Wednesday, March 07, 2007

mournings, births, and dreams

Not too long ago I wrote about Darius Milhaud's Le Boeuf sur le Toit and the restaurant of the same name. Here's a little more Milhaudiana. An interesting blog called Corriente Textual recently gave this interesting group portrait by Jacques-Emile Blanche:

It shows Le Groupe des Six in 1922. Milhaud is left-center. The others are, in the center, pianist Marcelle Meyer; from bottom to top left: Germaine Tailleferre, Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger, Louis Durey; on the right: Georges Auric, Francis Poulenc, Jean Cocteau. says the group socialized together but didn't attempt any collective productions. A page in French on the Ballet Russe says they shared an avant-garde preference for humor, clarity, and simplicity (think Eric Satie) and credits them with a new classicism with roots in the 18th century. This page goes on to say that Satie was an honorary or more likely uncredited actual member of the group.

It says five of the six did have one common production, a ballet, Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel of 1921. During this time they gathered at the Le Bœuf sur le Toit. When they separated shortly after, Cocteau summarized:
D'un ordre considéré comme une anarchie, résume l'esprit d'un météore de rires, de scandales, de prospectus, de dîners hebdomadaires, de tambours, d'alcool, de larmes, de deuils, de naissances et de songes qui étonna Paris entre 1918 et 1923.
Rough translation: "An anarchic assemblage, overflowing with laughter accompanied by scandals, manifestos, weekly feasts, drums, alcohol, tears, mournings, births and dreams which astonished Paris between 1918 and 1923."

See Daniella Thompson on this as well.

1 comment:

Tully Potter said...

I was told that the man at the back of the Blanche group portrait was not Durey, who had already left the group, but the pianist and composer Jean Wiener. It's a great picture.
Tully Potter