Survey of Les Six: The New Aesthetic

  • Mercantile Library 414 Walnut Street Cincinnati, OH, 45202 United States


In an era when German melodrama and Impressionist decadence were all the rage, this roguish group injected post-World War I France with music antithetical to such voluptuousness.  In the words of Jean Cocteau, a close collaborator of the composers, "Enough of clouds, waves, aquariums, water-sprites and night scents; we need down-to-earth music, everyday music."

In 2017, CSI embarks upon a three-concert survey of these composers' art song output to celebrate the 125th birth anniversaries of three of the six: Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger, and Germaine Tailleferre.  Hosted and narrated by Kenneth Griffiths, Director of Collaborative Piano Studies at the College-Conservatory of Music, this first concert introduces us to the unique voice emerging from Les Six in what would become the new aesthetic for France in the 1920s and beyond.


Georges Auric: Alphabet
Arthur Honegger: Six poésies de Jean Cocteau
Louis Durey: Selections from Le Bestiaire
Francis Poulenc: Le Bestiaire
Darius Milhaud: Chants populaires hébraïque
Francis Poulenc: Chansons gaillardes
Francis Poulenc: "Colloque"

Meet the Artists: