🇬🇧La Muse

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Photo: Maaike Eijkman

Florent Schmitt (1870-1958) String Trio op. 105 (1944)

Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) Suite La muse Ménagère (The Household Muse) (1944) Arrangements of the original piano suite made by: Bob Gilmore, Tim Kliphuis, Petra Griffioen and Marijn van Prooijen

We present to you two completely different works from 1944. One is turbulent and magnificent, the other intimate and poetic. The two composers could not be more different, and might be said to clash. And yet, we feel their works are a beautiful match and complement each other well. Was it inspiration, call it the Muse, that brought the two together? Florent Schmitt’s muse seems to be Music itself, leading him on in an explosion of compositional creativity. Darius Milhaud names his wife Madeleine as his muse and pours his gratitude into a musical tribute.

In 2021 we released this program on an album entitled La Muse, a cd with a personal story about inspiration and love. It was voted Album of the Year 2021 by NativeDSD, worldwide platform for high-quality releases.

Florent Schmitt

Florent Schmitt's Trio à cordes Op. 105 is a fascinating work by a composer who is increasingly focusing on chamber music in his later years. It is a joy to hear how he manages to conjure up the richness of sound and color of a string sextet from only three instruments: incredibly difficult, but above all grand. New musical perspectives open up every time you hear it afresh. The world has forgotten the composer Florent Schmitt and up until now there was no modern recording of his string trio. How unjust that is you can hear in this program and on our new CD.

Elisabeth and Bob

For violist Elisabeth personally, Darius Milhaud's La Muse ménagère has a special meaning: “The muse came to my aid in one of my most difficult moments. In 2012 my partner, musicologist Bob Gilmore, fell seriously ill. I did all I could to make Bob's remaining time as meaningful and bearable as possible. One evening Bob surprised me with La Mienne, the first part of the piano cycle La Muse ménagère, in a string trio arrangement that he had secretly made for me, just as Milhaud had quietly worked on this present for his love, Madeleine. I was so moved! In his last months, Bob managed to add five more movements. Janneke and Michiel recently came up with the idea to have the suite completed by Janneke’s brother Marijn van Prooijen, her husband Tim Kliphuis and Michiel's wife Petra Griffioen, all experienced arrangers, and also our loved ones, our own muses. The arranged suite is a wonderful ode to Bob and to Muses ménagères all over the world.”

The album La Muse was made with the generous support of SENA Performers Fonds and Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds Noord Holland and 156 donors at crowdfundingplatform Voordekunst. The La Muse Tour has been funded by NORMA Fonds.

Watch the Album-release concert of 23 May 2021 in Splendor on our YouTube Channel.

Photo: Maaike Eijkman

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