, Op 76, of 1922 by Milhaud is dedicated to Louis Fleury and Jean Wiéner who premiered the work in January 1923 at the Concerts Wiéner. This work enjoys both structural confidence and expressive melodic power, with the opening ‘Tendre’ especially suggesting a stylistic mixture: neoclassical Alberti-bass figurations amid Debussyesque intricacies—florid colour-washes, ornamentation and tremolo—and tempi fluctuations. The central ‘Souple’ is barcarolle-like, using a Dorian modal melody on flute (later played in counterpoint between the instruments) and strong cross-rhythms, its last augmented phrase dying away with a little blues-like gesture. The lively finale (‘Clair’) utilizes a modified sonata form with two clear themes and balanced proportions; Milhaud’s inventive writing explores contrasting characters for the same material and mock fugal effects.
from notes by Deborah Mawer © 2001