While there is always talk of neglected 20th century composers, Milhaud is probably the worst case I know of, as he gets maybe 1/10th the credit he deserves. His music is very sophisticated, combining elements of jazz and the 20th century with an unmistakeable overall craftsmanship. He also developed his own brand of polyphony. On this CD we have the one movement, 15-minute Creation du Monde, inspired by his trip to Latin America, which starts with a melancholy main theme and leads into several dance outbursts. Then comes the trio for violin, clarinet and piano, another good piece. The two-piano Scaramouche is not the best I have heard, with a few syncing problems between the two pianists, but still far from unenjoyable, and the odds are you have, or will have, another recording anyway (the Lebeque sisters on Philips and the recording on Hyperion are both very good). The solo piano pieces at the end, the Rag-Caprices and Caramel Mou, are quite remarkable and deserve to be much better known. They are obviously foot-tapping rag and dance pieces, but also have a certain level of abstraction that make them satisfying listen after listen. IMO, they are on the level of just about any other composer. Altogether, every piece on this CD is uneqivocally excellent, (with perhaps the tiny exception of the 2nd rag-caprice, which sounds like a weaker version of the Scaramouche's 2nd movement).
Note to fellow saxophonists: The saxophonist on this recording of Milhaud's "Creation du Monde" is Joseph Lulloff, professor of saxophone at Michigan State University. Note that the "Scaramouche" recording found on this CD is the version for two pianos (no saxophone). OANegrin