Orchestre national de Lorraine;
Six years ago, Timpani released a disc devoted to Schmitt, featuring the first complete Antoine et Cléopâtre. Performed by Jacques Mercier at the head of his orchestra in Lorraine, success was immediate: Diapason d'Or, 10 from Classica, 4* from Le Monde de la Musique... The Orchestre National de Lorraine and Timpani were determined not to let it go at that, and this new CD resumes the partnership. •
Two major world premieres are on the programme of the new disc. •
Introït, Récit et Congé, for cello and orchestra, enables Henri Demarquette to further his renown in a work that is particularly virtuosic and delicate. As often with Schmitt, he did not hesitate to use a large, luxuriant orchestra, which certainly makes public performance problematic. Is this why it is programmed so rarely? It is indeed a shame, for the sound universe of this demanding score is particularly appealing. •
Schmitt took up the idea of H.C. Andersen's Le Petit Elfe Ferme-l'OEil — which he had treated in a work for piano four hands —, turning it into a large ballet*, expanding the thematic work, making the colours of the orchestra explode (percussion and keyboards quite present!). This can be related to Ravel's Ma Mère l'Oye — but... more furious —, and the ONL gives it its all! Guided by the very sure baton of Jacques Mercier, whose contribution to the performance of French music can never be sufficiently stressed, his ensemble fully justifies its designation as a national orchestra. •
Timpani is quite proud to be associated with this destiny, and this disc will be followed by others… •
The CD's booklet includes a highly detailed synopsis of the ballet, with numerous timing indications allowing for following the action.