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Home » Library » Milhaud, Poulenc & LE GROUPE DES SIX (Auric, Durey, Honegger, Tailleferre) (dbl CD)

Milhaud, Poulenc & LE GROUPE DES SIX (Auric, Durey, Honegger, Tailleferre) (dbl CD)
Milhaud, Poulenc & LE GROUPE DES SIX (Auric, Durey, Honegger, Tailleferre) (dbl CD)
The name has stuck. Six young French composers who came together under the gentle pressure of Cocteau (and to a degree Satie) and – rather like the New Wave after Punk - broke with past orthodoxies though not in very uniform ways; in fact it was hardly a movement at all, but still, the name stuck - and they certainly represented an identifiably French departure; and they certainly, for a while, did work collaboratively, most famously on their only fully collective production, the Album Des Six – which opens the first CD in this collection. There follow pieces by Poulenc and Honegger; a pair of foxtrots by Milhaud and Auric written for Cocteau’'s Le Piege de Meduse; extracts from Poulenc’s score for Diagalev’s Les Biches, generally known in its light orchestral arrangement, but here played on the piano by Poulenc himself – as are Huit Nocturnes, Quinze Improvisations pour Piano, Caprice and, accompanied by his mezzo-soprano wife Claire Croiza, Le Bestiare; Milhaud then performs his own rip-roaring work Scaramouche and the CD ends with orchestral recordings, made in 1953, of Tailleferre’s very perky Ouverture and Durey’'s very French setting of Cocteau’'s Le Printemps au fond de la mer. CD 2 starts with Milhaud’'s glorious Creation du Monde, written in 1922 for what amounts to a jazz ensemble - using elements of Brasilian music and jazz in a perfect hybrid of musical sensibilities. It’'s a great work and appears here in the punk version recorded by Milhaud himself in 1932 - the best I’'ve heard for spirit and clarity – and for the in-your-faceness of the percussion section which everyone else hides out the back hoping no one will notice. Also here are Honegger’'s fine orchestral Prelude, Fugue et Postlude and Poulenc'’s surrealist opera Les Mamelles de Tiresias for orchestra and chorus, which takes its text from the eponymous play by Guillaume Apollinaire. It’'s an opera bouffe, so you have to have the taste for it. All in all, a well-documented and useful collection, lifted into must-have territory by the three recordings with Milhaud. Accompanied by a well-designed booklet containing documents and informative accompanying notes.  L

Code: LTMCD 2533
Price: £18.00