Concerto for 2 Pianos
(CPO)

After experiencing the Malipiero set of Piano Concertos (CPO) I thought it natural to inquire about Milhaud. I have the Erato disc of 1 and 4, and the VoxBox set includes Mm. Long playing No.2.

No.1 was written for Mm. Long yet sounds wholly like Milhaud in ultra-cheeky manner. No.2 was written for Milhaud to play, meaning it should be less brilliant than No.1, but it has a melodic appeal from the opening the first doesn't. Technically, the playing 2nd would be my favourite of Milhaud's (which certainly doesn't bode well for the rest- the, ahem, "serious" ones).

No.3 comes from that era when ALL Composers where striving to write their best work. Here though, I find Milhaud jumps-the-shark, he just outdoes himself in personal quotes and business. Perhaps the CPO presentation makes the proceedings sound too aggressive (a problem that can happen to many Composers of a certain free-form stripe), but I just didn't care for what Milhaud was saying here (better done in the Symphonies perhaps).

No.4 I have enjoyed from Helffer/Erato for years, and as far a serious Milhaud piano workout, this would be my (and, apparently, Mr. Helffer's) choice. From there I went to the most anticipated piece I had not heard, No.5, and was thoroughly disappointed (elated that I now won't HAVE to BuyItNow!) from the first not. I think it is one of Milhaud's turgid fugues, or something that sounds like a turgid fugue, and I just couldn't stand the inspiration. Perhaps I wanted to be dismissive of the CPO set so I wouldn't have to buy it, but, listening to the pieces that were new to me (3 and 5), I felt that the Erato disc was the much much better volume (the CPO has ALL the Piano/Orchestra music, but the Erato has a nice sampling). No.2 works just fine in the context of the VoxBox.

So, frankly, I just don't think I trust CPO for Milhaud. I haven't tried their Symphonies, but I can't imagine the Erato and DG issues to be surpassed (or that the remaining CPO Symphonies are in any way highlights). I mean, a "serious" German company is recording the most frivolous of French Composers?

So, that brings us to the real discovery, for me, and that is the 2Piano Concerto. Again, I was actually hoping I would like this after not liking the others (to prove my unfailing intuition correct yet again!); and, lo, I think it's a frivolous masterpiece, very much a Francaix-like nimble tickling. Here, all the things that were missing in the PC proper were in envidence here. It also added to the intro that both pianos are playing the exact same thing- a nice effect here.

This is part of what I'm getting at in the 'Discovery' Thread- I just discovered Milhaud's 2Piano Concerto in my perceived mind out of the rubble of his vast output, through the treacherous garden that is that CPO set (which, some may say they love, but I would gladly debate them).

I mean, between The 3 M's, Milhaud, Malipiero, and Martinu, - Milhaud's are certainly the least desirable overall (haven't heard Villa-Lobos's yet). I'm certainly intrigued by all the hidden PCs that are overshadowed by, say, Prokofiev and his 5 (Bartok too). I don't recall who else has a bevy of PCs.

Anyhow, anyone gonna argue over the PCs? Get the Erato disc for Milhaud's best foot forward in this arena.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Daverz on April 06, 2014, 06:20:34 PM
I love the cpo symphonies set, but to be honest I don't listen to this music very closely, I just wallow in it.

For a more challenging set of PCs, try Tcherepnin on Bis.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Ken B on April 06, 2014, 06:50:39 PM
I love the cpo symphonies set, but to be honest I don't listen to this music very closely, I just wallow in it.

For a more challenging set of PCs, try Tcherepnin on Bis.
+1 on Tcherepnin.

But the Milhaud symphonies I heard, from the CPO set, are dull. Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Daverz on April 06, 2014, 07:34:37 PM
But the Milhaud symphonies I heard, from the CPO set, are dull. Just sayin'.

I find all the symphonies very beautiful, and they always give pleasure.  There are so many of them, though, that the works seem to have little individuality.  That may be a flaw in the listener. 
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 06, 2014, 07:45:00 PM
Of all of Milhaud's symphonies, my favorite is still the 6th. Outside of this symphony, they all run together and start to sound like the next. I used to enjoy these works, but I suppose musical tastes change. I just don't hear much individualism in a lot of Milhaud's music.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: ritter on April 07, 2014, 02:22:47 AM
Of all of Milhaud's symphonies, my favorite is still the 6th. Outside of this symphony, they all run together and start to sound like the next. I used to enjoy these works, but I suppose musical tastes change. I just don't hear much individualism in a lot of Milhaud's music.
I also quite enjoy the 6th (as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in this same thread), but don't know all the symphonies as to comment on your impression of sameness along the whole set.

Curiously, though (and sorry if I stray off-topic here), the composer with whom I certainly do get the feeling that all his symphonies (nay, all his orchestral works) sound the same is Bohuslav Martinu. It's a very individual sound, that's for sure, but one that really doesn't change much from one work to the next.  :-[ .  I surely need to re-listen more attentively... ;)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on April 07, 2014, 06:12:27 AM
+1 on Tcherepnin.

But the Milhaud symphonies I heard, from the CPO set, are dull. Just sayin'.

Tcherppy... noted.


I agree that Milhaud's Syms. are "dull", but, in the "good way"! I agree with who said they just wallow in them; I think that's what they're for. I like all the ones on the two DG discs (1-2, 6-7) and the Erato disc (4 & 8). Really, I wouldn't need more from Milhaud, though I'd like to hear the 10th. Still, if everyone likes the 6th, what more do you want?

I just wonder in the Francis Cycle is more aggressive sounding than the DG? The DGs are just so smooth and creamy, and I'm starting to think that a lot of CPO is German-oriented... I dunno...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 07, 2014, 06:52:50 AM
I also quite enjoy the 6th (as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in this same thread), but don't know all the symphonies as to comment on your impression of sameness along the whole set.

Curiously, though (and sorry if I stray off-topic here), the composer with whom I certainly do get the feeling that all his symphonies (nay, all his orchestral works) sound the same is Bohuslav Martinu. It's a very individual sound, that's for sure, but one that really doesn't change much from one work to the next.  :-[ .  I surely need to re-listen more attentively... ;)

And I think this is perhaps the general problem with composers whose oeuvre reached way past 300. A composer who is as prolific as Milhaud, Martinu, and Villa-Lobos were bound to repeat themselves, but surprisingly I get less of this from Martinu and Villa-Lobos than from Milhaud. I do think, however, that Milhaud's strong point is his concertante works. I think this pushed him into different directions. But all of these composers wrote in what I'd probably call a 'stream-of-consciousness' style. I don't think Martinu ever went back to any of his scores and revised them and I think the same could be said of Milhaud and Villa-Lobos. But, in the end, it all comes down to the whose music you prefer and are moved by.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Daverz on April 07, 2014, 05:42:36 PM
Tcherppy... noted.

I agree that Milhaud's Syms. are "dull", but, in the "good way"! I agree with who said they just wallow in them; I think that's what they're for.

