Grand Piano: The Key to Florent Schmitt

Invencia Piano Duo is pleased to have been included among the renowned artists on a new album from Grand Piano, issued to mark the label’s 5th anniversary.

Launched in 2012, the Grand Piano label gained a reputation for producing high quality recordings of rare masterworks for keyboard. Dedicated to the exploration of undiscovered piano repertoire, the label specializes in premiere recordings and complete cycles by less well-known composers, those whose output might otherwise have been neglected or unrecorded.

Spanning three centuries of music from around the world, the Grand Piano catalogue includes music by past composers such as Leopold Koželuch, Alexander Tcherepnin and Mieczysław Weinberg, as well as works by living composers such as Valentin Silvestrov, Martial Solal and Philip Glass. Grand Piano artists are very often authorities on these composers and experts on their chosen repertoire, giving their performances a unique stamp of authenticity. Invencia Piano Duo is no exception.

A 3-CD sampler of the Grand Piano catalogue, The Key Collection includes single tracks from complete works for piano. Presented in chronological order, among these is the Mazurka from Feuillets de voyage, Book 2, Op. 26, by Florent Schmitt.

It is unclear whether many of Schmitt’s works for piano duet had ever received formal public performances in Europe, prior to the Invencia Piano Duo’s revival of Schmitt’s compositions. Feuillets de voyage first appeared on Volume 3 of Invencia’s Complete Original Works by Florent Schmitt. Volume 3 also heralded the debut recordings of a six-movement work composed between 1895 and 1902, Musiques foraines, Op. 22, and the Marche du 163 R.I., Op. 48.

Now packaged as a singular compilation, you may enjoy all four of Invencia’s albums of Florent Schmitt’s music on a 4-CD set by Grand Piano.

Florent Schmitt (1937)

Florent Schmitt (1870 – 1958) was one of France’s less well-known classical composers. Born in the small town of Blâmont (Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine), Schmitt’s German surname belied his irrespressible French musicianship.

Schmitt was a contemporary of Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy, although he outlived both men by decades. Educated at the Conservatoire de Paris by Théodore Dubois, Albert Lavignac, André Gédalge, Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré, among others, Schmitt developed a style of composition that, while distinctly French, exploited the grandiose aspects of orchestration more typical of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

His last large-scale work, the Symphony No. 2, was premiered at the Strasbourg Festival by the French National Radio Orchestra, conducted by Charles Munch just months before Scmitt’s death in 1958 at the age of 87.

E-mail invenciaduo@gmail.com for further details.

© Invencia Piano Duo, Phillip Nones, Naxos Records

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