Darius Milhaud!

Darius Milhaud!

I am the host of a 150 – minute classical music show at an NPR radio station. The content of what I share with listeners is primarily music by 20th century composers. As a consequence, I have become more familiar with the music of Darius Milhaud. Oh, yes: there was an earlier encounter: When I visited the Aspen Music Festival several years ago, I remember hearing a performance of Le Boeuf sur le Toit (Bull on the Roof) by Milhaud, as performed by James Levine, and I was smitten by the charm and humor of this music.

Born into a Jewish family in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence, Darius Milhaud was trained at the Paris Conservatoire, originally as a violinist, before turning to composition. Milhaud was for a while in the circle of Jean Cocteau and a member of the diverse group of French composers known as Les Six. Extremely prolific as a composer in many genres, Milhaud spent the years of the Second World War in the United States, where he taught, combining this position with a similar post at the Paris Conservatoire after 1947.

Altogether, every piece on this CD is really excellent; the individual track titles are:

1. La création du monde, ballet for orchestra, Op. 81
2. Suite, for violin, clarinet & piano, Op. 157b
3. Scaramouche (3), suite for 2 pianos, Op. 165b
4. Rag-caprices (3), for chamber orchestra, Op. 78arr Sec et musclé
5. Rag-caprices (3), for chamber orchestra, Op. 78arr Romance (Tendrement)
6. Rag-caprices (3), for chamber orchestra, Op. 78arr Préces et Nerveux
7. Caramel mou (Shimmy), for piano, Op. 68arr

Here are Julius and jiae Kim, piano duo, in D. Milhaud’s Brazileira from Scaramouche for 2 Pianos:


Tags: Darius Milhaud, Creation du Mond, Scaramouche

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