Darius Milhaud

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.

by Ronald Crichton

Musical Times, August 1974

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1912 String Quartet No 1 Opus 5 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Fanny Mendelssohn Quartet
1912 String Quartet No 1 Opus 5 4.00 stars 3 CD
Comments:
Petersen Quartet
1913 (-1933) Alissa, song cycle for voice & piano, Opus 9 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Carole Farley - Soprano
John Constable - Piano
1913-1914 L'Orestie D'Eschyle Part 1: Agamemnon Opus 14 4.00 stars 3 CD
Comments:

For those who mainly know Milhaud for his exotic, jazzy, congenial orchestral suites, his terse string quartets and eye-crossing productivity (400-plus opus numbers), this three-part epic spread over three discs comes as a shock with its successfully sustained length, seething dramatic intensity and musical language that anticipates better-known (but not necessarily better) works, such as the harmonic starkness of Stravinsky (Oedipus Rex), the dramaturgical spareness of Orff (Antigonae) and the heroism of Rózsa (Ben-Hur). Written with the audacity of a composer too young to fear the enormousness of the endeavour, L’Orestie d’Eschyle (‘The Oresteia of Aeschylus’) covers the narrative territory of Strauss’s Elektra but keeps going on to the more philosophical terrains after Orestes murders his adulterous mother, is pursued by the loyalist Eumenides and then put to trial by a jury of Athenians. Strauss gives these mythological figures a modern humanity; the Milhaud incarnations wrestle with universal laws of existence, the violation of which shred the overall social fabric.

The saga unfolds in tandem with Milhaud’s creative development throughout his twenties between 1913 and 1923, and becomes part of the larger narrative. Earliest parts – ‘L’Agamemnon’ and second instalment ‘Les Choéphores’ (‘The Libation Bearers’) – tend towards ostinato-driven modules, giving way to more sweeping through-composed music and considerable rhythmic savagery.

Though endlessly inventive, solo vocal writing is confined to a narrow chant-like range. The most distinctive passages of ‘Les Choéphores’ dispense with singing completely, with aggressive chant accompanied only by percussion. Though the rest of the saga is indeed sung, such chanting seems to be the composer’s inner point of reference. It’s a monster of a piece, this first recording of the whole thing owing its existence to William Bolcom, a Milhaud student in the 1950s who no doubt realised that the only hope for a modern revival was the kind of combined forces offered by the University of Michigan (where he’s faculty composer).

The steep vocal and dramatic challenges of L’Orestie are indeed met, not always spectacularly, but with more authority than the 1960 ‘Les Euménides’ archival recording from the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel conducted by Charles Bruck (INA Archives, available on qobuz.com), or Leonard Bernstein’s choral forces in his 1961 ‘Les Choéphores’ (Sony, 10/97). The Michigan soloists are good to excellent, especially Kristin Eder as Electra (a more lyrical incarnation than Strauss’s). Choruses do well with the French language and the orchestra shows occasional signs of labour (to be expected), though everyone sounds mightiest amid the most challenging polytonal sections of ‘Les Euménides’.

Solists
University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra
Percussion Ensemble
University Choir
UMS Choral Union
cond. Kenneth Kiesler

1914-1915 String Quartet No 2 Opus 16 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Fanny Mendelssohn Quartet
1914 Four Songs (Poems by Léo Latil) Opus 20 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Ulrike Sonntag - Soprano
Rudolf Jansen - Piano
1915 Les Choéphores, Op. 24 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Part 1 of L’Orestie d’Eschyle

New York Philharmonic cond. Leonard Bernstein

1915 Les Choéphores, Op. 24 4.00 stars CD

Comments:
Part 1 of L’Orestie d’Eschyle

Lamoureux Orchestra cond. Igor Markevitch

Recorded in 1957

1915 L'Orestie D'Eschyle Part 2: Les Choéphores, Op. 24 4.00 stars 3 CD
Comments:

For those who mainly know Milhaud for his exotic, jazzy, congenial orchestral suites, his terse string quartets and eye-crossing productivity (400-plus opus numbers), this three-part epic spread over three discs comes as a shock with its successfully sustained length, seething dramatic intensity and musical language that anticipates better-known (but not necessarily better) works, such as the harmonic starkness of Stravinsky (Oedipus Rex), the dramaturgical spareness of Orff (Antigonae) and the heroism of Rózsa (Ben-Hur). Written with the audacity of a composer too young to fear the enormousness of the endeavour, L’Orestie d’Eschyle (‘The Oresteia of Aeschylus’) covers the narrative territory of Strauss’s Elektra but keeps going on to the more philosophical terrains after Orestes murders his adulterous mother, is pursued by the loyalist Eumenides and then put to trial by a jury of Athenians. Strauss gives these mythological figures a modern humanity; the Milhaud incarnations wrestle with universal laws of existence, the violation of which shred the overall social fabric.

