Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Thu, 08 Jun 2023 01:16:18 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Darius Milhaud - Complete Piano Concertos (2006) Darius Milhaud - Complete Piano Concertos (2006)

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Le Carnaval d'Aix op. 83b
1. Le Corso (Tres decide)
2. Tartaglia. (Tres anime)
3. Isabelle (Modere)
4. Rosetta (Souple at anime)
5. Le Bon et le Mauvais Tuteur (Large - Anime - Large)
6. Coviello (Vif)
7. Le Capitaine Cartuccia (Allegro de Marche)
8. Polichinelle (Vif)
9. Polka (Tres anime)
10. Cinzio (Tres vif)
11. Souvenir de Rio (Tango)
12. Final (Modere - Tres vif)
13. Ballade pour piano et orchestre op. 61

Cinq etudes pour piano et orchestre op. 63
14. Vif
15. Doucement
16. Fugues (Assez vif et rythme)
17. Sombre
18. Romantique (Tres anime)

Concerto pour piano et orchestre op. 127 (Concerto No.1)
19. Tres vif
20. Mouvement de Barc...
21. Final (Anime)
22. Fantaisie Pastorale pour piano et orchestre op. 188

Deuxieme Concerto pour piano et orchestre op. 228
1. Anime
2. Romance
3. Bien moderement anime
Troisieme Concerto pour piano et orchestre op. 270
4. Alerte et avec elegance
5. Lent
6. Avec esprit et eleg...
Quatrieme Concerto pour piano et orchestre op. 295
7. Anime
8. Tres lent
9. Joyeux
Cinqieme Concerto pour piano et orchestre op. 346
10. Alerte
11. Nonchalant
12. Joyeux

Michael Korstick, piano
SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslautern
Alun Francis – conductor


The cpo label deserves real credit for bringing us not only this 2CD set with all of Milhaud's works for piano and orchestra but an earlier issue with all his symphonies. And on an earlier CD with 'French Concertos for Two Pianos' we get his work in that form. Can his complete quartets be far behind? I've been familiar with various of Milhaud's works for fifty years and will affirm that his sassy style has never palled for me. I particularly respond to his tangy version of polytonality.

This issue has the virtue of presenting the works in near-chronological order of their composition. One can see how his style evolved over time. Milhaud was not a particularly talented pianist himself and one notices that the works he wrote for his own use when appearing as piano soloist are less virtuosic than those he wrote for others. Nonetheless, his most popular work in the form, from 1926, is one of these, the 'Carnival d'Aix', a suite with twelve short individual pieces. I'm particularly fond of the eleventh of these, the tango 'Souvenir de Rio', which reminds us that Milhaud made wonderful use of Latin rhythms in much of his music, largely as a result of his exposure to South American music when he served as his friend Paul Claudel's attaché when the poet was the French ambassador to Brazil. (Sidenote: Has the US ever appointed one of its major literary figures as ambassador?) The earliest work here is the brief 'Ballade' from 1920 which also has South American overtones. Also from 1920 are the 'Cinq Études' for piano and orchestra, experimental in form and more abstract than some of his other early works. And, ah!, those Parisians who took their music seriously: the work caused a near-riot at its premiere.

The First Piano Concerto, from 1933, was premiered by Marquerite Long and is quite virtuosic. In the excellent booklet notes by Charles K. Tomicik the comment is made that there are virtually no French piano concertos in the mainstream repertoire except those of Ravel -- one might suggest that at least one of the Saint-Saëns concerti retains a toehold there as well -- and that the Milhaud, premiered shortly after Ravel's G Major concerto, is not nearly as effective as the Ravel and is much the more difficult for the pianist. Bitonality is much in evidence throughout and only minimal effort is made by Milhaud to develop materials; rather, there is a profusion of interesting ideas that follow each other in rapid succession. The piano part is brilliantly showy and Michael Korstick, a fine pianist I first heard as a student in Aspen almost thirty years ago, handles the ungrateful piano part beautifully here. The first CD concludes with the 'Fantaisie pastorale' from 1939 which sounds more like Poulenc than anything else here, largely because bitonality is used only minimally and there is a pristine Gallic transparency and ease that contribute to this work's great beauty.

