I am glad you decided to write me about your problem (with Wagner's theories);
here is my point of view, if you want it. I had a marvelously happy childhood.
My wife is my companion, my collaborator; we are the best of friends, and this
gives me great happiness. My son is a painter who works incessantly, and he is
sweet and loving to his parents. Thus I can say that I've had a happy life, and
if I compose, it's because I am in love with music and I wouldn't know how to do
anything else. Your Wagner quote proves to me once again that he was an idiot.
after receiving a letter from a fan discussing Wagner's theory that all art
springs "from suffering, unhappiness, and frustration".
Milhaud, born in Aux-du-Provence 1892, shows his affection for music when he is young.
As a child he starts improvising on the piano and soon he picks up the violin. In 1909
he enters the Conservatory of Paris to study violin with Berthelier
, ensemble with
, harmony with Leroux
, counterpoint with André Gédalge
, composition and fugue
with Charles-Marie Widor
, and conducting with Vincent d'Indy
From 1917 to 1919 he accompanies the French minister for Brazillian affairs Paul Gaudel
(who was also a wellknown poet) to Brazil and here he discovers the typical
Brazilian music, South American folklore and its associated exotic rhytms.
Back in Paris, he becomes one of most notable members of Les Six
, a group around the poet
Cocteau. In 1921, after visiting America, he discovers Jazz
music and, back in Europe,
probably his most known work La création du monde
(1923): a ballet full of Jazz rhythms and
composing makes him also famous in the other European Center of Avant-Garde
Berlin. As an often invited guest on different festivals in Germany, he meets other contemporary
composers like Paul Hindemith
, Hanns Eisler
and Kurt Weill
. Especially with the last
composer, Milhaud becomes good friends with.
Like all Jewish artists and composers, Milhaud is forced to flee in 1940 when the Germans invade
France. Milhaud settles in California and becomes professor
in composition at Mills College
In 1947 he accepts the Conservatory of Paris's request to become a honourary professor in composition
and until 1971 he travels forth and back between California and Paris.
Milhaud dies in 1974, June 22 in Geneva, Swiss.
Milhaud was a productive composer. He composed over 450 compositions, including several short
operas and miniature symphonies. His works range from conservative to modern, from polytonal to
atonal. Besides composing he's also known as a conductor: Milhaud (as a proponent of atonal) music,
mainly conducted works from Alfred Schoenberg
The list underneath is a sample of his most famous works.
- 13 Symphonies (1940-1965)
- Orestes Trilogy (1913)
- Pacem in terris (1963)
Darius Milhaud - 'My Happy Life' - Autobiography