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The World of Darius Milhaud: A Concert by Mills College

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 66 min
Event Type: Music Program Origin: Steve Wolfe/KPFA

A concert recording from April 12, 1980, presented at Mills College in Oakland, California.

“The World of Darius Milahud” pays tribute to the 20th century French composer, who was also on the faculty of Mills College from 1940-1946, and alternately from 1946-1970.

Program:

POÈMES JUIFS, Op. 34

Donna Petersen, mezzo-soprano and Karen Rosenak, piano

CANTATE DE L'ENFANT ET DE LA MÈRE, Op. 185

Marcello Panni, conductor; Madeleine Milhaud, recitante; Jane Galante, piano; The Kronos Quartet

INTERMISSION

SUITE DE QUATRAINS, Op. 398

Ensemble conducted by Marcello Panni; Madeleine Milhaud, recitante

(There will be a pause before the ballet)

'ADAME MIROIR, Op. 283

Ensemble conducted by Marcello Panni; Ballet choreographed by Rebecca Fuller

Program Notes:

The settings for Poèmes Juifs, Op. 34, which are the earliest of the four works on this afternoon’s program, belong to the year 1916 when Milhaud, then twenty four, was attached to the army photographic service during the First World War. He had recently explored the problem of polytonality and had applied this tech nique to Les Choëphores, one of his most important works and one of many com posed in collaboration with Claudel. in September of the previous year he had learned of the death of his close friend, the young poet Léo Latil, killed in action at the height of an offensive in Champagne. All this is reflected in these songs.

Song of the Nurse

Song of Zion

Song of the Laborer

Song of Pity

Song of Resignation

Song of Love

Song of the Blacksmith

Lamentation

(From anonymous Hebrew texts, literal translations by Dorothy Barnhouse)

La Cantate de L'Enfant et de la Mère, Op. 185, and the suite de Quatrains, Op. 398, were both intended for Madeleine Milhaud as reciter. The Cantata was composed in 1938 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Pro Arte concerts in Brussels and the concerts presented by Mrs. Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. "in homage to them, I composed a cantata in which I hoped to group together all our friends in a kind of Franco-Belgian family party. I chose some poems by a young Belgian poet, Maurice Carême.... In order that all our little band of friends might take part in this work I wrote it for rhythmic recitation (so that Madeleine could join in too), piano (for Collaer), and quartet (for the faithful Pro Arte). I conducted the performance in the enormous concert hall of the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.... It must have looked like a flea-circus, for our soft music and tender, intimate poetry recital came after some bravura pieces executed by the military band of the Guides, in full dress uniform...." (D. Milhaud. Notes Without Music)

Part I

Part II

Part III

Epilogue

(Original verses by Maurice Carême)

SUITE DE QUATRAINS, Op. 398 (for seven instruments and speaking voice)

The Lemon

Nasturtium

Morning Glory

The Paternal Oak

The Wagtail

Jericho-Rose

Autumn Penitence

The Gift

Dialogue

Struck

A Child

Indissoluble Pair

Arithmetic Lesson

Cruel God

The Playful Girl

Past Vacation

The Laggard

Milhaud composed the suite de Quatrains, Op. 398, at Aspen during the summer of 1962 for performance at the Mills College Festival celebrating his 70th year. At that time Nathan Rubin wrote: "'The Suite de Quatrains, composed in such a way as to allow its executants at certain points a maximum of freedom, will change somewhat from performance to performance. This principle of 'moving parts,' akin to mobile sculpture and sometimes called indeterminancy, is much in vogue in many contemporary arts--for Milhaud it represents his most recent restatement of an idea found in Cocktail aux Clarinettes, published in 1921." Madame Milhaud is joined in today's performance by Nathan Rubin and Jean Cunningham; all three participated in the World Premiere at Mills, May 25, 1963.

(Original verses by Francis Jammes, translation by Martha Cottam)

‘ADAME MIROIR, Op. 283

Ballet to a Scenario of Jean Genet

Conducted by Marcello Panni; Choreography by Rebecca Fuller; Set originally designed by Anthony Prieto, Reconstructed by James Wright

The Sailor: John Henry

The Sailor’s Image: Mary Ann Kinkead

Death: Kathleen McClintock

The ballet 'Adame Miroir, Op. 283, belongs to the year 1948, immediately following the Second World War and during Milhaud's first return to Paris after his flight from the Nazis in 1940. The scenario by Jean Genet, at that time one of Europe's most widely-discussed playwrights, concerns a doomed sailor trapped in a labyrinth of mirrors; the mirror that holds his image is all that moves between him and the mirror reflecting death.

[Notes from the original printed program.]

Musical Selections:  Poèmes Juifs, Op. 34 (1916) (19:45) -- Cantate de L’Enfant et de La Mère, Op. 185 (1938) (11:49) -- Suite de Quatrains, Op. 398 (for seven instruments and speaking voice) (1962) (10:43) -- ‘Adame Miroir, Op. 283 (A ballet to a Scenario of Jean Genet) (1948) (18:50) / Darius Milhaud
Performers:  Donna Petersen, mezzo-soprano (Poèmes Juifs)
Karen Rosenak, piano (Poèmes Juifs)
Kronos Quartet: David Harrington, violin; John Sherba, violin; Hank Dutt, viola; Joan Jeanrenaud, cello, (Cantate de l’Enfant)
Jane Galante, piano (Cantate de l’Enfant)
Marcello Panni, conductor (Suite de Quatrains, Cantate de l’Enfant)
Madeleine Milhaud, recitante (Suite de Quatrains, Cantate de l’Enfant)
Jean Cunningham, flute (Suite de Quatrains, ‘Adame Miroir)
Nathan Rubin, violinist (Suite de Quatrains, ‘Adame Miroir)
Faith Carmen, harp (Suite de Quatrains, ‘Adame Miroir)
Nicky Corcos, cello (Suite de Quatrains, ‘Adame Miroir)
Alice Olsen, double bass (Suite de Quatrains, ‘Adame Miroir)
John Sackett, bass clarinet (Suite de Quatrains, ‘Adame Miroir)
Cynthia Harryman ‘81, alto saxophone (Suite de Quatrains)
William Winant, percussion (’Adame Miroir)
Todd Manley, timpani (’Adame Miroir)
Steve Kohlbacher, trombone (’Adame Miroir)
Carole Klein, trumpet (’Adame Miroir)
Stuart Gronninger, French horn (’Adame Miroir)
Greg Barber, bassoon (’Adame Miroir)
Herb Laschner, oboe (’Adame Miroir)
David George, viola (’Adame Miroir)
Beth Gibson, violin (’Adame Miroir)
Patrice Anderson, violin (’Adame Miroir)
Genre:  20th Century Classical
Subject:  Milhaud, Darius, 1892-1974; Composers -- France; Composers--20th century.; Ballets; Songs (Medium voice) with piano; Monologues with music (Piano quintet); Suites (Piano)
People:  Milhaud, Darius, 1892-1974; Milhaud, Madeleine; Rosenak, Karen; Petersen, Donna; Harrington, David (Violinist); Sherba, John; Jeanrenaud, Joan; Dutt, Hank; Panni, Marcello; Cunningham, Jean; Rubin, Nathan, 1929-; Carmen, Faith; Corcos, Nicky; Olsen, Alice (Bassist); Sackett, John; Harryman, Cynthia; Winant, William; Manley, Todd; Kohlbacher, Todd; Klein, Carole; Gronninger, Stuart; Barber, Gregory; Laschner, Herb; George, David (Violist); Gibson, Beth; Anderson, Patrice
Recording Date:  04/12/1980
First Broadcast Date:  5/13/1980
 
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