View Poll Results: Was "Les Six" One Of The Key Pioneers Of Modern Contemporary Music?

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  • Yes, key

    2 9.09%
  • Yes, as part of many other groups of the time

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Thread: Was "Les Six" One Of The Key Pioneers Of Modern Contemporary Music?

  1. #1
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    Default Was "Les Six" One Of The Key Pioneers Of Modern Contemporary Music?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Six

    Most of Les Six wrote "modern" music that showed their depths reaching into contemporary musical humor. Poulenc managed to write music that was witty, pretty, and profound. Poulenc was an important French composer who is often see an an important figure in developing modern French music.

    Milhaud's output shows an emotional range from the lighthearted Suite Française to the more serious Le chateau du feu and the second violin concerto. I see much of this influencing Schoenberg.

    I am not an expert with Les Six but I think much of the music from what I read and the few of the vast output are key in shaping the developments of early 20th century music.

    What do you think?

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    nathanb
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    Are you referring to modern music or contemporary music? The poll wasn't clear.

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    Senior Member isorhythm's Avatar
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    They wrote a lot of music I like, especially Poulenc, but I don't think their influence was great enough to call them key pioneers.

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    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    Milhaud's output shows an emotional range from the lighthearted Suite Française to the more serious Le chateau du feu and the second violin concerto. I see much of this influencing Schoenberg.

    What do you think?
    I think that as Milhaud was 4 years old when Schoenberg's Verklaerte Nacht was written, and only 15 by the time of Erwartung, the idea that Milhaud influenced him is rather ludicrous.

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    Les Six assimilated some of what had gone before and some of what was going on around them to create a sonic stew flavored by its time and place like so many composers before and after. I think of them as no more and no less pioneers than most other artists and composers.
    Last edited by Weston; Mar-14-2016 at 13:17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    I think that as Milhaud was 4 years old when Schoenberg's Verklaerte Nacht was written, and only 15 by the time of Erwartung, the idea that Milhaud influenced him is rather ludicrous.
    The idea that influences are only contemporary is rather ludicrous.

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    I don't think six people can be one key influence. It's gramatically incoherent.
    And that is not just sniping at the OP. Remove the incoherence, and ask if they were influential individually and collectively, and I can disambiguate and differentiate, which is what an intelligent answer requires.

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    Senior Member Steatopygous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steatopygous View Post
    I don't think six people can be one key influence. It's gramatically incoherent.
    And that is not just sniping at the OP. Remove the incoherence, and ask if they were influential individually and collectively, and I can disambiguate and differentiate, which is what an intelligent answer requires.
    Not that I necessarily have an intelligent answer, on this or any other topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steatopygous View Post
    Not that I necessarily have an intelligent answer, on this or any other topic.
    Self-knowledge is also a good virtue

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Les Six weren't really a 'school' or 'movement' anyway - although the six people may have got on with each other and initially had some kind of esprit de corps they seldom collaborated together and all of them had separate agendas - Honegger especially had little in common with the others musically. Honegger, Milhaud and Poulenc were the best-known of the six and although they may have been influential that's more to do with their own individuality rather than being under the umbrella of what was a very casual and informal collective.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steatopygous View Post
    I don't think six people can be one key influence. It's gramatically incoherent.
    And that is not just sniping at the OP. Remove the incoherence, and ask if they were influential individually and collectively, and I can disambiguate and differentiate, which is what an intelligent answer requires.
    You beat me to it, Steato.
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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    It is not that I am unsure, I just plain do not know.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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    When I think of Milhaud, I think of bitonality (i.e. a melody in one key and the accompaniment in another key) and so I ask myself if he was the first to do that. I know Stravinsky composed in bitonal as well. I'm not sure who did it first. They were certainly around Paris and were contemporaries of each other. Milhaud also included jazz elements in his works, but then again, so did Stravinsky. I'm not enough of an expert on them to know who initiated, but I would say that both bitonality and jazz elements in classical music are both important developments of 20th century music.

    So I guess the question is: Stravinsky was definitely a pioneer. Did he get some of his moxie from Milhaud?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 20centrfuge View Post
    When I think of Milhaud, I think of bitonality (i.e. a melody in one key and the accompaniment in another key) and so I ask myself if he was the first to do that. I know Stravinsky composed in bitonal as well. I'm not sure who did it first. They were certainly around Paris and were contemporaries of each other. Milhaud also included jazz elements in his works, but then again, so did Stravinsky. I'm not enough of an expert on them to know who initiated, but I would say that both bitonality and jazz elements in classical music are both important developments of 20th century music.

    So I guess the question is: Stravinsky was definitely a pioneer. Did he get some of his moxie from Milhaud?
    It had been done incidentally in the past as an effect by a number of composers (including Mahler!), but the first one to make it into a principle was Ives, and he did it before Stravinsky (probably) and Milhaud, but his work was completely unknown at the time and so he couldn't have influenced them.
    Last edited by Mahlerian; Mar-14-2016 at 17:04.

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  24. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanb View Post
    Are you referring to modern music or contemporary music? The poll wasn't clear.
    Modern music or especially the development of atonal music around the first decades of the 20th century.

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