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Schmitt: La Tragedie De Salome, Ombres, Mirages / Vincent Larderet

Schmitt / Larderet
Release Date: 02/22/2011 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572194  
Composer:  Florent Schmitt
Performer:  Vincent Larderet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

SCHMITT Ombres. Mirages. La Tragédie de Salomé Vincent Larderet (pn) NAXOS 8.572194 (76:56)

Florent Schmitt was a student of Massenet and Fauré, contemporary of Ravel, so it can hardly come as a surprise that his music is heady with Impressionism. The booklet writer, Gérald Hugon, points out that Ombres (Shadows, 1912–17) has distinct parallels with Ravel’s Gaspard , and it Read more is easy to hear how. The first part (“J’entends dans le lontain”) certainly seems of equivalent technical difficulty. The full form of the movement’s title translates as “I hear in the distance drawn-out cries of the most poignant grief,” and reflects the piece as response to the events of World War I. The movement spreads out over nearly a quarter of an hour; its varied terrain is sensitively negotiated by the young Vincent Larderet. Just as the Mediterranean infuses the Impressionists, so it does “Mauresque,” the work’s slow, reflective central panel. The final part, “Cette ombre, mon image” (That shadow, my likeness), was inspired by a line by Walt Whitman and with it Schmitt’s writing begins to enjoy a timelessness hitherto absent. Larderet, Paris- and Lübeck-trained (in the latter venue with Bruno-Leonardo Gelber), seems perfectly attuned to Schmitt’s fragrant and fascinating Ravel-yet-not-quite sound world.

Only the first movement has multiple recordings available, according to ArkivMusic, yet a little searching reveals Laurent Wagshal on Saphir and Werner Barschi on Accord.

The Mirages , op. 70, consists of only two movements. The capricious element of the first (inspired by Pan) is superbly projected by Larderet; the second, “La Tragique Chevauchée” (The Tragic Gallop, dedicated to Cortot) is marked Emporté et violent , and Larderet takes the “violent” element to heart, contrasting it with some delightful staccato passages. Finally, the composer’s own version of the second, shorter, version of Tragédie de Salomé, a ballet originally for orchestra. Naxos here presents a premiere recording. This is a multifaceted work, anticipating Stravinsky’s Rite here while luxuriating in Debussian haze there. Hearing Impressionist orchestral scores on the piano is no cul-de-sac, as Jean-Efflam Bavouzet conclusively proved on his Chandos disc of works that included the magnificent Jeux (10545, reviewed by myself in Fanfare 33:6). Larderet continues the tradition in fine fashion. His performance is gripping and multitimbred. Perhaps the ecstasy of the central “Danse des perles” could rise further. No such gripes to the final movement, however, with its Stravinskian dances expertly, and excitingly, realized.

This disc was reviewed in Fanfare 35:4 by my colleague Radu A. Lelutiu. I am perhaps a little more enthusiastic about Schmitt’s music. This is definitely one of Naxos’s better releases.

FANFARE: Colin Clarke
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Works on This Recording

Ombres, Op. 64 by Florent Schmitt
Performer:  Vincent Larderet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; France 
Mirages, Op. 70 by Florent Schmitt
Performer:  Vincent Larderet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920-1921; France 
La tragédie de Salomé, Op. 50 by Florent Schmitt
Performer:  Vincent Larderet (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907/1910; France 

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