CD2 contains Piano Concertos 2-5. No. 2, premiered by the composer with Frederick Stock and the Chicago Symphony in 1941, is extrovert, sassy and imaginatively orchestrated, the latter an increasingly notable aspect of Milhaud's style. It is basically neobaroque throughout. It has a middle movement that could be said to be similar to that of Ravel's G Major concerto in its quiet serenity, but there is still the sauciness of Les Six. One hardly notices at first that canonic writing features prominently in this movement. The finale is as polytonal as anything I've ever heard by Milhaud and the orchestral texture becomes extremely dense; however, one of the advantages of polytonality is that it is relatively easy to follow the various planes of orchestral sound. The first movement of the Concerto No. 3 is a bitonal Sicilienne, optimistic in tone. The second movement is stark by contrast, a chorale with brief aphoristic piano interjections. One senses a caution, a developing pessimism in this movement. I find it unsettling but moving. The finale sweeps all this aside in an almost jokey manner that reminds one somewhat of Shostakovich in a similar mood. There is a very effective contrapuntal middle section and then a return to a conclusion that elaborates the opening materials. I love this concerto best of all, I think.

Concerto No. 4 is by far the most demanding for the soloist. There are hair-raising double runs of thirds, sixths and sevenths (!) as well as fast octave passages for the hands in contrary motion. An unusual (weird?) aspect of the first movement is that in the recapitulation piano and orchestra trade the parts they had in the opening of the movement. The slow movement is extremely dissonant. I have trouble responding to it with other than mild irritation. But the finale, almost diatonic or at least with simple bitonality, and with a clever four-part canon as one of its features, relieves the previous tension and the concerto ends with 'esprit et élégance.' Concerto No. 5 (1955) was introduced at one of the Lewisohn Stadium Concerts with Stell Andersen as soloist (he had also premiered the 'Fantaisie pastorale'); Pierre Monteux conducted the New York Philharmonic. Once again, in the first movement, Milhaud reverse the roles of pianist and orchestra at one point. It seems more effective (and less noticeable, frankly) than in the 4th Concerto. The middle movement is dreamy, serene and lovely. There are some moments of creative and effective orchestration here, especially the section where piano, glockenspiel, celesta and harp have a colloquy. Interestingly, Milhaud's direction for this movement is 'Nonchalant' and yet the movement sounds, as played here, tender and wistful. The finale is a cheeky ending to this extraordinary run of nine piece for piano and orchestra; its style harkens back, to some extent, to that of the opening movement of 'Carnival d'Aix', a fitting symmetry.

Korstick's pianism cannot be praised too highly. He has both the technical ability and the musical acuity to give these not always grateful but always interesting solo parts their due. Alun Francis who has given us such wonderful recordings on cpo -- Toch's, Pettersson's and Milhaud's symphonies, for instance -- leads expert and musical performances by the SWR Radio Orchestra Kaiserslautern. This is a most satisfying set. ---Scott Morrison

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]]> (bluesever) Milhaud Darius Thu, 22 Dec 2011 09:40:24 +0000
Darius Milhaud - La création du monde - Le boeuf sur le toit (2005) Darius Milhaud - La création du monde - Le boeuf sur le toit (2005)