I think you've got it.  Though I'd say unmemorable rather than dull.  I don't need music to be memorable to enjoy it while I'm listening to it, if it has other things going for it.  Who knows, with enough exposure I may start to remember.

Quote
I like all the ones on the two DG discs (1-2, 6-7) and the Erato disc (4 & 8). Really, I wouldn't need more from Milhaud, though I'd like to hear the 10th. Still, if everyone likes the 6th, what more do you want?

I just wonder in the Francis Cycle is more aggressive sounding than the DG? The DGs are just so smooth and creamy, and I'm starting to think that a lot of CPO is German-oriented... I dunno...

The CPO cycle is beautifully recorded.  Together with Milhaud's lovely orchestration, that's part of the wallow.  But I don't have any other recordings to compare.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2014, 07:57:45 AM
Time to give some life to this thread:

Just bought for $24 via Presto Classical:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/914DyrFyabL._SL1500_.jpg)

This set has definitely flown under my radar on more than a few occasions and once I found this deal on Presto, I couldn't refuse.

Does anyone else own this set? What do you think of the performances?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: ritter on November 10, 2014, 01:04:39 PM
Time to give some life to this thread:

Does anyone else own this set? What do you think of the performances?
I got it several months ago, but this was a repertory-driven purchase, as opposed to a performance-driven one (I hope the distinction makes some sense). And, of course, there's the historical value to boot. Having said that, I found most of the performances a bit rough and tumble (just a bit  ;) ), but then again at some moments of heightened élan, Milhaud's music may even ask for this kind of treatment  :D . I must re-listen more attentively soon, though (and might be able to give a more informed opinion then, Mirror Image)... My interest in Milhaud waned temporarily, swept away by a Bayreuth-induced Wagner frenzy during the summer  :)  (but it'll come back, I'm sure  ;) )...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on November 10, 2014, 01:53:26 PM
I got it several months ago, but this was a repertory-driven purchase, as opposed to a performance-driven one (I hope the distinction makes some sense). And, of course, there's the historical value to boot. Having said that, I found most of the performances a bit rough and tumble (just a bit  ;) ), but then again at some moments of heightened élan, Milhaud's music may even ask for this kind of treatment  :D . I must re-listen more attentively soon, though (and might be able to give a more informed opinion then, Mirror Image)... My interest in Milhaud waned temporarily, swept away by a Bayreuth-induced Wagner frenzy during the summer  :)  (but it'll come back, I'm sure  ;) )...

Thanks for the feedback, ritter. I'm sure I'll find enjoyment in the set.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on November 11, 2014, 08:12:16 PM
I like Milhaud's "eh" just fine. SOMEONE'S got to procure the 'Boring' sound- Milhaud does it the best, along with Villa-Lobos ('Boring' not subjective term!!).

When it comes to the Symphonies, may I recommend the two Plasson DGs (1-2, 6-7), the Erato disc (4, 8), and maybe the CPO disc of 10-12? Surely I do this every year? The Erato disc of Piano Concertos 2 & 4, or the Ultima 2CD, and that cool VoxBox can round out a tiny but great Milhaud starter.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: relm1 on November 19, 2014, 03:04:56 AM
Did anyone pick up a copy of the new Naxos recording of Milhaud 's l'osterie?  If so, what do you think?
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.660349-51
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: The new erato on November 19, 2014, 03:12:23 AM
Isn't osterie an Italian restaurant?   ;)

Re Orestie: Perfectly deccent and even better as performance and recoirding of what must be a tough work to perform and an even tougher work to listen to!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: pjme on November 19, 2014, 03:33:55 AM
Mihaud's music is often very tasty, as in a Provençal "osterie"/osteria... but the Orestie reeks of blood , sweat and tears (at least it should).

I'm working my way through this monstrously massive score that, after almost 90-100 years still manages to disturb. The Naxos recording is a brave (and very welcome) undertaking, but , allow me to say ( inspite of the efforts), "not French enough".

It propably comes as no surprise that the pronunciation of both soloists and chorus does not always have the utmost French clarity.  The rythmically spoken roles of "a choéphore" (Sophie Delphis in Les Choéphores and the somewhat exotic sounding Julianna di Giacomo) are good but, to my ears, not better than the outstanding Claude Nollier on the (ca 1955?) DGG recording with Markevitch or Vera Zorina for Bernstein ( Choéphores only). On You Tube one can listen to the ca 1928 recording with Claire Croiza / De Vocht. Great voice & excellent prosody:

http://www.youtube.com/v/cEk0W0C2uJQ


http://www.youtube.com/v/YJVE4IbpumQ

Still, there's no doubt about the integrity of the undertaking (thanks go to William Bolcom).

This colossal work would be a huge challenge for any professional orchestra and chorus. And for the soloists. The vocal range - esp. for the sopranos - can be extremely high and taxing, over very long stretches. The role of Athena, in Les Euménides, is sung by three singers (sop.,mezzo, alto) and is  cruelly taxing.

Anyway, to my ears this performance gives Milhaud lovers a great opportunity to hear l'Orestie complete and in a very committed performance.





In 1988 Reinbert de Leeuw conducted the complete Orestie in Amsterdam, with a superb chorus and a very good Choéphore : Anne Fournet.  I witnessed that very impressive performance.

Among the soloists: soprano:  June Card, sop.Viorica Cortez , bar; Charles van Tassel,  Anne Fournet as "récitante"/a Choéphore, sop. Maria Oran, alto Ans Van dam etc.

 
Dutch Radio SO , Groot Omroepkoor en het Koor van de Nederlandse Opera.
 
Koninklijk Concertgebouw Amsterdam, 25th June 1988

 
More recently in Lille and Paris , Jean Claude Casadesus performed les Choéphores with actress Nicole Garcia as reciter. Casadesus should do a complete recording... his performance was really excellent.

Anyway, I'm happy with these Naxos discs...but will patiently wait for a French version......

INA / French Radio archives has a recording (download) of Les Euménides only , Charles Bruck conductor

(http://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/87/11/3329184671187_300.jpg)

Peter
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: pjme on November 21, 2014, 02:10:17 AM
I listened to l'Orestie in 2 big chuncks - Agamemnon  + les Choéphores and, all in one go,  Les Euménides.

and , a day later to milhaud"s second violinconcerto in this 1967 recording.

(http://a1.mzstatic.com/eu/r30/Music/v4/d3/f0/26/d3f02697-6562-6fd4-e145-d6b0249dbff8/cover170x170.jpeg)

I'll let it sink down for a couple of days. Since I like a lot of works by Milhaud , I'm propably not the best judge. Still:  I was carried away on this screaming, shuddering & motoristic Titanic. My neighbours were not at home.

