• details

    • Order numbers: AM 22-010
      Hal Leonard # 4000048
    • Instrumentation: wind orchestra
    • Duration: 8'
    • Grade: 4
  • audio

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Trois Rag-Caprices - Darius Milhaud

Darius Milhaud/Arr. Johan de Meij
Darius Milhaud

The French composer Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) was a member of the ‘Groupe des Six’. This group of six composers gathering Honegger, Poulence, Auric, Durey, Tailleferre and Milhaud, imitated Erik Satie by revolting against the deeply rooted traditional conventions of that time. They reacted against impressionism (Debussy) and romanticism (Wagner, Mahler) and felt very strongly about the music of Satie and Strawinsky.

Milhaud’s most popular work is undoubtedly the ballet ‘La Création du Monde’, one of the most striking examples of jazz influences in classical music. The première at the ‘Théâtre des Champs Elysées’ in October 1923 caused a real scandal with the Paris public. The ‘Trois Rag-Caprices’ for piano were composed one year earlier, in the summer of 1922, and could be considered as a kind of preliminary sketch for ‘La Création du monde’. There are indeed clear similarities between both compositions as to the rhythmical and harmonic aspects. The ‘Trois Rag-Caprices’ were orchestrated for symphony orchestra by Milhaud himself some time later. The same happened to ‘Saudades do Brasil’ (1920), a piano composition punctuated with Latin-American influences, which was written after his stay in Rio de Janeiro (1917-18) exactly as his ballet ‘Le Boeuf sur le Toit’.

Johan de Meij’s orchestration of ‘Trois Rag-Caprices’ for symphonic band is a most welcome addition next to the original band works of Milhaud, such as ‘Suite Française’ (1945) and ‘West Point Suite’ (1951).