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1. La creation du monde, Op. 81 : La Creation du monde, Op. 81	Jean-Claude Casadesus	16:54
2. Le boeuf sur le toit, Op. 58: Le Boeuf sur le toit, Op. 58	Jean-Claude Casadesus	16:32
3. Suite provencale, Op. 152c: I. Anime	Jean-Claude Casadesus	1:43		play
4. Suite provencale, Op. 152c: II. Tres modere	Jean-Claude Casadesus	1:32	
5. Suite provencale, Op. 152c: III. Modere	Jean-Claude Casadesus	1:50	
6. Suite provencale, Op. 152c: IV. Vif	Jean-Claude Casadesus	1:08
7. Suite provencale, Op. 152c: V. Modere	Jean-Claude Casadesus	1:56
8. Suite provencale, Op. 152c: VI. Vif	Jean-Claude Casadesus	0:59
9. Suite provencale, Op. 152c: VII. Lent	Jean-Claude Casadesus	2:06	
10. Suite Provencale, Op. 152c: VIII. Vif	Jean-Claude Casadesus	3:55
11. L'Homme et son desir, Op. 48: I. Scene I	Tomoko Makuuchi	1:17
12. L'Homme et son desir, Op. 48: II. Apparition de la Lune	Tomoko Makuuchi	1:00
13. L'Homme et son desir, Op. 48: III. L'Homme endormi et le fantome de la Femme morte	Tomoko Makuuchi	3:19			play
14. L'Homme et son desir, Op. 48: IV. L'Homme qui dort debout, oscillant comme dans un courant d'eau et comme sans aucun poids
Tomoko Makuuchi 0:43 15. L'Homme et son desir, Op. 48: V. Toutes les choses de la foret qui viennent voir l'Homme endormi Tomoko Makuuchi 5:20 16. L'Homme et son desir, Op. 48: VI. Danse de la passion Tomoko Makuuchi 3:15 17. L'Homme et son desir, Op. 48: VII. Reapparition del la Femme qui entraine l'Homme peu a peu en tournant lentement devant lui sur elle-meme
Tomoko Makuuchi 3:50 18. L'Homme Et Son Desir, Op. 48: VIII. La Lune I A Disparu La Premiere, La Lune II Disparait A Son Tour... Tomoko Makuuchi 1:09
Tomoko Makuuchi – soprano Jian Zhao – mezzo-soprano Mathias Vidal - tenor Bernard Deletré - bass Orchestre National de Lille-Region Nord - Pas-de Calais Jean-Claude Casadesus – conductor


Here we have three of Milhaud's greatest hits and one that should be, all in performances that are as fine as any I've heard. "La Creation" gets a really all-stops-pulled-out reading, with the Lille musicians tossing around more hot licks than I've heard except perhaps on Bernstein's old EMI recording. Just about any French conductor should be able to turn in a lively rendition of "Le Boeuf," yet this one sparkles in a very special way. And I like Casadesus' "Suite provencale" even more than Charles Munch's (on RCA), which I thought was just about perfect.

One thing that the current recording has going for it is just about the best sound that's ever been accorded these popular works. Maybe it's the venue, the Auditorium du Noveau Siecle in Lille, or maybe it's Mike Clements, one of today's finest sound engineers. Maybe it's a special kind of synergy. Anyhow, this is a fabulous-sounding disc.

Finally, there is "L'homme et son desir." I don't know whether to call this a poor-man's "Les Noces" (Stravinsky) or a rich-man's "Ballet Mechanique" (Antheil), but whatever, it is one of Milhaud's most unusual and beguiling creations, replete with a weird vocalise for four soloists and huge percussion section featuring a whip and a police whistle! The piece is available in what might be a considered a definitive performance by the composer himself, except this one from Casadesus is every bit as good, if not a little livelier, and of course it is in up-to-the-minute sound. So as I say, even if you'll be getting your third (or fourth) version of "La Creation du monde," don't miss this very special CD. --- M. C. Passarella,


Composer Darius Milhaud's music is not always easy to describe. He is influenced by the legacy of classical composers from his native France which forms the basic framework of his music. He was also influenced by trends in classical music by other composers who were his contemporaries as well as by the jazz movement. Some of his music also has a Latin/Brazilian feel to it which means that you're never quite sure oaf what you'll hear when it comes to Milhaud's music but one thing is certain, it may be a bit challenging but it will be enjoyable.