Peter
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: ritter on December 06, 2014, 11:34:33 AM
This apparently has just been released:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51aE7HwWfRL._SX425_.jpg)

The contents is:

CD 1-2 : LES CHOEPHORES Orchestre Lamoureux Igor MARKEVITCH (1957) LES EUMENIDES ORESTIE D'ESCHYLE Orchestre des Nouveaux Concerts d'Anvers, M. Louis de Vocht 1928 CD 3 : LE RETOUR DE L'ENFANT PRODIGUE (1917) Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris Sous la direction de Darius MILHAUD (1960) LES MALHEURS D'ORPHEE Op.85 (1924) Orchestre de l'Opéra de Paris sous la direction de Darius MILHAUD (1956) CD 4 : LE PAUVRE MATELOT Dir: Darius MILHAUD (1956) TROIS OPERAS-MINUTE (1927) - L'enlèvement d'Europe - L'abandon d'Ariane - La délivrance de Thésée Orchestre sous la direction de Gustave CLOËZ (ORTF 1960) LES AMOURS DE RONSARD (1934) CD 5-6 : CHRISTOPHE COLOMB, op.102 (1928) Orchestre Radio Lyrique sous la direction de Manuel ROSENTHAL (Champs-Elysées 31/V/55) LE MARIAGE DE LA FEUILLE ET DU CLICHE Chorale Yvonne Gouverné Orchestre des Concerts Colonne dir: Pierre Michel LE CONTE (1958) CD 7-8 : MAXIMILIEN dir : Manuel ROSENTHAL (RTF 1963) Jeanine MICHEAU - Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire Sous la direction de Darius MILHAUD (1956) CANTATE NUPTIALE (d'après Le Cantique des Cantiques) - Les Quatre éléments - Bolivar - Fontaines et sources (poèmes de Francis Jammes) Hélène BOUVIER piano : Louis SAGUER (Gaveau 02/I/57) Chants hébraïques CD 9-10 : BOLIVAR Orchestre et Chours de l'Opéra National de Paris sous la direction de Serge BAUDO (Garnier 1962)

Some stuff was available elsewhere (the Markevitch Choéphores, Le Malheurs d'Orphée, the three opéras-minute, Christophe Colomb--the latter long OOP), but other things I hand't seen anywhere (Maximilien, Bolívar). Looks like a good complement to the Erato bix of earleer this year. I've just ordered it from amazon.fr.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Rons_talking on April 08, 2016, 12:19:17 PM
For the first time, I listened to the Milhaud 5th, 6th and 10th Symphonies. These are beautiful and exciting works and sound nothing like the Milhaud I grew to disdain during my student years. I see a lot of indifference in the Milhaud thread here. I can't argue. But after stumbling upon the 5,6,10 and 11 on Spotify I have to say, I'm a post Op. 300 fan of Milhaud! It takes some stones to compose in a tonal language during the 1950s. At remove in the Bay Area in California must have made it easier to so no to serialism. I believe it's a mistake to hold Milhaud's prodigious output against him. Some works were taken more seriously than others--you can hear it in his  uneven gargantuan output. But there's no doubt to me that he may have spent a disproportionate amout of time and effort on these fine works--perhaps even weeks! They are full of his positive spirit and the upbeat sound, quirky rhythms with identical use of orchestra might account for the similarity amongst the works on a superficial level. i listen to them one at a time...binging diminished returns rapidly. He has a lot of melodies...that can be confusing.

As to charges that these works lack depth I take exception. While there's no evidence of prolongation, pitch centricity, augmentation, derived sets or invertability, there are is a heavy emotional gestures expressed in a modern yet gentle manner. The use of rhythmic change as well as tonal surprises sustaines these works.

 20th Century "tonality" has no real guidline for the extention of a movement. Changing key makes no constructive implication, the gravity of the cadence is undermined by the surfeit of chord tones. Altering thematic material is difficult since theme groups are no longer so distinct. Stravinsky and Hindemith could do it but there is often high repitition and sometimes a pinch of machanical feeling manipulation.




I have said how much I dislike the early polytonal and latin-influensed works...re-"Creation." Many of Milhaud`s well-known works use his earlier style which to me seems a bit "gimmicky," so I never listened to much subsequent work of his. Earlier comments suggest the Symphonies 1-12 are boring. Not to me. I`m glad I found them.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on March 14, 2017, 12:55:13 PM
Until a few days ago I hadn't heard a note of Milhaud's music, however I have been listening to some of his music on YouTube and have been quite impressed. I want to buy a few CDs and listen to some more works before I comment further, but first impressions are of a very gentle music, but one that sometimes has a surprising strength to it.

I gather that the complete string quartets set is no longer available and it isn't available second hand on Amazon. What are good second hand cd sites apart from Amazon (which has always supplied my wants before). Or does anyone have a set they want to sell?  ;)
Title: Milhaud's Milieu
Post by: snyprrr on March 14, 2017, 06:49:56 PM
Until a few days ago I hadn't heard a note of Milhaud's music, however I have been listening to some of his music on YouTube and have been quite impressed. I want to buy a few CDs and listen to some more works before I comment further, but first impressions are of a very gentle music, but one that sometimes has a surprising strength to it.

I gather that the complete string quartets set is no longer available and it isn't available second hand on Amazon. What are good second hand cd sites apart from Amazon (which has always supplied my wants before). Or does anyone have a set they want to sell?  ;)

I really don't think you want to start with that,... really? Only about 3-4 of those are in a relaxing manner; quirky Milhaud is always around the bend. I always suggest DG Symphonies 1-2 and 6-7 (first), and Erato 4/8. If you want something wilder, the Erato disc of Piano Concertos does the trick.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on March 14, 2017, 10:42:56 PM
Sorry, should have said I'm listening to the later chamber works ATM, hence my comment about gentle. I think I'll work gradually backwards to the earlier works.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Monsieur Croche on March 14, 2017, 11:20:43 PM
Sorry, should have said I'm listening to the later chamber works ATM, hence my comment about gentle. I think I'll work gradually backwards to the earlier works.

This mighty (and imo, 'great') work will quickly change your impression of Milhaud being 'only gentle'

https://www.youtube.com/v/Ac-UJju34Lg

and try these miniature gems, Six Little Symphonies (playlist with all six
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EsUk1tcLnU&list=PLhQHlPG4E3CwsJAmTCNkWy_x5_mgQQPKb


Best regards
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on March 15, 2017, 06:49:40 AM
Sorry, should have said I'm listening to the later chamber works ATM, hence my comment about gentle. I think I'll work gradually backwards to the earlier works.

Actually, String Quartets 1-2 are very Impressionist and Debussy/Ravel-like. There is a great (Capriccio?) CD of the two together. These two are probably exactly what you're looking for.

Don't be deceived- "soft" Milhaud is scattered all about, early and late- also, the Sonata for four winds and piano(?-is that right?) from around 1919... and the Violin Sonata 2...

SQs that are more attractive: 1-2... 7... 12... 5 is the Schoenbergian one, charming... 12 is the best known (Quartetto Italiano)... 6-7 are sweeter I think...


