Darius Milhaud (1892-1974)
Six Sonnets Composés au Secret par Jean Cassou by Darius Milhaud (June 5, 1962)
A recording of Darius Milhuad’s settings of poems, written in a prison camp by Jean Cassou, composed for unaccompanied vocal quartet or chorus, in 1946. This performance is taken from a June 5, 1962 concert by the Berkeley Chamber Singers, directed by Tikey Zes. Jean Cassou was a French poet and member of the French Resistance who wrote a collection of sonnets while in a Vichy prison, and had them published under a pseudonym in 1944.
- Darius Milhaud – Segoviana 3:14
Guitar – Paul Binkley
Darius Milhaud, one of the giants of the 20th century, worked and taught at Mills from 1940 to 1971. He studied at the Paris Conservatory with Widor and d'Indy and was one of "Les Six," a group of French composers. Extremely prolific, Milhaud wrote ballets, operas, theatre pieces, symphonies, and numerous works for chamber ensembles and voice and piano. A dominant characteristic of Milhaud's music is its use of polytonalities, and he was one of the first composers to incorporate jazz into traditional European musical forms.
"Milhaud's Segoviana, Op. 336, 1957, is a fantasia in miniature, based on two themes. The first theme is characterized by block chords built largely on open fifths, with a more lyrical passage serving as a 'tail.' A transition follows, with motives reminiscent of American folk and Spanish flamenco music, to a lyrical second theme. The two themes reappear in a slightly altered form, followed by another transition to a reappearance of the first theme, followed by a coda. Small motives constantly reappear in altered form, lending a sense of development to this brief piece. The harmony is basically centered around G major, with liberal use of pentatonic scales which, coupled with a strong rhythmic impulse, gives the piece a 'jazzy' feel." (Paul Binkley)
Paul Binkley moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from London, Canada, to study at the San Francisco Conservatory and San Francisco State University. He has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Opera, the Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra, and the Berkeley Symphony; and as a soloist with the San Francisco Chamber Players and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Mr. Binkley has toured Europe as a member of the Xuereb/Binkley viola-guitar duo and has recorded on Opus One records in New York.
From Music From Mills (1986)