27 ORCHESTRE NATIONAL DE METZ GRAND EST ∙ DAVID REILAND France fully embraced the symphonic poem at the beginning of the Third Republic, when it had become necessary to rebuild the nation’s musical identity after the defeat of Sedan and the episode of the Paris Commune. A generation of composers seized on the genre in order to open up new horizons and counteract the triumph of Germany in the field of stylistic modernity. From Camille Saint- Saëns’s Danse macabre (1874) to Paul Dukas’s L’Apprenti Sorcier (1894), dozens such pieces were performed in Parisian concert associations. César Franck was very active in this field: Les Éolides (1875), Le Chasseur maudit (1883), Les Djinns (1885) and Psyché (1887) continued a process of reflection that he had begun in 1847 with Ce qu’on entend sur la montagne , based on a poem by Victor Hugo. Hence we should not be surprised to see Augusta Holmès and Mel Bonis, both pupils of Franck, also following this path. At a time when Richard Strauss was exploring the destinies of Don Juan, Macbeth, Till Eulenspiegel and Zarathustra, one of these women was orchestrating the myth of Andromeda while the other drew inspiration from Salome, Ophelia and Cleopatra.