Maybe I'll get the box out of storage and take a spin.... Friday...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on April 17, 2017, 04:19:27 PM
I’ve been continuing my enthusiasm for Milhaud by listening to more of his works and reading his autobiography Ma Vie Heureuse.
 
He did have a happy life, including being born into a rich family, and finding early success as a composer, though later in life (from the 1930s) he suffered from some sort of rheumatism which meant he was periodically bed-bound, and at other times had to use a wheel-chair or crutches. He and his wife and son barely escaped from France in 1940, and the Jewish community of Aix-en-Provence which the Milhauds belonged to was almost wiped out by the Nazis.
 
He began his autobiography whilst bed-ridden in the USA after the liberation of France (the 1987 edition I read has been updated to 1972, two years before his death) and he claims to have used no diaries, letters or other documents writing it. I suspect he must have had some sort of list of performances of his work with him, because the main part of the work is basically a catalogue of when and where his works were performed, with the anecdotes hanging off these. It heavily features his stage works, and his symphonies, concertos and string quartets are often only mentioned in passing.
 
Milhaud’s success was due to the fact that opera, light opera and musical stage works were very popular in the 1920s and 30s in France and across Europe (Milhaud mentions visiting most European countries in this period and meeting many of the active musicians, but he never visited Britain and mentions no British composers at all, obviously there was a great cultural gulf at the Channel). So this meant that Milhaud could make a good living getting his operas and stage works staged (they were sort of middle-brow works in the way that classical music simply isn’t any more). Later he took up teaching (in the US and in France) and writing more instrumental and chamber works.
 
Milhaud describes his style as ‘Mediterranean lyricism’, and that’s why I like it. Even if it isn’t very deep it is lively and never too long. But I think of him at his best as a sort of southern European Holmboe (warmer weather), his music endlessly inventive and contrapuntal.
 
I have personal lists* of ‘great symphonies’ (c.180 works)  and ‘great string quartets’ (c.250) and I have placed about 6/12 of Milhaud’s symphonies on the former list and about 8/18 of his quartets on the latter. So this shows my esteem.
 
It’s a pity there are so few recording available, I guess he is out of fashion at the moment. And a great pity that the complete string quartets CDs are unavailable at the moment. Just as well that Youtube exists.
 
*These lists of course demonstrate my biases, the symphonies list has 12 British composers as authors of great symphonies as opposed to 5 Austrians and 3 French. Lol.
 
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 17, 2017, 04:31:23 PM
Well at least someone likes his music. That’s all I’ll say. :D
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: arpeggio on April 17, 2017, 06:05:26 PM
I am a big Milhaud fan.

He composed one great band piece the Suite française.  It has only been mentioned twice in this thread and one of the remarks was rather negative.  I have performed the work many times and have always enjoyed playing it.  There are many fine recordings of it.

Although it is not was well known he compose West Point Suite for the 150th anniversary of West Point.  Unfortunately I know of only one recording of it on Hungaroton which is out of print.  One can hear it on YouTube.  It is rather adventurous amount of bitonality.  I really like the last movement. 

He composed many great chamber works for winds.  There is one woodwind quintet that I used to play: La cheminée du roi René.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on April 18, 2017, 07:31:11 AM
I And a great pity that the complete string quartets CDs are unavailable at the moment. Just as well that Youtube exists.

Can't find a copy of the Parisii set?

I'm trying to incorporate Milhaud into my post-IgorMania continuation...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on April 18, 2017, 01:02:21 PM
One other thing I forgot to say that I found interesting from Ma vie heureuse is that as a very young man c 1900s Milhaud went to hear The Ring being played in Paris.... And hated it. After this he formulated his idea that his Mediterrean lyricism was distinguished from Germanic music by its lack of chromaticism. (I guess the Nazis' use of Wagner meant M never reconsidered his dislike of W's music).
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) claude helffer-ERATO CD
Post by: snyprrr on June 19, 2017, 09:33:02 AM
Piano Concerto No.4 (1949)
5 Etudes (1934?)

The concerto's slow movement is a horrendously turgid chorale in all keys at once, it seems. I love it! ha,... the whole work is purposely complex and reminds one if Hindemith had written it in 1963 as a Last Work, such is the uncompromising aural picture of this 1949 work. In terms of sheer dissonance, one struggles to think of any competitors in this era.

The '5 Etudes' also inhabit a world of "everything at once", and are a bracing sonic juggernaut of clashing and crashing. This Erato CD may contain some of Milhaud's most challenging music for listeners' to enjoy, but it is certainly fluid and impressive.

I don't have the CPO Edition of all 5 Piano Concertos, but, as I recollect, the Erato, with 1 and 4, may be more than most will want. The CPO is probably for high mountain climbers only, and maybe not even then...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on June 19, 2017, 12:45:12 PM
Another amusing anecdote from his autobiography is that in the 1920s or early 30s he was booked for a tour by a US agent, but discovered shortly before he was to sail that he had been booked as a pianist not a conductor.

He was a pretty good pianist, but not a virtuoso, so he had to compose a piano concerto for himself to play which sounded difficult but wasn't. (I guess 2 or 3).  ;D
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on June 19, 2017, 05:10:38 PM
Another amusing anecdote from his autobiography is that in the 1920s or early 30s he was booked for a tour by a US agent, but discovered shortly before he was to sail that he had been booked as a pianist not a conductor.

He was a pretty good pianist, but not a virtuoso, so he had to compose a piano concerto for himself to play which sounded difficult but wasn't. (I guess 2 or 3).  ;D

No.1 was for Marguerite Long. I think both 2-3 are for Mr.M. Still, I may have to check out his ability...
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: pjme on June 20, 2017, 12:12:35 AM
This is what I found in Milhaud's "Ma vie heureuse":

on their return from a concert tour in Russia (march 1926) Darius and Madeleine Milhaud were invited to the USA by Robert Schmitz (of the Pro Musica Society). Milhaud wrote "Carnaval d'Aix" for this occasion: a re-composition of 12 fragments from the ballet "Salade, an "evocation of commedia de'll arte figures".

From : http://data.bnf.fr/13956842/darius_milhaud_salade__op__83/

Description : Note : Notice rédigée d'après l'inventaire de la cote MAT. - Ballet chanté en 2 actes. - 1re représentation : Paris, Théâtre de la Cigale, orchestre sous la direction de Roger Désormière, le 17 mai 1934. - 1re représentation à l'Opéra de Paris : 13 février 1935. -
Il existe une version pour piano et orchestre sous le titre : "Le carnaval d'Aix" (op. 83b)
Compositeur : Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Auteur de l'argument : Albert Flament (1877-1956)

Though a competent pianist, he did not consider concert performance his forte. And while Milhaud surely exaggerated somewhat on the side of self-deprecation, he was self-conscious enough about his pianistic abilities for such concerns to have informed his Ballade for piano and orchestra, Op. 61, which he also performed during his tours abroad. Likewise, of the Carnaval d'Aix Milhaud wryly explained that "As I was no virtuoso, I had to compose for myself an easy work which would give the audience the impression that it was difficult." The hallmarks of Milhaud's style are present: the curious chromatic diversions, subtle but poignant use of dissonance within tonal contexts, polytonal complexes, and especially, vibrant rhythms inspired by jazz and South American music. Of course, Milhaud puts virtuosity to the purposes of expressive nuance rather than sheer pyrotechnics even in his most challenging works. Accordingly, what the Carnaval d'Aix lacks in technical complexity on the part of the soloist, it makes up for in energy and charm.

