Milhaud: Pacem in terris; L’homme et son désir

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LABELS: Vanguard Classics
WORKS: Pacem in terris; L’homme et son désir
PERFORMER: Blanche Christensen (soprano) Myrene Nixon (mezzo-soprano) Florence Kopleff (contralto) Ronald Christensen (tenor) Louis Quilico (baritone) Pym Chartand (bass)University of Utah Choruses, Utah SO/Maurice Abravanel
CATALOGUE NO: 08907071 ADD (1965/68)
Milhaud’s choral symphony Pacem in terris sets – perhaps oddly for a Jew – parts of the 1963 Papal Encyclical of Pope John XXIII. The stirring Latin words are limply characterised in music that is far from the originality of La création du monde. This is Milhaud the American academic. But the youthful experimenter of 1918 shines through in L’homme et son désir. Kopleff and Quilico please as vocal soloists in Pacem but the orchestra and chorus are bland under Maurice Abravanel. Annette Morreau