This disc from Naxos contains four pieces from the Milhaud catalogue. The first piece is "La Creation du Monde" which the liner notes states is Milhaud's best known work though I would believe that at least to American audiences, the familiar Brazilian strains of "Le Boeuf sur le Toit" would have that distinction. "La Creation" is a combination of French classical and jazz and was originally a ballet. "Le Boeuf" has a Brazilian and jazz feel to it and was originally written as a background piece for a silent film. "Suite Provencale" would be the most traditional work of the set and his "L'Homme et son Desir" would for orchestra and wordless voices would be his most experimental.

The Orchestre National de Lille seems at home with Milhaud's music. They accept the challenges posed by pieces such as "La Creation" and "L'Homme,' play "Suite Provencale" in a robust manner and have fun with "La Boeuf." Conductor Jean-Claude Casadesus seems to not gusty be familiar with the scores but as respect for the composer as well as his interpretations show. Naxos also has to be credited for providing a disc of not so familiar music so that listeners can get to know the music of an important 20th century composer. ---Timothy Kearney

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]]> (bluesever) Milhaud Darius Mon, 25 Jul 2011 18:58:56 +0000
Darius Milhaud – Chamber Music for Piano and Winds (1989) Darius Milhaud – Chamber Music for Piano and Winds (1989)

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Sonata for flute. oboe, clarinet and piano
1. Tranquille 	07:18 		
2. Joyeux 	03:08 		
3. Emporte 	01:56 		
4. Douloureux 	05:43 
Sonatina for flute and piano
5. Tendre 	03:34 		
6. Souple 	02:05 			play	
7. Clair 	02:28 		
Sonatina for clarinet and piano
8. Tres rude 	03:22 		
9. Lent 	03:22 		
10. Tres rude 	02:13 		
Sonatina for oboe and piano
11. Charme et vivacite 	02:56 	play	
12. Souple et clair 	02:12 		
13. Entrain et gaite 	03:02 		

Aurèle Nicolet, flute
Heinz Holliger, oboe
Eduard Brunner, clarinet
Oleg Maisenberg, piano


Darius Milhaud (4 September 1892 – 22 June 1974) was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as The Group of Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and make use of polytonality (music in more than one key at once). Born in Marseilles to a Jewish family from Aix-en-Provence, Milhaud studied in Paris at the Paris Conservatory where he met his fellow group members Arthur Honegger and Germaine Tailleferre.

On a trip to the United States in 1922, Darius Milhaud heard "authentic" jazz for the first time, on the streets of Harlem, which left a great impact on his musical outlook. The following year, he completed his composition "La création du monde" ("The Creation of the World"), using ideas and idioms from jazz, cast as a ballet in six continuous dance scenes. The Milhauds left France in 1939 and emigrated to America in 1940. He secured a teaching post at Mills College in Oakland, California, where he collaborated with Henri Temianka and the Paganini Quartet.

Milhaud (like his contemporaries Paul Hindemith, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Bohuslav Martinu and Heitor Villa-Lobos) was an extremely rapid creator, for whom the art of writing music seemed almost as natural as breathing. His most popular works include Le bœuf sur le toit (ballet), La création du monde (a ballet for small orchestra with solo saxophone, influenced by jazz), Scaramouche (for Saxophone and Piano, also for two pianos), and Saudades do Brasil (dance suite). His autobiography is titled Notes sans musique (Notes Without Music), later revised as Ma vie heureuse (My Happy Life). From 1947 to 1971 he taught alternate years at Mills and the Paris Conservatoire, until poor health, which caused him to use a wheelchair during his later years (beginning sometime before 1947), compelled him to retire. He died in Geneva, aged 81.


Darius Milhaud (ur. 4 września 1892 w Marsylii, zm. 22 czerwca 1974 w Genewie) – kompozytor francuski.