From: http://www.allmusic.com/composition/le-carnaval-daix-11-fantasy-for-piano-orchestra-op-83b-mc0002373618

It is a sunny, very light, fun piece:

https://www.youtube.com/v/-Z12UfM8SII

https://www.youtube.com/v/zmublnNaGHw

As for the pianoconcerti:

nr. 1 was indeed written for Marguerite Long, nr 2 (for Milhaud), nr 3 for Milhaud, nr 4 for Zadel Skolovsky ( Born of Russian parentage in Vancouver, Canada, in 1916 - died in ?) , nr 5 for Milhaud.


P.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on June 20, 2017, 05:58:30 AM
This is what I found in Milhaud's "Ma vie heureuse":

on their return from a concert tour in Russia (march 1926) Darius and Madeleine Milhaud were invited to the USA by Robert Schmitz (of the Pro Musica Society). Milhaud wrote "Carnaval d'Aix" for this occasion: a re-composition of 12 fragments from the ballet "Salade, an "evocation of commedia de'll arte figures".

From : http://data.bnf.fr/13956842/darius_milhaud_salade__op__83/

Description : Note : Notice rédigée d'après l'inventaire de la cote MAT. - Ballet chanté en 2 actes. - 1re représentation : Paris, Théâtre de la Cigale, orchestre sous la direction de Roger Désormière, le 17 mai 1934. - 1re représentation à l'Opéra de Paris : 13 février 1935. -
Il existe une version pour piano et orchestre sous le titre : "Le carnaval d'Aix" (op. 83b)
Compositeur : Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Auteur de l'argument : Albert Flament (1877-1956)

Though a competent pianist, he did not consider concert performance his forte. And while Milhaud surely exaggerated somewhat on the side of self-deprecation, he was self-conscious enough about his pianistic abilities for such concerns to have informed his Ballade for piano and orchestra, Op. 61, which he also performed during his tours abroad. Likewise, of the Carnaval d'Aix Milhaud wryly explained that "As I was no virtuoso, I had to compose for myself an easy work which would give the audience the impression that it was difficult." The hallmarks of Milhaud's style are present: the curious chromatic diversions, subtle but poignant use of dissonance within tonal contexts, polytonal complexes, and especially, vibrant rhythms inspired by jazz and South American music. Of course, Milhaud puts virtuosity to the purposes of expressive nuance rather than sheer pyrotechnics even in his most challenging works. Accordingly, what the Carnaval d'Aix lacks in technical complexity on the part of the soloist, it makes up for in energy and charm.

From: http://www.allmusic.com/composition/le-carnaval-daix-11-fantasy-for-piano-orchestra-op-83b-mc0002373618

It is a sunny, very light, fun piece:

https://www.youtube.com/v/-Z12UfM8SII

https://www.youtube.com/v/zmublnNaGHw

As for the pianoconcerti:

nr. 1 was indeed written for Marguerite Long, nr 2 (for Milhaud), nr 3 for Milhaud, nr 4 for Zadel Skolovsky ( Born of Russian parentage in Vancouver, Canada, in 1916 - died in ?) , nr 5 for Milhaud.


P.

Yea, that Helffer disc is one-stop-shopping ;)... I've worn it out in three days ::)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Robert101 on June 20, 2017, 06:52:00 AM
Yea, that Helffer disc is one-stop-shopping ;)... I've worn it out in three days ::)

I like Milhaud but somehow have missed out on these works. Thanks for posting them.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Peter Power Pop on June 20, 2017, 08:24:36 PM
I am a big Milhaud fan.

He composed one great band piece the Suite française.  It has only been mentioned twice in this thread and one of the remarks was rather negative.  I have performed the work many times and have always enjoyed playing it.  There are many fine recordings of it.

Although it is not was well known he compose West Point Suite for the 150th anniversary of West Point.  Unfortunately I know of only one recording of it on Hungaroton which is out of print.  One can hear it on YouTube.  It is rather adventurous amount of bitonality.  I really like the last movement. 

He composed many great chamber works for winds.  There is one woodwind quintet that I used to play: La cheminée du roi René.

https://www.youtube.com/v/Ri7qxkd3ssQ
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on June 21, 2017, 06:33:28 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/Ri7qxkd3ssQ

Gnarly. I like it!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Peter Power Pop on June 21, 2017, 01:19:57 PM
I am a big Milhaud fan.

He composed one great band piece the Suite française.  It has only been mentioned twice in this thread and one of the remarks was rather negative.  I have performed the work many times and have always enjoyed playing it.  There are many fine recordings of it.

Although it is not was well known he compose West Point Suite for the 150th anniversary of West Point.  Unfortunately I know of only one recording of it on Hungaroton which is out of print.  One can hear it on YouTube.  It is rather adventurous amount of bitonality.  I really like the last movement. 

He composed many great chamber works for winds.  There is one woodwind quintet that I used to play: La cheminée du roi René.

https://www.youtube.com/v/-_BVoZqoENg
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Rons_talking on June 22, 2017, 07:24:12 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/-_BVoZqoENg

Really nice!
The biggest problem Milhaud's music has is that each work must compete with all of his others. I can see how frustrating it could be to know a Milhaud work intimately while other fans have yet to hear it. I've spent a lot of hours listening to his music (mostly Op400-plus) yet so many of his works such as this one are new to me. I like most of what I hear of Milhaud with the exception being the works that employ strident polytonality unremittingly. But overall, I'm a fan. This work must be fun to perform. I'm envious.  ;)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on June 22, 2017, 11:43:00 AM
Really nice!
The biggest problem Milhaud's music has is that each work must compete with all of his others. I can see how frustrating it could be to know a Milhaud work intimately while other fans have yet to hear it. I've spent a lot of hours listening to his music (mostly Op400-plus) yet so many of his works such as this one are new to me. I like most of what I hear of Milhaud with the exception being the works that employ strident polytonality unremittingly. But overall, I'm a fan. This work must be fun to perform. I'm envious.  ;)

I'm finding 'Les Choephores' less than snyprrr-friendly :P...


I'm finding
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) STRING QUARTETS 1-18; OCTET
Post by: snyprrr on November 03, 2017, 05:01:10 PM
String Quartets 1-18; Octet


I'm slowly going through the Parisii Cycle, hitting the highlights I remembered from before.I usually skip 1-2 because of that other CD that has the much better performances.

