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Milhaud: Oresteia of Aeschylus / Kiesler

Milhaud / Phillips / Kempson / Outlaw / Delphis
Release Date: 09/09/2014 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 660349  
Composer:  Darius Milhaud
Conductor:  Kenneth Kiesler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Michigan Percussion EnsembleUniversity of Michigan Symphony OrchestraUniversity of Michigan Choral Union
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Part of the great French musical tradition and a member of Les Six, Darius Milhaud was an important avant-garde figure in early 20th century Paris. The Oresteia of Aeschylus trilogy arose from his lifelong interest in Greek mythology and drama, inspired by the expressive, syncopated rhythms of Paul Claudel’s poetic texts. In addition to innovative rhythmic elements, the trilogy exhibits complex harmonic techniques, particularly polytonality, which Milhaud believed gave him more varied ways of expressing sweetness in addition to violence. Part of the great French musical tradition and a member of Les Six, Darius Milhaud was an important avant-garde figure in early 20th century Paris. The Oresteia of Aeschylus trilogy arose from his lifelong interest in Greek mythology and drama, inspired by the expressive, syncopated rhythms of Paul Claudel’s poetic texts. In addition to innovative rhythmic elements, the trilogy exhibits complex harmonic techniques, particularly polytonality, which Milhaud believed gave him more varied ways of expressing sweetness in addition to violence. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Agamemnon, Op. 14 by Darius Milhaud
Conductor:  Kenneth Kiesler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble,  University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra,  University of Michigan Choral Union
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
2.
Les choëphores, Op. 24 by Darius Milhaud
Conductor:  Kenneth Kiesler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble,  University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra,  University of Michigan Choral Union
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
3.
Les euménides, Op. 41 by Darius Milhaud
Conductor:  Kenneth Kiesler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble,  University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra,  University of Michigan Choral Union
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917-1923; France 
4.
L'Orestie d'Eschyle by Darius Milhaud
Conductor:  Kenneth Kiesler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble,  University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra,  University of Michigan Choral Union
Period: 20th Century 
Written: France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Save your money November 4, 2014 By R. Hirst (Salina, KS) See All My Reviews "With the exception of three numbers in Les choephores (and those are available in a much more exciting recording by Leonard Bernstein) this is dull stuff indeed. The soprano voices in particular have vibratos which to my taste are off-putting. Some of the high sustained notes almost sound like trills. There is no libretto with English translation which is a great negative. There is not even a listing of the various tracks by incipit. Save your money." Report Abuse
 An important recording of a modernist landmark October 23, 2014 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "The new Milhaud set from Naxos brings together for the first time on CD the three parts of the Oresteia of Aeschylus - L’Agamemnon, Les Choephores and Les Eumenides - that the composer wrote in France and Brazil between 1913 and 1923. The music, especially the larger final section, is a landmark of modernism in terms of tonality, harmony and rhythm, with innovative orchestration and connections to the syncretistic popular and folk music of the New World. Music Director and Conductor Kenneth Kiesler brings together a huge force - the University of Michigan Symphony, the UofM Percussion Ensemble, and no less than four choirs - with a total of 444 musicians, by my count from the liner notes listing. In 1917 Milhaud began a diplomatic mission to Brazil, where he was assistant to the French consul Paul Claudel (who wrote the text for these works). Les Eumenides was the first work Milhaud began to write upon his arrival in Rio de Janeiro, and you can tell by the polytonality and complex rhythms that Milhaud was paying attention to the music he heard in the streets and his jaunts into the countryside. The work also shows, perhaps, the influence of Milhaud’s new friend Villa-Lobos, who by 1917 had written music like the complex, sprawling Amazonas (though Milhaud wouldn’t have heard that work until its premiere later in the 1920s in Paris). This project is very highly recommended for all lovers of innovative music, and especially for aficionados of percussion and odd instrumentation. Here is your chance to hear orchestral music with parts written for 15 percussionists plus quartets of saxophones and saxhorns! Naxos wins again by bringing to light a major work that has never before been recorded." Report Abuse
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