Florent Schmitt (ed. Felix Hauswirth)
The work bears the designation Opus 62, No. 1.
C Piccolo I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (optional)
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-II-IV
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion (4 players), including:
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Snare Drum
- Tenor Drum
- Cornet II, m.70, 3rd note: E natural, not E-flat
- Trombone III, m.105, 2nd and 3rd notes: D-flat, not D natural
- Trumpet I, m.105, 3rd note: No need for natural sign
Dionysiaques for Band, Op. 62, No. 1 was composed in 1913. The title relates to the festivals held in ancient Greece to celebrate Dionysus, the god of wine, fertility, drama, and other enjoyable things. The composition is very descriptive, beginning the celebration very sensuously, in the lower brasses and winds, with a more yearning theme in the upper voices. It becomes much busier as the celebration begins to “heat up”. Schmitt uses short bursts of highly chromatic material to allude to the sense of unpredictability that is often associated with such alcohol-induced celebrations. After awhile, the first of a series of jaunty, march-like party themes begins. Schmitt’s writing here can be rather difficult for any wind band, with quick unison trills, gigantic leaps, and alternating tempos. At times, the celebration seems to be calming down, and just before the end of the piece the music comes almost to a complete halt, but of course Schmitt has reserved the biggest climax of all for the end.
- Notes from windbandlit's blog
Dionysiaques was not played until after World War I, during which time Schmitt wrote primarily for chorus and military band. Finally, in 1923, the work was premiered by the Garde Républicaine band in the Luxembourg gardens in Paris.
- Program note by Michael Votta Jr.
Dionysiaques, a work for mature university or professional ensembles, evades classification. Although Schmitt was a French composer who embraced the innovations of Debussy, this work also displays connections to German Romanticism and such post-Romantic composers as Stravinsky and Ravel. The score calls for unique instrumentation, although contemporary groups successfully adapt the work for modern ensembles. This piece is fairly accessible for audiences, and musicians will enjoy the dramatic stylizations.
- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band
Dionysiaques was composed for the 100-member Garde Républicaine Band in Paris in 1913, mere months after Schmitt attended the premiere performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Its own premiere had to wait until 1925 because of World War I, but it has been performed frequently since the mid-20th century and it now stands as one of the cornerstone pieces of the early wind band repertoire.
The title comes from the “Dyonisia”, ancient Greek celebrations honoring Dionysus, the god of wine. He was thought to have provided man with the vineyard, and subsequently the harvest, winemaking, drunkenness and the means for mystical trances.
The piece itself begins ominously as the low brass and woodwinds set the stage for an exotic and almost hypnotic journey. Schmitt’s impressionistic tendencies are immediately evident: wandering melodies emerge in the woodwinds and gradually gain momentum. Their fluidity is slowly abandoned in favor of festivity, perhaps encouraged by the ‘fluid’ of Dionysus, be it red or white. The bacchanal eventually bursts forth, brimming with rhythmic vitality and a relentless insistence on partying all the way to the verge of control, and perhaps a bit beyond.
- Program Note by Cynthia Johnston Turner
Dionysiaques for Band has been recommended as interesting, serious and distinctive music by the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).
- Audio: Air Combat Command (ACC) Heritage of America Band; conductor unknown
- Audio CD: Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra (Timothy Reynish, conductor)]
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (Edinburg) Wind Ensemble (Saul Torres, conductor) – 9 February 2023 (2023 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
- Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra (Cork) – 29 January 2023
- Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff) Wind Symphony (Stephen Meyer, conductor) – 18 March 2022 (CBDNA 2022 Western/Northwestern Conference, Tacoma, Wash.)
- University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen Peterson, conductor) - 3 March 2022 (87th Annual ABA National Convention)
- University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Wind Ensemble (Emily Threinen, conductor) – 12 November 2021
- Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Tx.) Meadows Wind Ensemble (Jack Delaney, conductor) - 8 October 2021
- University of Kansas (Manhattan) Wind Ensemble (Jacqueline Dawson, conductor) - 6 October 2020
- Texas State University (San Marcos) Wind Symphony (Caroline Beatty, conductor) – 4 October 2019
- University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Ensemble (Jonathan Poquette, conductor) – 23 April 2019
- Central Florida Winds (Melbourne, Fla.) (Richard Sabino, conductor) – 3 March 2019>
- Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Mast, conductor) – 24 February 2019
- Arizona State University (Tempe) Wind Ensemble (Gary Hill, conductor) – 22 February 2019 (CBDNA 2019 National Conference, Tempe, Ariz.)
- University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Wind Ensemble (Emily Threinen, conductor) – 11 December 2018
- Carmel (Ind.) High School Wind Symphony (Michael Pote, Conductor) - 4 May 2018
- Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Caneva, conductor) – 23 March 2018
- Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Stephen W. Pratt, conductor) – 13 February 2018
- University of Central Arkansas (Conway) Wind Ensemble (Ricky Brooks, conductor) – 28 November 2017
- Symphonic Wind Orchestra St. Michael Of Thorn (Netherlands) (Ivan Meylemans, conductor) – 20 July 2017 - WASBE Conference (Utrecht, Netherlands)
- Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Wind Ensemble (Eric Wilson, conductor) – 24 April 2017
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Dionysiaques (1913)
- Dionysiaques (ed. Hauswirth) (1913/2012)
- Dionysiaques (arr. Duker) (1913/1975)
- Hymne funèbre (1899/1933)
- Le Camp de Pompée (1921)
- Lied et Scherzo (1910/1988)
- Marche du 163ème regiment d'infanterie (orch. Dondeyne) (1916/)
- Quatuor de Flûtes (1949)
- Quatuor pour saxophones (1948)
- Sélamlik (1906)
- Sélamlik (ed. Hauswirth) (1906)
- "Dionysiaques." Windbandlit's Blog.
- Nicholson, Chad. (2009). ‘’Great Music for Wind Band: A Guide to the Top 100 Works in Grades IV, V, VI.’’ Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications. pp 160-161.
- Schmitt, F.; Hauswith, F. (2011). Dionysiaques: Op. 62 [score]. R. Martin: Charnay-Les-Maçons, France.