French composer and teacher, Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) was a prolific composer of the 20th century as a member of 'Les Six'. His compositions remain highly regarded, the Ballet, Le Train Bleu, being no exception.
Milhaud's compositions are influenced by jazz and polytonality, as exemplified in Le Train Bleu. Composed in 1924, Le Train Bleu is a Ballet based on a scenario by Jean Cocteau, and composed for the Ballets Russes. The title is taken from a night train called The Blue Train, which transported wealth passengers from Calais to the Mediterranean Sea. In his reduction for Piano, Milhaud makes use of variation in articulation, complex rhythms, chromaticism, accidentals, harmonics, altering tempos, variation in dynamics and a wide tessitura, amongst other aspects. Milhaud's Le Train Bleu is essential to all advanced pianists seeking modern and exciting repertoire.