Folio (ca. 350 x 267 mm.). Half dark red morocco with marbled boards, "Florent Schmitt - Manuscrit" gilt to spine, marbled endpapers.  title, - manuscript music numbered I-XI, with pp. X-XI repeated, and X-bis crossed out. Notated in black and purple ink on 20-stave paper with "H. Lard Esnault Ed. Bellamy Sr. Paris" blindstamped at inner margins.
Set for voice and piano: "Le doux rêve que tu nias, je l'ai su retrouver parmi les lis et les pétunias... Voici que par les allées meurent les blanches azalées." With text by the French satirical poet, Laurent Tailhade (1854-1919), excerpted from "Vitraux" in Poèmes élégiaques (1907).
First page of music with Schmitt's autograph signature and dedication "à Madame de Saint-Marceaux." Page XI-bis initialed "F.P." and dated "1er au 2 mars 97 à une heure vague de la nuit."
Occasional erasures and corrections, most often in purple ink, in the composer's hand.
Each page guarded at inner margin; occasional light soiling, staining, and browning to edges; final measure of p. II slightly blurred at "diminuez"; dedication partially erased.
An attractive manuscript.
The complete manuscript of the unpublished original version for voice and piano, with some signficant differences from the later version for piano and orchestra (1908), first published (in piano reduction) by A. Zunz Mathot in 1910. The autograph of the orchestral version is at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
On March 13, 1909 the Société Nationale de Musique presented a program of eight orchestral works, all of which were being heard for the first time. Of Tristesse, the fifth work, Ravel opined: "Amid all this, Schmitt seemed like an intruder, with his noble inspiration and musical line, his sumptuous and delicate orchestration: everything that the others lacked... " (Letter to Cipa Godebski, dated March 14, 1909). Ravel and Schmitt were lifelong friends. Orenstein: A Ravel Reader, pp. 103-104.
The original dedicatee, Marguerite de Saint-Marceaux (1850-1930; née Jourdain), was the wife of the sculptor René de Saint-Marceaux, and hostess of a famed Parisian music salon frequented by Ravel, Debussy, and other composers. Schmitt dedicated the published version of Tristesse to Madame Jane Engel-Bathori (1877-1970), a noted French mezzo-soprano.
"In a time when many composers embraced Impressionism, [Schmitt's] music, albeit influenced by Debussy, was admired for its energy, dynamism, grandeur, and virility, for its union of French clarity and German strength... 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 and Jerry Rife in Grove Music Online. Item #25159
Price: $4,500.00 other currencies