No.13: short, cheery, and chipper, it reminds me of what I'd like Revueltas to sound like at times... a 'Mexicana' finale...

No.5: the densest and most Schoenbergian of all, this is one dense underbrush, like four keys at once, but, I kiiind of like it a little. It is quite salty thought, like a little dissonant Cowell.

Nos. 7 & 12: the two "sweetest" still have a bit of bite here and there. There's ALWAYS just a bit of bite in all Milhaud. But, 12is his tribute to Faure...



I have yet to gointo 14-15 and the Octet, but I do recall them well, very interesting all around- quite sublime if you ask me...


I think 16 is more on the sweet side, but 17 and 18 make somewhat mirror opposites, one sweet, the other rough. But they are all highly mature works of considerable elevation, imo.


That leaves 6, 8-11, which I think dovetail with the Villa-Lobos SQs 7-11... now you know the heart of this particular project...




Milhaud's multi-tonality really is kind of his trademark, and one hears his particular voice quite well throughout the Cycle.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) BEOUF... CREATION...SAUDADES...SCARMOUCHE...
Post by: snyprrr on November 06, 2017, 08:04:10 AM
Ifinally have heard all the jazzy bits I have been avoiding for decades:

Creation du Monde: not as exciting as its reputation... did I miss something here?

Le Beouf bla bla Toit: NOW, THIS IS WHAT I WAS LOOKIN...
G FOR!! Great little flute/piccolo refrain!!

Saudades de Brazil: yea, this is good HVL here!!

Scaramouche: yea, ok in that Milhaud way
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Parsifal on November 14, 2017, 08:44:09 AM
Cross Posted from WAYLTN:

Milhaud Symphony No 5.



No side drum. What a relief!

A pleasant, sunny work, which I enjoyed. But not real Milhaud. Too profound, not flippant enough.

I found this in the booklet notes.

Quote
Those who expect these symphonies to contain the bizarre contortions or bold distortions of bitonality or melodic formulations characteristic of the light music will be disappointed.

That sums it up. Give me my light music!

Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on November 14, 2017, 10:00:37 AM
Milhaud Symphony No 5.
No side drum. What a relief!

 ;D :D ;D

A pleasant, sunny work, which I enjoyed. But not real Milhaud. Too profound, not flippant enough.

The Sixth begins with a quirky melody and the following symphonies lose much of their American (i.e., Coplandesque) flavor. Maybe the second half of his output will be more to your liking.

Sarge
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on November 15, 2017, 01:05:14 PM
I'm on a Milhaud tear, ask me a question. lol
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Parsifal on November 15, 2017, 04:52:23 PM
The Sixth begins with a quirky melody and the following symphonies lose much of their American (i.e., Coplandesque) flavor. Maybe the second half of his output will be more to your liking.

I'm working my way there. :)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on November 17, 2017, 07:40:06 PM
I'm working my way there. :)

I'm curious about No.10
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Herman on November 19, 2017, 02:31:48 AM
I may have said this before, but I'm a fan of Milhaud's last two string quartets, nrs 17 and 18. Particularly the last one, dedicated to his parents, is a beauty.

It's really too bad these works have never really entered the recital repertory. It would be good to hear other interpretations than the Parisii  -  not because they're bad, but to round out the character of this music.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on November 24, 2017, 04:55:49 PM
I may have said this before, but I'm a fan of Milhaud's last two string quartets, nrs 17 and 18. Particularly the last one, dedicated to his parents, is a beauty.

It's really too bad these works have never really entered the recital repertory. It would be good to hear other interpretations than the Parisii  -  not because they're bad, but to round out the character of this music.

What about that Cybellia label cycle?

Yes, I too enjoy them. After 18, he went on to write 5(?) String Quintets and a Sextet! Indefatigable But I like all the SQs 12-18, his is an effusive style for sure! Ilikethe Revueltas Mexico of 13.

I just brought over the Arriaga rec. of 1-2, which I think form another perfect set of bookends alongside with 17-18... their performances are "10 times better" than the Parisii.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) SONATINA Op.354
Post by: snyprrr on November 26, 2017, 08:33:47 AM
Sonatina Op.354

I am loving Milhaud's most perfectly realized piano music. It's less than 10 minutes, and perfectly anonymous in the way only Milhaud can be. I detect the influence of Satie very strongly here, suffused with Milhaud's all encompassing technique of all-at-once. Ultimately, I find it very beautiful.

The actual Piano Sonata No.2, of a few years previous, is very similar, but the Sonatina in pretty much Milhaud's final word on the subject, and, as such, is a masterpiece of summation. Beauty, with complexity.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) SONATINA Op.354
Post by: Peter Power Pop on February 27, 2018, 08:38:41 PM
Sonatina Op.354

I am loving Milhaud's most perfectly realized piano music. It's less than 10 minutes, and perfectly anonymous in the way only Milhaud can be. I detect the influence of Satie very strongly here, suffused with Milhaud's all encompassing technique of all-at-once. Ultimately, I find it very beautiful.

The actual Piano Sonata No.2, of a few years previous, is very similar, but the Sonatina in pretty much Milhaud's final word on the subject, and, as such, is a masterpiece of summation. Beauty, with complexity.

https://www.youtube.com/v/bVB-Z65Wjq4
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) SONATINA Op.354
Post by: Mirror Image on February 27, 2018, 08:59:19 PM
https://www.youtube.com/v/bVB-Z65Wjq4

Thanks for sharing this! I just listened to this and agree with snyprrr about this being a good piece. I know nothing of Milhaud’s piano music, but enjoyed it enough to investigate recordings of this repertoire.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) SONATINA Op.354
Post by: snyprrr on March 03, 2018, 02:35:34 PM
Thanks for sharing this! I just listened to this and agree with snyprrr about this being a good piece. I know nothing of Milhaud’s piano music, but enjoyed it enough to investigate recordings of this repertoire.
was listening to the Sonatina
Interesting- I juuust                   today. There are two recordings of it (unless it's also on the Martin Jones AVM disc), both on "Koch Discover". Get the "Vol.3" recording by the French lady. It amazed me that both were playing the same music, but the French lady's recording had that extra special magic.

If I were you, I'd get that "Vol.3", and maybe perhaps Tharaud's Naxos disc,...and, frankly, that should be plenty. The former has the main three works- Sonatina, Sonata No.2, and one other Late Work... along with the early Sonata No.1, not so much to my taste.

The other KochDiscover disc is ok, but not as good as Vol.3 from the French lady (read the Amazon reviews, that's what sold me!).


2) Milhaus 2Piano Music... on Hyperion,... eh,... festive! Way down on the list for me...


3) Piano Concertos 1/4 on Erato: don't bother with the CPO Cycle, the Erato is the one to get.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) SONATINA Op.354
Post by: Mirror Image on March 03, 2018, 08:12:27 PM
was listening to the Sonatina
Interesting- I juuust                   today. There are two recordings of it (unless it's also on the Martin Jones AVM disc), both on "Koch Discover". Get the "Vol.3" recording by the French lady. It amazed me that both were playing the same music, but the French lady's recording had that extra special magic.