The saga unfolds in tandem with Milhaud’s creative development throughout his twenties between 1913 and 1923, and becomes part of the larger narrative. Earliest parts – ‘L’Agamemnon’ and second instalment ‘Les Choéphores’ (‘The Libation Bearers’) – tend towards ostinato-driven modules, giving way to more sweeping through-composed music and considerable rhythmic savagery.

Though endlessly inventive, solo vocal writing is confined to a narrow chant-like range. The most distinctive passages of ‘Les Choéphores’ dispense with singing completely, with aggressive chant accompanied only by percussion. Though the rest of the saga is indeed sung, such chanting seems to be the composer’s inner point of reference. It’s a monster of a piece, this first recording of the whole thing owing its existence to William Bolcom, a Milhaud student in the 1950s who no doubt realised that the only hope for a modern revival was the kind of combined forces offered by the University of Michigan (where he’s faculty composer).

The steep vocal and dramatic challenges of L’Orestie are indeed met, not always spectacularly, but with more authority than the 1960 ‘Les Euménides’ archival recording from the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel conducted by Charles Bruck (INA Archives, available on qobuz.com), or Leonard Bernstein’s choral forces in his 1961 ‘Les Choéphores’ (Sony, 10/97). The Michigan soloists are good to excellent, especially Kristin Eder as Electra (a more lyrical incarnation than Strauss’s). Choruses do well with the French language and the orchestra shows occasional signs of labour (to be expected), though everyone sounds mightiest amid the most challenging polytonal sections of ‘Les Euménides’.

Solists
University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra
Percussion Ensemble
University Choir
UMS Choral Union
cond. Kenneth Kiesler

Solists
University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra
Percussion Ensemble
University Choir
UMS Choral Union
cond. Kenneth Kiesler

1916 String Quartet No 3 with Soprano Opus 32 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Ulrike Sonntag - Soprano
Fanny Mendelssohn Quartet
1916 Poèmes juifs, Opus 34 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Carole Farley - Soprano
John Constable - Piano
1915-1917 Quatre Poèmes de Paul Claudel pour Baryton Opus 26 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Maarten Koningsberger - Baryton
Rudolf Jansen - Piano
1917 Second Sonata for Violin and Piano Opus 40 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Ensemble Polytonaal
1917 Le Retour de l'enfant prodigue pour quintette vocal et orchestre op.42 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:
Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris cond. Darius Milhaud

Recorded in 1960

1917 Petites Symphonie No 1 "Printemps" Opus 43 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Capella Cracoviensis cond. Karl Anton Rickenbacher
1917 Petites Symphonie No 1 "Printemps" Opus 43 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg cond. Darius Milhaud
1918 Sonata for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Piano Opus 47 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Ensemble Polytonaal
1918 L'Homme et son désir Opus 48 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Solists,
BBC Symphony Orchestra cond. Darius Milhaud
1918 L'Homme et son désir Opus 48 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
For vocal quartet and Symphony Orchestra
Utah Symphony Orchestra cond. Maurice Abravanel

(Same recording as below)
1918 L'Homme et son désir Opus 48 4.00 stars LP
Varese Milhaud Honegger Comments:
Based on his travels to Brazil
For vocal quartet and Symphony Orchestra

Utah Symphony Orchestra cond. Maurice Abravanel

1918 L'Homme et son désir Opus 48 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Josette Doemer (soprano)
Marie-Jeanne Klein (alto)
Venant Arend (tenor)
Raymond Koster (bass)
Orchestre de Chambre de Radio-Luxembourg cond. Darius Milhaud
1918 Petites Symphonie No 2 "Pastorale" Opus 49 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Capella Cracoviensis cond. Karl Anton Rickenbacher
1918 Petites Symphonie No 2 "Pastorale" Opus 49 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg cond. Darius Milhaud
1919 Les Soirées de Pétrograd Opus 55 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Text René Chalupt

