RBC Research Seminar – French Music Research Hub: Late Milhaud – Neoclassicism, Jazz, Legacy
1600-1730 Tuesday 27th October
Free registration on this link
Professor Deborah Mawer (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) Late Milhaud – Neoclassicism, Jazz, Legacy
On the centenary of Les Six, the music of the French, jazz-inspired composer Darius Milhaud, is used as an exemplar to refute negative connotations around neoclassicism being retrogressive, antimodernist and lacking legacy. Rather than playing safe, some of Milhaud’s late, American-based oeuvre resumes a radically experimental, youthful voice: a different kind of ‘out of time’. Internal and external intertextualities reveal Milhaud as a potential catalyst for Steve Reich and for Dave Brubeck, creating a further impetus beyond Gunther Schuller’s so-called ‘Third Stream’. Moving out from Milhaud, the legacy of neoclassicism, still powerfully symbolised by Les Six, acquires more recent cross-genre currency in the work of Wynton Marsalis and others, following Miles Davis’s ‘controlled freedom’, in what is now called ‘neoclassical jazz’.
About the speaker:
Deborah Mawer is Research Professor of Music at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She works on twentieth-century French music, jazz and music education and has produced six books and many articles on these topics. Deborah is especially interested in cross-disciplinary relations: classicism–jazz, music–dance and, most recently, French–European music, in the AHRC-funded project ‘Accenting the Classics’.