Milhaud’s Service sacré for baritone (cantor), narrator, mixed chorus and organ or orchestra is one of the few authentic masterpieces of twentieth century liturgical music. Composed in 1947 for San Francisco’s Temple Emanu-El, it gives evidence of Milhaud’s profound identification with his Jewish heritage, particularly in the wake of the Holocaust, in which many of the his relatives perished. In the Service sacré Milhaud manages a true fusion of sacred and secular elements, the modality of the ancient Hebrew cantillations and modern tonal polyphony. The composer’s dramatic gifts bring the liturgy to life in a direct statement of faith, such as the fourth movement, “Who is like thee… .” A new recording of this great testament, just released on Arcam (590143) features cantor Jean Vendassi, narrator Didier Bourguignon, organist Chantal de Zeeuw, and Vocal Provence all under the baton of Jean-François Sénart. This is a fine performance of a major work, recorded with beautiful sound.