If I were you, I'd get that "Vol.3", and maybe perhaps Tharaud's Naxos disc,...and, frankly, that should be plenty. The former has the main three works- Sonatina, Sonata No.2, and one other Late Work... along with the early Sonata No.1, not so much to my taste.

The other KochDiscover disc is ok, but not as good as Vol.3 from the French lady (read the Amazon reviews, that's what sold me!).


2) Milhaus 2Piano Music... on Hyperion,... eh,... festive! Way down on the list for me...


3) Piano Concertos 1/4 on Erato: don't bother with the CPO Cycle, the Erato is the one to get.

I should’ve been more specific in my last post. I do know the piano and orchestra works (thanks to the CPO set (Korstick/Francis) that you have apparent disdain for), which are quite good and fun. Carnaval d'aix is the only piano + orchestra work that I do know well. I have the Erato set, so perhaps I should get it out and give it a spin per your recommendation. I wasn’t aware that Tharaud recorded a Milhaud piano disc, but looking at the contents of the recording (on Naxos), I’m really only interested in that Brazilian-inspired piano suite, Saudades do Brasil from this disc as the rest of the works look like they're pieces that involve narration, which isn’t my thing. Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll have to check out that third volume on the Koch label from this ‘French lady’. ;)
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: schnittkease on March 07, 2018, 07:38:52 PM
For me, essential Milhaud is:

Le bœuf sur le toit, op. 58
Saudades do Brasil, op. 67
La création du monde, op. 81a
String Quartet #7, op. 87
Suite provençale, op. 152
Suite for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano, op. 157b
Scaramouche, op. 165b
Suite française, op. 248
La mère coupable, op. 412

I will go out on a limb and say that these are his (major) masterpieces.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on March 09, 2018, 12:43:18 PM
For me, essential Milhaud is:

Le bœuf sur le toit, op. 58
Saudades do Brasil, op. 67
La création du monde, op. 81a
String Quartet #7, op. 87
Suite provençale, op. 152
Suite for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano, op. 157b
Scaramouche, op. 165b
Suite française, op. 248
La mère coupable, op. 412

I will go out on a limb and say that these are his (major) masterpieces.

Hmmm, a slight bias towards the jazzyBrazil works?

For the sheerest Impressionism there is, String Quartet No.1 can't be beat, No.2 following on- after that, his style changed into a more Schoenbergian Expressionism (SQ5), and then settled into his mature style (SQ8-13).

SQs 6-7, and 12, all have a Fauresque character...


Then we have the Late Milhaud,... he didn't even write any SQs passed the early 50s... the Late Milhaud can be some of the thorniest sweet sounding music there is,... of which the Piano Sonatina is a particularly appealing example (again, the French lady has the better presentation).

Much Late Milhaud can just be agonizingly "atonal"- Aspen (or Julliard?) Serenade comes to mind... I mean, maybe sometimes I need something like this, but,... mm,...


Surely there's a Masterpiece to be counted amongst his 12 Symphonies? Maybe, as a Cycle? I do like the DG 1-2/6-7, with the Erato 4/8,... and I'd like a No.10...


The much maligned(?) Violin Sonata No.2 is as nice as can be, and the Flute Sonatina has a particularly cosmopolitan feel for me (as opposed to the rather noisy Oboe Sonatina).

The Sonata for four winds and piano, also, I think is a minor Impressionist Masterpiece, very mellow (right before his Brazil trip?).



I'd rather agree that your list is more of a Greatest Hits, and don't get me wrong, I do like that side of him, but, he did seem to make it a point that he was goingto try to be AllThings- which, maybe he didn't quite get to,... but, he's starting to become one of my go-tos for various moods.


The 6 Little Symphonies are quite bizarre, and the rest of that VoxBox2CD has a wide smattering of various quality.




And, frankly, if we're talking Masterpieces, how about String Quartets 14-15, which, when played together, become the Octet?


The Chroeoephers(lol) , probably a Masterpiece, is just too much for me to handle....







and the list goes on....



Piano Concerto No.4, the uber pastoral Cello Concerto,... not so much the Violin Concerto (No.2?)...



And the Piano Trio, one of his last works, from the 70s, is quite nice...



How do you eat an elephant?
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: schnittkease on March 10, 2018, 06:33:56 PM
Hmmm, a slight bias towards the jazzyBrazil works?

I wouldn't contest it.


Then we have the Late Milhaud,... he didn't even write any SQs passed the early 50s... the Late Milhaud can be some of the thorniest sweet sounding music there is,... of which the Piano Sonatina is a particularly appealing example (again, the French lady has the better presentation).

Interesting, I'll have to give it a listen. And are we talking about Tailleferre here?


Much Late Milhaud can just be agonizingly "atonal"- Aspen (or Julliard?) Serenade comes to mind... I mean, maybe sometimes I need something like this, but,... mm,...

Wow, that Aspen-sérénade is quite obnoxious. Reminds me of Perle's equally brash wind quintets (not a big fan of those in general).


Surely there's a Masterpiece to be counted amongst his 12 Symphonies? Maybe, as a Cycle? I do like the DG 1-2/6-7, with the Erato 4/8,... and I'd like a No.10...

I don't know if I can handle a Milhaud work longer than 20min!


I'd rather agree that your list is more of a Greatest Hits, and don't get me wrong, I do like that side of him, but, he did seem to make it a point that he was goingto try to be AllThings- which, maybe he didn't quite get to,... but, he's starting to become one of my go-tos for various moods.

I think the jazzy side is his best. And these works are greatest hits for a reason, right?


The 6 Little Symphonies are quite bizarre, and the rest of that VoxBox2CD has a wide smattering of various quality.

Agreed.


And, frankly, if we're talking Masterpieces, how about String Quartets 14-15, which, when played together, become the Octet?
The Chroeoephers(lol) , probably a Masterpiece, is just too much for me to handle....
and the list goes on....
Piano Concerto No.4, the uber pastoral Cello Concerto,... not so much the Violin Concerto (No.2?)...
And the Piano Trio, one of his last works, from the 70s, is quite nice...


I'm sure these are all pleasant, but at some point you have to draw a line - it's not like we call all 32 of Beethoven's sonatas masterpieces (do we??)

