The French Three: A Comparison (Performed) of Recital Music by Darius Milhaud, Henri Tomasi, and Eugene Bozza
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Darius Milhaud (1892-1974), Henri Tomasi (1901-1971), and Eugene Bozza (1905-1991) were influential French composers born within fifteen years of one another. They each composed a major clarinet concerto that was significant for their time and composed repertoire for the prestigious Solo de Concours examination at the Paris Conservatory. The works performed on these recitals showcase the concerti and are augmented by repertoire by the same composer. Program notes include a brief biography of the composer, discuss the works performed, and describe the compositions' relevance to the tradition and evolution of the French clarinet school. The purpose of this project is to acquaint clarinetists with the concerti and other lesser-known works that are not currently available as commercial recordings. They are all performed with clarinet and piano or solo clarinet. This discography will be a resource for clarinetists particularly for the works by Henri Tomasi. Many of these compositions have been overshadowed by other repertoire from the twentieth century but at the time, they established a technical frontier for clarinetists of the 1950's. The concerti set a new standard of virtuosity and despite being eclipsed in popularity, deserve a more prominent place in the clarinet repertoire. The compositional techniques of Milhaud, Tomasi, and Bozza had an impact on the French clarinet school but also a subsequent influence on American clarinet playing. This project will encompass the works of Henri Tomasi whose clarinet works have received very little scholarship or recording. The works that are performed and elaborated on in the program notes include a recital of the music of Darius Milhaud featuring the Caprice, Duo Concertante, Sonatine, Scaramouche, and the Concerto (1941). The second recital focuses on music by Henri Tomasi and includes the Nocturne, Complainte de Jeune Indien, Danse Nuptial (from Sacred and Profane Dances), Sonatine Attique, Introduction and Danse, and the Concerto (1953). The third recital highlights clarinet music by Eugene Bozza and features Claribel, Fantasie Italienne, Rhapsodie Nicoise, Bucolique, Prelude and Divertissement, and the Concerto (1952).