Clémence de Grandval

Clémence de Grandval (21 January 1828 – 15 January 1907), born as Marie Félicie Clémence de Reiset and also known as Vicomtesse de Grandval and Marie Grandval, was a French composer of the Romantic era. She was a person and composer of stature during her life, although less remembered subsequently.[1] Many of her works were published under pseudonyms.

Clémence de Grandval


Marie Félicie Clémence de Reiset was the youngest of four children, born in 1828[2] into a well-to-do family in the Chateau de la Cour du Bois at Saint-Rémy-des-Monts. Her father was an Officier de la Légion d'honneur and a talented pianist, while her mother wrote and published stories.[3] Her parents received many composers and artists, including Jean-Baptiste-Philémon de Cuvillon, Auguste-Joseph Franchomme, Louis-Nicolas Cary and Paul Scudo.

At a very young age, she received composition lessons from composer and family friend Friedrich Flotow, and later studied with Frédéric Chopin. Because her family was wealthy, she was able to work as a composer without financial concerns. She married the Vicomte de Grandval and they had two daughters, Isabelle and Thérèse.[3] She subsequently studied for two years with Camille Saint-Saëns (he dedicated his Oratorio de Noel to her),[1] and continued to work as a composer after her marriage. However, her social position led her to publish several of her works under pseudonyms.[3] These included Caroline Blangy, Clémence Valgrand, Maria Felicita de Reiset and Maria Reiset de Tesier.

Grandval was the recipient of the inaugural Prix Rossini, winning in 1881 with her librettist Paul Collin.[4] Her earliest works were sacred and performed in churches, but she went on to write a number of operas and various popular songs and instrumental works, including many pieces for oboe. Unfortunately, the orchestral scores of some of her pieces have been lost.[5]

During the 1870s, Grandval played a major role in the Société Nationale de Musique, and was the most played composer in this society. She also gave much money to the organisation.[3] During the second part of the 19th century, she was a very popular composer who was admired by many critics. She died in Paris in 1907.[3]

Notable compositionsEdit

Unlike many of her contemporaries, Grandval wrote many pieces for oboe, and unlike her female contemporaries, she wrote several operas. Selected works include:


  • Le sou de Lise (1859)
  • Les fiancés de Rosa (1863)
  • Piccolino (1869)
  • Atala (c. 1888)
  • Mazeppa (1892)


  • Mass (1867)
  • Stabat mater (1870), cantata
  • Sainte-Agnès (1876), oratorio
  • La fille de Jaïre (1881), oratorio


  • Oboe concerto in D minor, Op. 7



  • "Noël!" (1901)



  1. ^ a b Robert Hugill (February 2008). "CD review: Clemence de Grandval: Works for Oboe". MusicWeb-International. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  2. ^ Tsou, Judy (2001). "Grandval (née de Reiset), Marie (Félicie Clémence), Vicomtesse de". In Sadie, Stanley (ed.). New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 10. London: Macmillan. p. 294. ISBN 0-333-60800-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Desmond, Kevin. "La cour du bois". Culture, Patrimoine, Folklore du Saosnois en Sarthe (in French). Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  4. ^ Holoman, D. Kern (2004). The Societ́e ́des concerts du conservatoire, 1828–1967.
  5. ^ Robert Hugill. "Reviewer's log - April 2008". MusicWeb-International. Retrieved 4 March 2011.

External linksEdit