FLORENT SCHMITT (1870-1958): Antoine et Cléopatre, Op. 69, Mirages, Op. 70.
Catalogue Number: 07K002
Description: The 45 minutes of Antoine et Cléopatre (1920) originated in incidental music for a production of Shakespeare's play although Schmitt must have not had the huge orchestra available to him then which he uses in this set of six tableaux whose titles are Antoine et Cléopatre (in which the motifs of each character are introduced - Cleo dark, intense and threatening, Tony bright clear fanfare-like material), Le Camp de Pompée (a brief interlude), Le Bataille d'Actium (wide-screen battle action), Nuit au palais de la reine (dripping with languid heat and oriental mystery), Orgie et danses (making Salomé look like a Catholic schoolgirl) and Le Tombeau de Cléopatre (a noble and magnificent funeral oration). This is unmatched by anything else you've heard by this composer. Mirages (1921/23) is a pair of short tone-poems: Tristesse de Pan has a voluptuousness worthy of Debussy and La tragique chevauchée tells the story of Mazeppa in headlong, rhythmically exciting fashion. Orchestre National de Lorraine; Jacques Mercier.