Biography of Milhaud Darius:
In 1913, the French composer Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) made the acquaintance of the French diplomatist and man of letters, Paul Claudel. Soon afterwards, Milhaud was engaged by Claudel as his secretary and in 1916 Claudel was appointed French Minister to Brazil. Milhaud accompanied Claudel to South America, they arrived in Rio de Janiero on February 1st 1917. This proved to have a deep and far-reaching influence on Milhaud’s music. A more relaxed and affectionate example of this influence is to be found in the set of twelve maxixes and tangos Saudades do Brasil (perhaps best translated as Nostalgic Reminiscences of Brazil) which he wrote between 1920 and 1921 after his return to France, each named after a region of Brazil. The Saudades were originally composed for solo piano, but later on Milhaud arranged them for orchestra, the first group for the dancer Louise Fuller. Although there are, in the orchestral version, thirteen separate movements, the set is not designed to be performed either consecutively or complete. Stokowski conducts four: Botafogo, Copacabana, Ipanema and Gavea.