Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Milhaud/Roussel/Honegger
LABELS: Sony Heritage
WORKS: Les Choéphores; Symphony No. 3; Rugby; Pacific 231
PERFORMER: New York Philharmonic/ Leonard Bernstein
CATALOGUE NO: MHK 62352 ADD (1961/2)
Milhaud’s extraordinary Les Choéphores sets Paul Claudel’s version of the Oresteia. It combines speaker, soloists, chorus and orchestra, thus anticipating both Stravinsky’s Oedipus and Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake. The emotional range is as wide as these disparate forces would indicate, and the sections for narrator and percussion are particularly violent. Bernstein’s vivid performance is matched in Roussel’s fine symphony and the two Honegger pieces, though here also the recording lacks depth in its perspective, and the string sound is rather hard. Terry Barfoot