Professor Robert Meyer’s Guide to Auditions. Some Unusual Difficult Excerpts. #4

You can find many difficult bass parts in Darius Milhaud’s works, some of which come up occasionally at auditions. He was born in 1892 and died in 1974.  He was a rather whimsical sort of man and devoted much of his life to composing what some might call odd pieces.  He was a member of “Les Six”.  Around the ’70’s he was commissioned to write a piece by one of the leading Universities but when he delivered it they found it to be ridiculously short and wouldn’t accept it.

If you know there is one of his  pieces coming up on the programme it would be as well to take a good look at it, for he wrote some very difficult bass passages.

I have chosen two examples of his writing:  The first is”Le Boeuf sur le toit”  ( The bull on the roof) a humorous ballet for Jean Cocteau which was given in England as the “Nothing- doing bar”.  The second is his Suite Provençale starting at the animé after 20.  It has many accidentals, doesn’t go very high, but it’s one of those little tongue twisters that if you’ve never seen it before can give you a lot of trouble. Put it in your scrap book!

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