Był potomkiem rodziny żydowskiej, zamieszkałej od pokoleń w Prowansji. W wieku 7 lat rozpoczął naukę gry na skrzypcach. Jego pierwsze kompozycje powstały w roku 1905. W roku 1909 rozpoczął naukę w Konserwatorium Paryskim, najpierw wiolinistyki, od roku 1912 kompozycji. Jego profesorami byli Charles-Marie Widor (kompozycja) i Vincent d'Indy (dyrygentura). W roku 1912 poznał poetę Paula Claudela; przyjaźń z nim przetrwała przez całe życie. Gdy Claudel 1916 został ambasadorem Francji w Rio de Janeiro, Milhaud objął posadę attaché ambasady. Tam zapoznał się z brazylijską muzyką ludową i popularną. Po powrocie do Francji 1918 spotkał poetę Jeana Cocteau i kompozytora Erika Satiego. Został członkiem grupy kompozytorów Les Six.

W 1922 w czasie podróży po USA miał okazję zapoznać się z jazzem. 1925 ożenił się z kuzynką Madeleine Milhaud, autorką librett do jego utworów scenicznych. Po wybuchu II wojny światowej wyjechał Milhaud do USA. Wykładał do roku 1971 kompozycję na Mills College w Oakland w Kalifornii. Od zakończenia wojny wykładał kompozycje również w Konserwatorium Paryskim do roku 1972. Wśród jego uczniów byli muzycy różnych kierunków, jak muzyk jazzowy Dave Brubeck, minimalista Steve Reich, twórca symfonii Allan Pettersson i kompozytorzy awangardy Karlheinz Stockhausen, Larry Austin i Iannis Xenakis. Komponował opery, symfonie, balety, pieśni i utwory instrumentalne. Skomponował ponad 400 utworów.

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]]> (bluesever) Milhaud Darius Tue, 31 May 2011 18:48:08 +0000
Milhaud - Violin Concerto No 2 ∙ Concertino de Printemps ∙ Danses (1949) Milhaud - Violin Concerto No 2 ∙ Concertino de Printemps ∙ Danses (1949)

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2nd Concerto For Violin And Orchestra
1 	Dramatique 	7:09
2 	Lent Et Sombre 	8:46
3 	Emporte 	6:39

4 	Concertino De Printemps 	8:17

Danses De Jacaremirim 
5 	Sambinha 	1:12
6 	Tanguinho 	2:15
7 	Chorinho 	1:06

Louis Kaufman - violin
Artur Balsam - piano (5-7)
French National Radio Diffusion Orchestra (1-4)
Darius Milhaud - conductor


The Second Violin Concerto is a very major work, one of the great unknown violin concertos of the last century. It’s a big piece, about 25 minutes long in three movements, and fully symphonic in scope. Its emotional depth, supposedly inspired by reflection on the just-ended Second World War, belies the composer’s reputation for polished superficiality. The opening movement is a stern march with lyrical interludes that ends threateningly; the slow movement, marked “slow and somber”, is an absolutely gorgeous elegy that really lets Steinbacher display her warm tone to excellent effect. The finale begins in an optimistic mood, but the ending is agitated and quite exciting. ---David Hurwitz,


This is Milhaud’s Concertino de printemps for violin and chamber orchestra, opus 135, 1934. A year of poor health. It isn’t Groupe des Six superficiality, but a little masterpiece of French pastoralism. The violin “is […] like a butterfly among flowers that finally disappears in a ray of sunlight” (Paul Collaer).

Milhaud recorded it three times as conductor. The first time with Yvonne Astruc, the dedicatee, and an unnamed orchestra in 1935, the second time with Louis Kaufman and the Orchestre national de la Radiodiffusion française in 1949, the third time with Szymon Goldberg and the Ensemble des Solistes des Concerts Lamoureux in 1958. This is the Kaufman.

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]]> (bluesever) Milhaud Darius Thu, 16 Aug 2018 13:07:48 +0000