Chaîne brisée (1936-37): Florent Schmitt’s posthumous tribute to his friend and fellow-composer Paul Dukas.

Living and working as he did throughout the entirety of France’s “Golden Age” of classical music, Florent Schmitt was well-acquainted with all of the significant composers of the day in Paris.  Among the most famous of them — Achille-Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Albert Roussel and Paul Dukas — the latter three were particularly close friends […]

Eight important compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in the upcoming 2021-22 concert season by orchestras in Detroit, Hamburg, Kyoto, Malmö, Osnabrück, Paris, Saratoga Springs and Tokyo.

In a classical music world finally emerging from the COVID-19 crisis, orchestras are beginning again to program “large orchestra” works that had been embargoed due to social distancing requirements. It bodes well for French composer Florent Schmitt’s big, highly colorful scores. The year 2020 was one of several important anniversaries for classical music composers.  The […]

Simplicity meets virtuosity: Florent Schmitt’s a cappella vocal masterpiece En bonnes voix (1938).

Throughout his extraordinarily long and productive life, the French composer Florent Schmitt would return again and again to the human voice.  His earliest catalogued compositions dating from the 1880s were various mélodies, and his final work was the Messe en quatres parties for mixed chorus and organ, completed just a few months before his death […]

Members of the Prisma String Trio talk about preparing, performing and recording Florent Schmitt’s endlessly fascinating Trio à cordes (1944).

It was a dream come true for the three Prisma musicians, who prepared for nearly a decade before venturing into the recording hall to document their interpretation of Florent Schmitt’s stunning creation: “a string trio with sextet ambitions.”  Music-lovers who are familiar with Florent Schmitt’s artistry are most likely to know his big orchestral compositions, […]

Albert Gleizes, Florent Schmitt, and Le Chant de guerre (1914-15).

The pioneering Cubist artist and the forward-looking composer — kindred spirits in their disdain for the “conventional” in the arts — are forever linked by an iconic painting. In 2012, the French postal service issued a stamp portraying a 1915 painting by the French Cubist artist, theoretician and philosopher Albert Gleizes titled Le Chant de […]

Musicians of the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra talk about discovering Florent Schmitt’s Quartet for Trombones and Tuba (1946) and preparing it for performance.

Late last year, several clips quietly appeared on Facebook — each of them featuring a movement from Florent Schmitt’s Quartet for Trombones and Tuba, Opus 109, a fascinating piece that the composer created in 1946. This quartet is a composition that, despite its creativity and inventiveness, remains one of the least-known of Schmitt’s scores.  Indeed, […]

JoAnn Falletta’s Buffalo Philharmonic recording of Florent Schmitt’s orchestral music wins the prestigious Diapason d’Or.

The 2020 NAXOS recording, completed just days before the COVID pandemic shuttered classical music performances across the globe, includes two colorful ballet scores along with two world premieres. Since its November 2020 release during Florent Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary year, the NAXOS recording of four orchestral works by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under its music […]

Florent Schmitt and the piano collection à l’Exposition: Musical vignettes of the Paris Exposition of 1937 (La Retardée).

For students of history, the International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life — colloquially known as the Paris Exposition of 1937 — is one of those events that’s been the subject of much sociological dissection, seeing as how it was the last great transnational gathering held on the European continent prior to the […]

In a concert season upended by COVID-19, Florent Schmitt’s original scoring of La Tragédie de Salomé (1907) gets its moment in the sun at last.

The 2020-21 season includes performances of the small-orchestra version in Japan, Germany and France. As is so well-known to music-lovers everywhere, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on concert-going the world over.  For too many orchestras and chamber ensembles, the entire 2020-21 season has been a total bust — or at the very least, upended […]

Israeli pianist and pedagogue Tomer Lev talks about planning and producing the new NAXOS recording of the Tombeau de Claude Debussy (1920) complete anthology.

“What stands out in Schmitt’s work is the hypnotic-impressionist atmosphere, verging on the surreal. Both the atmospherics and the piano writing … hint very strongly at Debussy’s own aesthetic world.  It creates a kind of spiritual dialogue that Schmitt conducts with his late older colleague.” — Tomer Lev, pianist and pedagogue In late 2020, NAXOS […]

Florent Schmitt and the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors

The elderly composer chaired the jury at the Besançon’s first competition in 1951. These days there’s certainly no dearth of international competitions for young and emerging conductors.  No fewer than 30 such events are open to contenders from all over the world.  Add in a number of similar competitions that are national rather than international in […]

Investigating the mystery – and promise – of Florent Schmitt’s “Poèmes des lacs” (Les Barques, Demande, Musique sur l’eau, Soir sur le lac, Tristesse au jardin — 1897-1901)

Recently, two documents have emerged that point to the existence of a long-forgotten grouping of Florent Schmitt’s mélodies that can stand alongside the song cycles of fellow-French composers Henri Duparc, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Maurice Delage and Louis Aubert. The grouping of Florent Schmitt mélodies carries the umbrella title “Poèmes des lacs,” and some details […]

Florent Schmitt’s affectionate tribute to Frédéric Chopin: Le Chant de la nuit (1949/51).

Recently, audio documentation one of Florent Schmitt’s most interesting (and elusive) choral compositions has emerged – and it’s come from an unlikely source.  It is a 1987 live performance of Schmitt’s Le Chant de la nuit, Op. 120, a work that carries the subtitle Ode à Frédéric Chopin.  The performance is by the Chiba University […]

Just released: A new recording of four Florent Schmitt orchestral works with JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

The new NAXOS release features two iconic ballet suites along with two world premiere recordings. Back in 2015, a recording of the music of Florent Schmitt on the NAXOS label, performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and its music director, JoAnn Falletta, was a noteworthy artistic and commercial success.  Today, these same musical forces are […]

Florent Schmitt is featured as BBC Music Magazine‘s Composer of the Month in its September 2020 issue.

Composer of the Month designation coincides with the commemoration of Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary. BBC Music Magazine has honored French composer Florent Schmitt as its Composer of the Month for September, 2020.  The coverage coincides with activities commemorating the 150th birthday anniversary of the composer, who was born in Blamont, Lorraine on September 28, 1870. […]