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Milhaud: Le Carnaval D'aix, Etc / Ronald Corp


Release Date: 08/10/2004 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55168   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Darius Milhaud
Performer:  Jack Gibbons
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The centenary of Milhaud's birth continues to give us welcome issues of his music. I must confess to doubts as to the quality of some of these pieces, but a performance such as that of the knockabout, episodic and balletic fantasy called Le carnaval d'Aix on the new Hyperion disc is stylish and captivating, presenting the music in the best possible light. Ronald Corp is already well established in this repertory, and he and his excellent London orchestra have been well served by Christopher Palmer's recording team, to say nothing of the thoughtful yet spontaneous playing of Jack Gibbons. This disc also has full and informative booklet notes by Robert Matthew-Walker. If you like Satie's orchestral music, to which Milhaud owed much (maybe too Read more much), this varied programme will surely give pleasure—though I still wonder how long some of the frothier items will satisfy musical appetites in search of nourishing fare. As for the neo-classical pastiche of L'Apoth-. éose de Moliere, that kind of thing was done so very much better by Ravel and Stravinsky, not least because their carefully calculated scoring Suits baroque music better than Milhaud's muddy textures; the same is true of Britten's treatment of the tunes from The Beggar's Opera which the French composer uses rather heavily and humourlessly in the 26 brief numbers of Le comaval de Londres. For many people, the plum in this collection will be the final work, Le boeuf sur Ic bit played here with plenty of Gallic verve and an enjoyment of its frequent ventures into bitonality. The recording is on the rich side, but suits the music and has adequate detail.

The alternative Koch Schwann disc also has formidable attractions. The Saudades do Brasil usefully remind us of Milhaud's lifelong love of the dance and of his youthful period of residence in the Latin America that he came to love. The playing of the Polish orchestra under Karl Anton Rickenbacher (which was unknown to me but is a fine body of players) is as idiomatically unbuttoned as that of the Londoners under Corp on Hyperion, and the recording has plenty of body and impact. Indeed, the performance of Le Carnaval de Londres has more joyfulness and general expressive range (including delicacy) than the one on the other disc, enjoyable though that is, and it is probably useful to have each of its numbers identified by name although this takes a page and a half of the booklet. The three Rag-caprices, jazzinspired works of 1922, are no less attractively played, and altogether this is a disc of some distinction. Again, there's a good booklet-note, this time by Jeremy Drake. Milhaud enthusiasts will want to possess both of these new issues.

-- Gramophone [12/1992]
reviewing the original release of this title, Hyperion 66594
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Works on This Recording

1.
Le carnaval de Londres, Op. 172 by Darius Milhaud
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; France 
2.
L'apothéose de Molière, Op. 286 by Darius Milhaud
Performer:  Jack Gibbons (Piano)
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; France 
3.
Le carnaval d'Aix, Op. 83b by Darius Milhaud
Performer:  Jack Gibbons (Piano)
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; France 
4.
Le boeuf sur le toit, Op. 58 by Darius Milhaud
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; France 

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