1. Le Ancien Régieme
2. La Révalution

Maarten Koningsberger - Baryton
Rudolf Jansen - Piano

1919 Machines Agricoles Opus 56 4.50 stars CD
Comments:
Six Pastorales pour une voix et sept instruments

Ulrike Sonntag - Soprano
Solists cond. Linda Horowith

1919   Le Boeuf sur le Toit Opus 58 4.50 stars LP
Darius Milhaud - Le Boeuf sur le Toit Comments:
London Symphony Orchestra cond. Antal Dorati
1919 Le Boeuf sur le Toit Opus 58 (Les Six) 4.50 stars CD
Comments:
Prague Radio Symphonieorchester cond. Jiri Horvat
1919 Le Boeuf sur le Toit Opus 58 4.50 stars CD
Darius Milhaud - Le Boeuf sur le Toit Comments:
Re-release of the recording above

London Symphony Orchestra cond. Antal Dorati

1919 Le Boeuf sur le Toit Opus 58 4.50 stars 2CD
Darius Milhaud Comments:
Orchestra National de France cond. Leonard Bernstein
1919 Le Boeuf sur le Toit Opus 58 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud Comments:
Cinéma-fantaisie sur des aires sud-américains

The New London Orchestra cond. Ronald Corp

1919 Le Boeuf sur le Toit Opus 58 4.00 stars 2 CD

Comments:
Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg cond. Louis de Fromont
1919 Le Boeuf sur le Toit Opus 58 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Version for Violin - Piano (1944)

Maya Koch - Violin
Julian Milford - Piano

1919 Le Bouef sur le Toit, for 2 pianos, Opus 58 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:

Version for piano-duo (1944)

Stephan Coombs - Piano
Artur Pizarro - Piano

1919 Le Bouef sur le Toit, for 2 pianos, Opus 58 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:

Version for piano-duo (1944)

Leo van Doeselaar - Piano
Wyneke Jordans - Piano

1919-1920 Three Songs (Poems by Jean Cocteau) Opus 59 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Ulrike Sonntag - Soprano
Rudolf Jansen - Piano
1920 Trois poémes de Jean Cocteau Opus 59 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

Céline Ricci - Soprano
Daniel Lockert - Piano

1920 Catalogue de Fleurs Opus 60 4.50 stars CD
Comments:
Six Pastorales pour une voix et sept instruments

Ulrike Sonntag - Soprano
Solists cond. Linda Horowith

1920 Ballade for Piano and Orchestra Opus 61 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Claude Heffter - Piano

Orchestre National de France cond. David Robertson

1920 Ballade for piano and orchestra, Opus 61 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Claude Helffer - Piano
Orchestre national de France cond. David Robertson
1920 5 Études for piano and orchestra, Opus 63 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Claude Helffer - Piano
Orchestre national de France cond. David Robertson
1920 String Quartet No 5 Opus 64 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Fanny Mendelssohn Quartet
1914 - 1920 Mazurka (L'Album de Six) 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Andrew West - Piano (Hyperion recording)
1920 Tango des Fratellini Opus 58c 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

Transcription from Le boeuf sur le toit.

Daniel Lockert - Piano

1920 Caramel Mou Opus 68 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

Céline Ricci - Soprano
Daniel Lockert - Piano

Originally for Jazz Band and Soprano

1917-1923 (1924) Les Eumenides Opus 41 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:

Part 3 of L’Orestie d’Eschyle
Solists
Orchestra cond. Pierre-Michel Leconte

Recorded in 1951

1917-1923 L'Orestie d'Eschyle Part 3: Les euménides Opus 41 4.00 stars 3 CD
Comments:

For those who mainly know Milhaud for his exotic, jazzy, congenial orchestral suites, his terse string quartets and eye-crossing productivity (400-plus opus numbers), this three-part epic spread over three discs comes as a shock with its successfully sustained length, seething dramatic intensity and musical language that anticipates better-known (but not necessarily better) works, such as the harmonic starkness of Stravinsky (Oedipus Rex), the dramaturgical spareness of Orff (Antigonae) and the heroism of Rózsa (Ben-Hur). Written with the audacity of a composer too young to fear the enormousness of the endeavour, L’Orestie d’Eschyle (‘The Oresteia of Aeschylus’) covers the narrative territory of Strauss’s Elektra but keeps going on to the more philosophical terrains after Orestes murders his adulterous mother, is pursued by the loyalist Eumenides and then put to trial by a jury of Athenians. Strauss gives these mythological figures a modern humanity; the Milhaud incarnations wrestle with universal laws of existence, the violation of which shred the overall social fabric.