I will definitely do some more digging. You've clearly devoted a lot of time to Milhaud which I haven't.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: calyptorhynchus on March 10, 2018, 08:26:08 PM
I prefer his later music, the later SQs and chamber works, later symphonies. One very powerful work is Musique pour Nouvelle Orleans, which isn't in th least jazzy.  :D
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on March 11, 2018, 07:57:44 AM
I'm curious about No.10

testing connection
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) SQ No.16
Post by: snyprrr on March 19, 2018, 08:06:58 PM
String Quartet No.16

One of the very nicest, on a par with 6-7, and 12, No.16 stands as a 25th anniversary gift to his wife. The final two String Quartets, written shortly after this one, share its dense polyphony, though, they are ever more wrought. This one is notable for having some gorgeous harmonics in the slow movement. The finale has a jaunty, though melting, chromatic theme that I did find slightly jarring- which makes me wonder what another performance might sound like (I have Parisii, generally quite lovely in Milhaud, sometimes perhaps a bit thin in places requiring lushness (Nos.1-2)).
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) SONATINA Op.354
Post by: calyptorhynchus on March 27, 2018, 12:21:44 PM
Sonatina Op.354

I am loving Milhaud's most perfectly realized piano music. It's less than 10 minutes, and perfectly anonymous in the way only Milhaud can be. I detect the influence of Satie very strongly here, suffused with Milhaud's all encompassing technique of all-at-once. Ultimately, I find it very beautiful.

The actual Piano Sonata No.2, of a few years previous, is very similar, but the Sonatina in pretty much Milhaud's final word on the subject, and, as such, is a masterpiece of summation. Beauty, with complexity.

I agree, I got hold of that disk, the Francoise Choveaux one, and was blown away by all the pieces, but especially the Sonatina.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) SONATINA Op.354 "Everyone loves it"
Post by: snyprrr on March 29, 2018, 12:20:31 PM
I agree, I got hold of that disk, the Francoise Choveaux one, and was blown away by all the pieces, but especially the Sonatina.

Yaaay!!! Yes, it just makes you want to play it!!

The other recording, also on KochDiscover (Billy Eidi), though played well and recorded well, just doesn't have the MAGIC the the Chov. is imbued with. It could just be a lucky day in the studio, but, the Amazon Reviewer claims Chov. uses another piano in this Vol.3, which, apparently sounds much better than the other two volumes. Read the reviews...


It seems we ALL are diggin' this Sonatina, eh,... oh happy day!!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 17, 2018, 08:16:10 PM
I’ve been thinking a bit about Milhaud tonight and I think where I went sour with the composer was the symphony set (on CPO) and upon revisitation of said symphonies, I found myself downright irritated by how the music lacked direction, but, also, how so many of the symphonies sounded like the one that just proceeded it. I think Milhaud is at his best in the jazzy works where he’s obviously being quite cheeky. I think La création du monde may very well be the best thing he composed. I also think quite highly of his Chamber Symphonies Nos. 1-6.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: snyprrr on April 18, 2018, 06:55:23 AM
I’ve been thinking a bit about Milhaud tonight and I think where I went sour with the composer was the symphony set (on CPO) and upon revisitation of said symphonies, I found myself downright irritated by how the music lacked direction, but, also, how so many of the symphonies sounded like the one that just proceeded it. I think Milhaud is at his best in the jazzy works where he’s obviously being quite cheeky. I think La création du monde may very well be the best thing he composed. I also think quite highly of his Chamber Symphonies Nos. 1-6.

Symphonies:

1-2 DG
6-7 DG
4/8 Erato
10??

With this lineup (still don't have 10), I seem to have sidestepped the "effect" of the CPO Box. Just enough "directionlessness" without getting irritated (maybe sound image of CPO set leaves an aftertaste?)

Once one hears the dreariness of the 'Aspen Serenade', a lot of other Milhaud seems slightly more digestible, lol! ::)

Soon I think I may imagine links between Satie and Stravinsky,... through Milhaud/Poulenc??... and Debb... oh, I think I'm stuck in Frenchyland oui oui

bon mot
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: Mirror Image on April 19, 2018, 05:41:36 PM
Symphonies:

1-2 DG
6-7 DG
4/8 Erato
10??

With this lineup (still don't have 10), I seem to have sidestepped the "effect" of the CPO Box. Just enough "directionlessness" without getting irritated (maybe sound image of CPO set leaves an aftertaste?)

Once one hears the dreariness of the 'Aspen Serenade', a lot of other Milhaud seems slightly more digestible, lol! ::)

Soon I think I may imagine links between Satie and Stravinsky,... through Milhaud/Poulenc??... and Debb... oh, I think I'm stuck in Frenchyland oui oui

bon mot

No, the audio quality in the CPO is outstanding. It really is. There’s no ‘aftertaste’ whatsoever. If I was going to pick out a favorite Milhaud symphony, it would probably be his 1st. This one seems to be the only one where I can find some kind of direction and it doesn’t resort to empty note-spinning like the rest of the symphonies. I still stand by my previous opinion that his best works are when he’s not trying to be profound and he let’s the buttons down. He’s not a compelling composer, but he sure can make a joyful raucous, which I find charming it’s own way.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: ritter on August 13, 2018, 11:41:54 PM
A major Milhaud rediscovery, which has recently been released on CD:



La bien-aimée, op. 101 is a 50-minute ballet scored for pianola and large orchestra, dedicated to Ida Rubinstein and premiered in 1928 on the same evening as Ravel’s Boléro. The music is based on Liszt and Schubert. It vanished completely after the first performance and was reconstructed last year for performances in Paris. The CD presents a suite (some 35’ of music), not the whole thing.

Some comments and the full concert in which the piece was unveiled (the program starts with Schubert’s Rosamunde incidental music, and ends with Le Sacre du printemps) can be found here (https://pastdaily.com/2017/03/22/orchestre-national-milhaud-past-daily/).
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on October 17, 2018, 05:54:54 PM
Milhaud has surprised me with La Création du Monde. It's the first time I give it a spin. The first thought that came to my mind was: this is very original! And not less than fun as well, with those witty jazz rhythms and earthly sounds. For things like this one I prefer the non-symphonic Milhaud. His chamber music appears to be more enjoyable too, IMHO of course.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: schnittkease on October 17, 2018, 08:26:32 PM
Just wish he wasn't so #(%$-ing inconsistent!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: lescamil on October 18, 2018, 04:09:27 AM
Just wish he wasn't so #(%$-ing inconsistent!

Part of the fun is making your way through and evaluating it, though!
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: kyjo on October 18, 2018, 09:54:12 AM
I love both Le boeuf sur le toit and La Création du Monde, both superbly entertaining, witty, and jazzy works. I’ve been less impressed by most other Milhaud works I know, but I’ll admit that I haven’t heard too many.
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 18, 2018, 10:57:01 AM
I used to have the vn/cl/pf trio performance set, but never actually played it.  It's pleasant, competently written, but there is nothing in it that makes me want to play it.

The chamber symphonies are, I think, among the best of his work that I have heard:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Sm5rri1zkvU
Title: Re: Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on October 18, 2018, 12:13:11 PM
I used to have the vn/cl/pf trio performance set, but never actually played it.  It's pleasant, competently written, but there is nothing in it that makes me want to play it.

The chamber symphonies are, I think, among the best of his work that I have heard:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Sm5rri1zkvU

I had forgot those little gems. Delightful pieces indeed!