A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
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SCHMITT, Florent (1870-1958)

COMPLETE ORIGINAL WORKS FOR PIANO DUET AND DUO • 1

TROIS RAPSODIES, OP. 53 • SEPT PIÈCES, OP 15 • RHAPSODIE PARISIENNE


  • Invencia Piano Duo

Winner of the Prix de Rome in 1900, Florent Schmitt stands alongside Debussy and Ravel as one of the most original and influential French composers of his time. This is the first of four volumes including unpublished work and rarities for piano duo and duet, each representing Schmitt’s rich harmonic palette and good humored lyricism. Schmitt’s piano duos and duets are probably second only to Schubert in terms of sheer quantity and yet beyond a few works such as the Trois rapsodies, Op. 53, they have been hardly known on disc. This new complete four volume set of recordings seeks to redress this lack, and includes numerous rarities such as the unpublished Rhapsodie parisienne. Schmitt’s wide travels throughout his life ensured a vast resource of influences and inspiration. Performed by the multiple award-winning Invencia Piano Duo, Schmitt’s warm melodic gift, sensual but subtly stated harmonies and rhythmic inventiveness make these works a rewarding journey of discovery in their own right.

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Tracklist

 
3 Rapsodies, Op. 53 (1904) (00:21:57 )
1
No. 1. Française (00:05:16)
2
No. 2. Polonaise (00:09:05)
3
No. 3. Viennoise (00:07:33)
 
7 Pieces, Op. 15 (1899) (00:26:21 )
4
No. 1. Somnolence * (00:03:16)
5
No. 2. Souvenir de Ribeaupierre * (00:03:51)
6
No. 3. Scintillement * (00:03:21)
7
No. 4. Souhaits de jeune fille * (00:02:46)
8
No. 5. Promenade à l'étang * (00:04:11)
9
No. 6. Fête septentrionale * (00:04:10)
10
No. 7. Traversée heureuse * (00:04:33)
11
Rhapsodie parisienne (1898) * (00:06:12)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 00:54:14

The Artist

Invencia Piano Duo

The Invencia Piano Duo has won high critical acclaim for its compelling interpretations of a vast and diverse repertoire. Lutsyshyn was a prizewinner at the Vienna Modern Masters International Performers’s Recording Awards Competition and the William Kapell International Piano Competition. Kasparov won the Albert Roussel Prize at the Orléans International Piano Competition and gave the première of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 to great acclaim.

https://invenciaduo.wordpress.com

The Composer

A composition pupil of Massenet and of Fauré at the Paris Conservatoire, Florent Schmitt, in common with a number of his contemporaries, was fascinated by the exotic; an element of orientalism appears as a feature in several of his successful compositions.

Orchestral Music

La Tragédie de Salomé (‘The Tragedy of Salome’), originally a dance piece, was revised as a symphonic poem in 1910. An element of exoticism is apparent in the film score for Flaubert’s Salammbô, with its Carthaginian setting, and in a number of subsequent orchestral works, while his gifts of orchestration are evident in his two symphonies and in a varied series of other compositions.

Choral Music

Schmitt won early success with his exotic setting of Psalm 47 in 1904. Other choral works range from settings of La Fontaine’s fables to liturgical music (settings of the Mass and other sacred texts).

Chamber and Instrumental Music

Chamber music for various combinations of instruments includes finely judged work for wind instruments, while Schmitt’s music for keyboard shows equal variety of conception.

Reviews

MusicWeb International

“They [Invencia] play together with impeccable timing and elegance, not to mention considerable virtuosity, as this recital demonstrates. ” – MusicWeb International

“[Rhapsodie Parisienne] alone is worth the price of the disc—an ebullient piece bursting with energy and brilliance” – American Record Guide

Classica

“Lush comfort and elegance” – Classica

“The Invencia Duo’s nonchalant delivery perfectly matches the spirit of the piece [Rhapsodie parisienne] as they track the harmony’s sweet twists and turns with exquisite precision. ” – International Piano

“A useful exploration of Ravel’s contemporary Schmitt. The chromatic harmonies of the Trois Rhapsodies are delightful… ” – BBC Music Magazine

“Few pleasures can compare with hearing unfamiliar music superbly played by an extraordinary pair of musicians, the Invencia Piano Duo…hypnotically charming, with familiar harmonic language and rhythms used in surprising ways.” – Artsong Update

“Their [Invencia Piano Duo] playing is elegant, extremely well delineated and well attuned to a French idiom. ” – David Denton