The saga unfolds in tandem with Milhaud’s creative development throughout his twenties between 1913 and 1923, and becomes part of the larger narrative. Earliest parts – ‘L’Agamemnon’ and second instalment ‘Les Choéphores’ (‘The Libation Bearers’) – tend towards ostinato-driven modules, giving way to more sweeping through-composed music and considerable rhythmic savagery.

Though endlessly inventive, solo vocal writing is confined to a narrow chant-like range. The most distinctive passages of ‘Les Choéphores’ dispense with singing completely, with aggressive chant accompanied only by percussion. Though the rest of the saga is indeed sung, such chanting seems to be the composer’s inner point of reference. It’s a monster of a piece, this first recording of the whole thing owing its existence to William Bolcom, a Milhaud student in the 1950s who no doubt realised that the only hope for a modern revival was the kind of combined forces offered by the University of Michigan (where he’s faculty composer).

The steep vocal and dramatic challenges of L’Orestie are indeed met, not always spectacularly, but with more authority than the 1960 ‘Les Euménides’ archival recording from the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel conducted by Charles Bruck (INA Archives, available on qobuz.com), or Leonard Bernstein’s choral forces in his 1961 ‘Les Choéphores’ (Sony, 10/97). The Michigan soloists are good to excellent, especially Kristin Eder as Electra (a more lyrical incarnation than Strauss’s). Choruses do well with the French language and the orchestra shows occasional signs of labour (to be expected), though everyone sounds mightiest amid the most challenging polytonal sections of ‘Les Euménides’.

Solists
University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra
Percussion Ensemble
University Choir
UMS Choral Union
cond. Kenneth Kiesler

1923 L’Orestie d’Eschyle Opus 41 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:

Short extrait of the complete work.

Claire Croiza
Chorale Cæcilia d'Anvers
Orchestre des Nouveaux Concerts d’Anvers cond. M. Louis de Vocht

Recorded in 1928

1921  Saudades do Brazil (Suite of Dances) Opus 67 4.00 stars LP
Darius Milhaud - Sausades do Brazil [Suite of Dances] Comments:
During WW1 Milhaud visited Brazil. This suite has been influenced by those famous samba rhythms.
Copacabana, Ipanima, sounds familiar.

London Festival Players cond. Bernard Herrmann
1921 Saudades do Brazil Opus 67 4.00 stars 2CD
Darius Milhaud Comments:
Parts 7, 8, 9 and 11 from the complete work

Orchestra National de France cond. Leonard Bernstein

1921 Saudades do Brazil (Piano Version) Opus 67b 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Alexandre Tharaud - Piano
1921-1922 Petites Symphonie No 3 "Serénade" Opus 71 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Capella Cracoviensis cond. Karl Anton Rickenbacher
1921/1922 Petites Symphonie No 3 "Serénade" Opus 71 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg cond. Darius Milhaud
1921 Poème du Journal Intime de Léo Latil Opus 73 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Maarten Koningsberger - Baryton
Rudolf Jansen - Piano
1921-1922 Petites Symphonie No 4 "Dixtuour" Opus 74 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Capella Cracoviensis cond. Karl Anton Rickenbacher
1921/1922 Petites Symphonie No 4 "Dixtuour" Opus 74 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg cond. Darius Milhaud
1921-1922 Petites Symphonie No 5 "Dixtuour d'Instruments a Vent" Opus 75 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Capella Cracoviensis cond. Karl Anton Rickenbacher
1921/1922 Petites Symphonie No 5 "Dixtuour d'Instruments a Vent" Opus 75 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg cond. Darius Milhaud
1923 Petites Symphonie No 6 opus 79 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
For Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Bass, Oboe and Cello.
Capella Cracoviensis cond. Karl Anton Rickenbacher
1923 Petites Symphonie No 6 opus 79 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg cond. Darius Milhaud
1917-1922 Five symphonies for small orchestra 4.00 stars LP
Comments:

Frühling Opus 43
Pastorale Opus 49
Serenade Opus 71
Streicher-Dezimett Opus 74
Bläser-Dezimett Opus 75

Chamber Orchestra of the Leningrad Philharmonic cond. Gennadi Roshdestwensky

1922 String Quartet No 6 Opus 77 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Fanny Mendelssohn String Quartet
1922 Rag Caprices Opus 78 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Michael Rische - Piano
1923 La Création du Monde Opus 81A 4.50 stars LP
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde Comments:
The Contemporary Chamber Ensemble cond. Arthur Weisberg
1923 La Création du Monde Opus 81A 4.50 stars LP
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde Comments:
Written for Ballets Suédois.

Paris Conservatoire Orchestra cond. George Prêtre
1923 La Création du Monde Opus 81A 4.00 stars 2CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Written for Ballets Suédois.

Orchestra National de France cond. Leonard Bernstein
1923  La Création du Monde Opus 81A 4.00 stars LP
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Supraphon quality!

Prague Symphony Orchestra cond. Vaclav Neumann

1923  La Création du Monde Opus 81A 4.00 stars LP
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
London Sinfonietta cond. Simon rattle
1924 Le Train Bleu Opus 84 4.00 stars DVD
Comments:
Libretto by Cocteau
Stage curtain by Picasso
Choreography by Nijinsky
Costumes by Coco Chanel

Performed by Paris Opera Ballet.

1924 Le Train Bleu Opus 84 (Excerps) 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Orchestre de l'Opéra de Monte-Carlo cond. Igor Markevitch
1925 Les Malheurs d'Orphèe Opus 85 4.00 stars CD

Comments:
Solists
Paris Opera Orchestra cond. Darius Milhaud

Recorded in 1956

1925 Les Malheurs d'Orphèe Opus 85 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Solists
Matrix Ensemble cond, Robert Ziegler
1925 Chants populaires hébraïques Opus 86 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:
Hélène Bouvier - mezzo-soprano
Jacqueline Brisson - piano

Recorded in 1957

1925 String Quartet No 7 Opus 87 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Fanny Mendelssohn String Quartet
1926 Le carnaval d'Aix Opus 83b 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Carl Seemann - Piano
Orchestra from Radio Luxenburg cond. Darius Milhaud
1926 Le carnaval d'Aix Opus 83b 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Carl Seemann - Piano
Orchestra from Radio Luxenburg cond. Darius Milhaud
1926 Le carnaval d'Aix Opus 83b 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud Comments:
Jack Gibbons - Piano
The New London Orchestra cond. Ronald Corp
1926 Le carnaval d'Aix Opus 83b 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Claude Helffer - Piano
Orchestre national de France cond. David Robertson
1926 Le carnaval d'Aix Opus 83b 4.00 stars 2CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Michel Béroff - Piano
Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo cond. George Pretre
1926 Le Pauvre Matelot Opus 92 4.00 stars CD

Comments:
Paris Opera Orchestra cond. Darius Milhaud

Recorded in 1956

1927 L'enlèvement d'Europe op. 94 (Opera-minutes No. 1) 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Capella Cracoviensis cond. Karl Anton Rickenbacher
Comments:
Orchestre ORFT cond. Gustave Cloez

Recorded in 1960

1927 Polka Opus 95 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud Comments:
Part of L'Eventail de Jeanne (Ballet)

Philharmonia Orchestra cond. Geoffrey Simon.

1927 L'abandon d'Ariane op. 98 (Opera-Minutes No. 2) 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Capella Cracoviensis cond. Karl Anton Rickenbacher
Comments:
Orchestre ORFT cond. Gustave Cloez

Recorded in 1960

1927 Le Délivrance de Thésée op. 99 (Opera-Minutes No. 3) 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Capella Cracoviensis cond. Karl Anton Rickenbacher
Comments:
Orchestre ORFT cond. Gustave Cloez

Recorded in 1960

1928 Christophe Colomb Opus 102 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:
Orchestre Radio Lirique cond. Manuel Rosenthal

Recorded in 1955

(Revision in 1968)

1929 Concert for Viola and Solists No 1 Opus 108 4.00 stars LP 2 CD

Comments:
Ulrich Koch - Viola
Orchestra from Radio Luxenburg cond. Darius Milhaud
1929-1930 Concert for Percussion and small Orchestra Opus 109 4.00 stars LP 2 CD

