Groupings of independent artists are sometimes, or even usually, problematic, as artistic aims diverge or individuals leave or are added. The idea of grouping together Les Six, six French composers of the early 20th century, came from the critic Henri Collet, along with the name. The group was, at least initially, under the leadership of Jean Cocteau, and there were indeed always six and only ever six members: Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric, Arthur Honegger, Germaine Tailleferre, Francis Poulenc and Louis Durey. As a group they were more or less modernist if not entirely avant garde, working in an International Style that was much more French than German, and generally not wearing their hearts on their sleeves.
|Milhaud, Auric (in Cocteau's portrait), Honegger, Tailleferre, Poulenc, Durey. Cocteau at the piano.|
Photo: Boris Lipnitzki, 1931
This recording, the result of a successful crowd-funding campaign, is due to be released on May 26, 2017.