Fauré, Gabriel. (1845–1924) [Schmitt, Florent. (1870–1958)]
Two Autograph Letters to Bréval on behalf of Florent Schmitt
An important pair of autograph letters, 1898-99, addressed to the soprano Lucienne Bréval asking her to sing the works of his student, Florent Schmitt, who had recently won second prize of the Prix de Rome in 1897 with his cantata, Frédégonde. Each 1 and a half pages, 8vo, signed "Gabriel Fauré professeur de composition au Conservatoire."
In part: "Voulez-vous me permettre de vous demander pour mon élève, Mr Schmidt, 2d Prix de Rome et concurrent du prochain concours, la très haute faveur de chanter sa cantate le 30 Juin et le 1er Juillet à l’Institut?" In the second letter, he continues to ask Bréval to sing Schmitt's cantata on July 2 at the Insitute. "L’année dernière vos engagements avec Covent-Garden ne vous avaient pas permis d’accepter, mais j’ai sous les yeux la charmante lettre que vous aviez bien voulu m’écrire alors et qui me faisait espérer que mon élève et moi serions plus heureux cette année."
The important soprano Lucienne Bréval (1869 - 1935) created numerous roles in her spectacular opera career, including in works by Dukas, Massenet, Erlanger, and the title role in Fauré’s Pénélope.
"Throughout his life, Schmitt was valued for his independent spirit and refusal to be identified with any school or group....Schmitt was considered a pioneer during his lifetime, rejected by some and embraced by others for a style that influenced and helped prepare for later innovations by Stravinsky, Ravel, Honegger and Roussel." (Jann Pasler, Grove Online)