Comments:
Fauré Daniel - Percussion
Orchestra from Radio Luxenburg cond. Darius Milhaud
1930 Maximilien Opus 110 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:
Libretto by R.S. Hoffman after "Juarez et Maximilien" by Franz Werfel

L'Impératrice Charlotte: Jaqueline Brumaire
La Princesse Salm-Salm: Denise Scharley
Maximilien: Jacques Doucet
Porfiro Diaz: Jean Mollien
Colonel Lopez: Jean Giraudeau
Consiller Herzfeld: Pierre Germain
Maréchal Bazaine: Louis-Jacques Rondeleux
Cardinal Labatista: Xavier Depraz
Mariano Escobedo: Marcel Vigneron
Thomas Méja: Joseph Peyron
Riva Palacios: Bernard Demigny
Le Marie: Lucien Lovano
Orchestre de l'RTF cond. Manuel Rosenthal

Recorded in 1963

1932 String Quartet No 8 Opus 121 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Fanny Mendelssohn String Quartet
1933 Devant sa main nue Opus 122 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Netherlands Chamber Choir cond. Stephen Layton
1933 Concerto No. 1 for piano and orchestra, Opus 127 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Claude Helffer - Piano
Orchestre national de France cond. David Robertson
1934 L'Album de Madame Bovary Opus 128b 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
After the film music for Madamwe Bovary

Alexandre Tharaud - Piano

1934 Les Amours de Rosard Opus 132 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:
Renée Mahe
Eliette Schenneberg
Camille Rouquetty
Pierre Froumenty
Orchestre de l'Opéra de Paris cond. Darius Milhaud
1935 Pastorale Opus 147 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
For oboe, clarinet and basson

Athena Ensemble

1936 Six chansons du Théatre Opus 151b 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

Céline Ricci - Soprano
Daniet Lockert - Piano

1936 Suite Provençale Opus 152d 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Orchestre Philharmonique de Paris cond. Darius Milhaud
1936 Suite Provençale Opus 152d 4.00 stars 2CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo cond. George Pretre
1936 Introduction et marche funèbre Opus 153b 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Part of Le quatorze juillet,

Orchestre Philmarmonique de Paris cond. Darius Milhaud

1936 Cantique du Rhone Opus 155 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Netherlands Chamber Choir cond. Stephen Layton
1936 Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano Opus 157b 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
After the incidental music for Le Voyageur Sans Bagage

Ensemble Polytonaal

1937 Suite d'aprés Corrette Opus 161b 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
After incidental music for Julius Cesar Opus 158

For oboe, clarinet and basson

Athena Ensemble

1937 Scaramouche Opus 165b 4.00 stars LP
Varese Milhaud Honegger Comments:
For Piano quatre mains

Walter Klien - Piano
Beatriz Klien - Piano

1937 Scaramouche Opus 165b 4.00 stars 2CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Vif
Modéré
Brazeilera

Noel Lee - Piano,
Christian Ivaldi - Piano

1937 Scaramouche Opus 165b 4.00 stars 2CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Vif
Modéré
Brazeilera

Stephan Coombs - Piano
Artur Pizarro - Piano

1937 Cantate nuptial Opus 168 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:
Text from biblical source Song of Solomon

Janine Micheau - Soprano
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire cond. Darius Milhaud

Recorded in 1956

1937 Les deux cités Opus 170 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Netherlands Chamber Choir cond. Stephen Layton
1937 Le Carnaval de Londres Opus 172 4.50 stars CD
Darius Milhaud Comments:
Suite on themes from the Beggar's Opera

The New London Orchestra cond. Ronald Corp

1938 Les quatre éléments Opus 189 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:
Janine Micheau - Soprano
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire cond. Darius Milhaud

Recorded in 1956
Is this the 1956 revision?

