Anyone who has followed the development of the Grand Piano label will readily recognise the name of French composer Florent Schmitt (1870–1958). Recordings of his works for piano duet and duo have featured as regular additions to the catalogue, with Vol. 1 appearing in October 2012, one of the earliest entries in the Grand Piano discography. They are now available complete, in four volumes, all performed by the Invencia Piano Duo.
Schmitt has been labelled a product of German romanticism, French sensibilities, exotic locales, Russian experimentalism, and orientalisms. All of which adds up to an independent, creative force to be reckoned with; one who made authentically original contributions to twentieth-century music.
Schmitt’s Feuillets de voyage, Books 1 and 2 are early works, dating from 1903–1905, and acted as a musical travel diary for the composer. The works are featured on Volume 3 of the Grand Piano edition (“…Feuillets de voyage each contain five pieces … Invencia plays them with charm and panache.” American Record Guide). The composer went on to orchestrate the majority of them, though these versions remain unrecorded. You can now learn more about the background to these engaging pieces in a recently published article by Philip Nones, a noted blogger on Schmitt’s music, by following this link.