The celebrated L'Album des Six of 1920 represents a small landmark in the development of 20th century modernist music, featuring music by Francis Poulenc, Arthur Honegger, Georges Auric, Darius Milhaud, Louis Durey and Germaine Tailleferre. Nevertheless the relationship between the young French composers of 'Les Six' and artful mentors Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau formed an important cornerstone of the interwar avant-garde.
As well as the L'Album des Six, this 74 minute anthology also includes music composed by Satie and Les Six for spectacles staged by Cocteau between 1917 and 1920, as well as Arthur Honegger's futuristic Pacific 231. The album closes with music written by Georges Auric for five Cocteau films made between 1930 and 1959: Le Sang d'un poete, La Belle et la Bete, L'Aigle a Deux Tetes, Orphée and Le Testament d'Orphée.
CD booklet features archive images and detailed historical notes.
1. JEAN COCTEAU Introducing Les Six (1953)
2. LES SIX L'Album des Six (1920)
3. FRANCIS POULENC Cocardes (1920)
4. ERIK SATIE Parade (1917)
5. DARIUS MILHAUD Le Boeuff sur le toit (1919)
6. ARTHUR HONEGGER Pacific 231 (1923)
7. JEAN COCTEAU 2 jazz poems (1929)
8. GEORGES AURIC 5 Cocteau film themes (1930-1959)
"All of them to some extent took fire from Stravinsky. A few, at least temporarily, also found inspiration in the music of Satie. This seems to have been the link with Jean Cocteau as well, who had advocated a new art that, among other things, drew from popular sources. Satie had raised the parlor piece to serious status and had in Parade mined various popular forms, including an Irving Berlin rag, so it's easy to see the attraction he exercised on Cocteau. For composers like Poulenc, Milhaud, and Auric, Satie represented an alternative for French music to the Impressionism of turn-of-the-century Debussy and Ravel. Our century is one of the few where a significant number have acted as if pop meant unclean. Consequently, Cocteau had set forth a rather radical program, which most members of Les Six followed at one time or another" (www.classical.net)
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