1939 La Cheminée du roi René Opus 205 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Suite for Wind Quintet

Athena Ensemble

1939 Symphony No 1 Opus 210 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1940 Moise, Op. 219b, "Opus americanum No. 2" (Excerpts) 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Ballet symphonique

Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Gerald Schwarz

1941 Quatre Chansons de Ronsard for Vioce and Orchestra Opus 223 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Paula Seibel - Soprano
Louisville Orchestra cond. Jorge Mester
1941 Quatre Chansons de Ronsard for Vioce and Orchestra Opus 223 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Patrice Michaels - Soprano
Czech National Symphony Orchestra cond. Paul Freeman
1941 Four Sketches Opus 227b 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Suite for Wind Quintet, two of four pieces performed

Athena Ensemble

1941 Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra Opus 228 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Grant Johanson - Piano
Orchestre de Chambre de Radio-Luxembourg cond. Bernhard Kontarsky
1941 Pastorale pour Orgue Opus 229 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Arturo Sacchetti - Organ
1941 Scaramouche Opus 165d for Clarinet and Orchestra 4.00 stars CD
Review:

Orchestration of the piano-suite from 1937

Eduard Brunner - Clarinet
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Urs Schneider

1941 Clarinet Concerto Opus 230 4.00 stars CD
Review:
Commisioned by Benny Goodman

Eduard Brunner - Clarinet
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Urs Schneider

1942 Prélude I and II Opus 231b 3.50 stars CD
Comments:
After the incidental music L'annonce faite à Marie, Op. 231

Christopher Bowers-Brentwood - Organ

1943 Bolivar Opus 236 4.00 stars CD 10
Comments:
Bolivar: Rene Bianco
Manuela: Liliane Berton
Precipitation: Denise Scharley
Bovès: Gérard Chapuis
L'Aveugle: Gérard Serkoyan
Le Moine: Jacques Mars
Le Delegue: Claude Cales
Le Visitador: Raphael Romagnoni
Le Marie: Georges Alves
Dominguez: Jean Michel
Ibarra: Jean Darres
Laboureurs: Camille Rouquetty, Michel Corel, José Van Dam
Maria Teresa: Irène Jaumillot
Missia: Elise Kahn
Bianca: Janine Boulogne
Orchestre de l'Opéra National de Paris cond. Serge Baudo

Recorded in 1962

1943 Bolivar (two extraits from acte two) Opus 236 4.00 stars CD 10
Comments:
Janine Micheau - Soprano
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire cond. Darius Milhaud

Recorded in 1956

1943 La Libertadora, for 2 pianos, Op 236a 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Dance Suite from Bolivar

Stephan Coombs - Piano
Artur Pizarro - Piano

1943 Les Songes Opus 237 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Suite for 2 pianos after the ballet Opus 125 (1933)

Stephan Coombs - Piano
Artur Pizarro - Piano

1944 Cain and Abel Opus 241 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Part of The Genesis Suite

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin cond. Gerald Schwarz

1944 Second Sonata for Viola and Piano Opus 244 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Ensemble Polytonaal
1944 La muse ménagère Opus 245 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Grant Johannesen - Piano
1944 Symphony No 2 Opus 247 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1944 Suite Francaise Opus 248 4.00 stars 2CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Normandie
Bretagne
Ile-de-France
Alsace-Lorraine
Provence
Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo cond. George Pretre
1944 Le Bal Martiniquais, for 2 pianos, Op. 249 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Chanson Créole
Béguine

Noel Lee - Piano
Christian Ivaldi - Piano

1944 Le Bal Martiniquais, for 2 pianos, Op 249 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Chanson Créole
Béguine

Stephan Coombs - Piano
Artur Pizarro - Piano

1945 La Muse Ménagère Opus 245 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Suite for piano

Alexandre Tharaud - Piano

1946 Concerto No 2 for Violin and Orchestra Opus 263 4.00 stars LP
Concerto No 2 for Violin and Orchestra Comments:
André Gertler - Violin
Prague Symphony Orchestra cond. Váslav Smetácek
1946 Symphony No 3 Te Deum Opus 271 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Chor und Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1947 Carnaval a la Nouvelle-Orléans, for 2 pianos, Op 275 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:

Stephan Coombs - Piano
Artur Pizarro - Piano

1947 Kentuckiana Opus 278b 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Divertissement on Twenty Kentucky Airs

Louisville Orchestra cond. Robert Whitney

1948 Symphony No 4 Opus 281 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Compossée a l'occasion du Centenaire de la Révolution de 1848

Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis

1948 Symphony No 4 Opus 281 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Compossée a l'occasion du Centenaire de la Révolution de 1848

Orchestre Philharmonique de L'ORTF cond. Darius Milhaud

1948 Paris Opus 284 4.00 stars 2CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Montmartre
L'Île Saint-Louis
Montparnasse
Bateaux-mouches
Longchamp
La Tour Eiffel

Noel Lee - Piano
Christian Ivaldi - Piano
Michel Béroff - Piano
Jean-Philippe Collard - Piano

1948 L'Apotheose de Molière Ops 286 4.00 stars CD
Darius Milhaud Comments:
Suite for harpsichord with flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and
string orchestra after Babtiste Anet

The New London Orchestra cond. Ronald Corp

1948 Kentuckiana Opus 287 4.00 stars 2CD
Darius Milhaud - La Création du Monde  [V. Neumann] Comments:
Vif
Modéré
Brazeilera

Stephan Coombs - Piano
Artur Pizarro - Piano

1949 Naissance de Vénus Opus 292 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Netherlands Chamber Choir cond. Stephen Layton
1949 Piano Concerto No 4 Opus 295 4.00 stars CD

Comments:
Claude Heffter - Piano

Orchestre national de France cond. David Robertson

1953 Symphony No 5 Opus 322 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1953 Ouverture Méditerraneénne for Orchestra Opus 330 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Louisville Orchestra cond. Robert Whitney
1954 Suite Cisalpine sur des airs populaires piémontais Ops 332 4.00 stars 2 CD
Comments:
Thomas Blees - Cello
Orchestre de Chambre de Radio-Luxembourg cond.Bernard Kontarsky
1954 Le chateau du feu Opus 338 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Cantata for choirs and orchestra.
Choeurs de la Radiodiffusion Française
Orchestre Philharmonique de Paris cond. Darius Milhaud
1954 Trois psaumes de David Opus 339 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Psaume 51
Psaume 150
Psaume 114 and 115

Netherlands Chamber Choir cond. Stephen Layton

1955 Symphony No 6 Opus 343 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

Louisville Orchestra cond. Jorge Mester

1955 Symphony No 6 Opus 343 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1955 Symphony No 7 Opus 344 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1956 Fontaines et sources Opus 352 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:
Janine Micheau - Soprano
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire cond. Darius Milhaud

Recorded in 1956

1956 Le mariage de la feuille et du cliché Opus 357 4.00 stars 10 CD
Comments:
In collaboration with Pierre Henri

Chorale Yvonne Gouverné
Orchestre des Concerts Colonne cond. Pierre Michel Le Conte

Recorded in 1958

1957 Aspen-Serenade Opus 361 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute and other solists on wind instruments cond. Darius Milhaud
1957 Symphony No 8 Rhodanienne Opus 362 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1957 Symphony No 8 Rhodanienne Opus 362 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

Orchestre Philharmonique de L'ORTF cond. Darius Milhaud

1950-1958 Divertissement en trois parties Opus 299b 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
For Wind Quintet

Athena Ensemble

1959 Symphony No 9 Opus 380 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1960 Symphony No 10 Opus 382 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1960 Symphony No 10 Opus 382 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
BBC Symphony Orchestra cond. Darius Milhaud
1960 Symphony No 11 Romantique Opus 384 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1961 Symphony No 12 Rurale Opus 390 4.00 stars 5CD
Comments:
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel cond. Alun Francis
1962 Suite de Quatrain Opus 398 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
Narrator: Madaleine Milhaud
Jean-Pierre Rampal, flute and other solist on wind instruments cond. Darius Milhaud
1963 Pacem in Terris Opus 404 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
For Alto, Baritone, Choir and Orchestra
Solists
Utah Symphony Orchestra cond. Maurice Abravanel
1964 Septuor a cordes Opus 408 4.00 stars LP
Comments:
For string septet

The second movement of the septet, entitled 'Etude in controlled chance' is a rare example of Milhaud embracing aleatoric compositional devices.

1964 L'Amour chante Opus 409b 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Carole Farley - Soprano
John Constable - Piano
1966 Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello Opus 417 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Ensemble Polytonaal
1966
Musique Pour L'Indiana Opus 418
4.00 stars CD
Comments:
BBC Symphony Orchestra cond. Darius Milhaud
1972 Promesse de Dieu Opus 438 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Netherlands Chamber Choir cond. Stephen Layton
1974 Ani Maamin Opus 441 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Un chant perdu et retrouvé for soprano, recitant, choir and orchestra

Madrigal de Bordeaux
Ensemble 2E2M
cond. Paul Mefano