Habeyssée (1947): Florent Schmitt’s rich and colorful suite for violin.

Even though he is justly famous for his highly colorful and opulent orchestrations, Florent Schmitt’s own instrument was the piano. And in his early years, much of what he composed were vast swaths of music for piano, as well as for voice with piano. But roughly contemporaneous with his tenure at the Villa Medici in Rome (1900-04), […]

Arts critic Steven Kruger talks about the music of Florent Schmitt and its place in France’s “Golden Age” of classical music.

One of my favorite critics on the international classical music scene today is Steven Kruger, who is a reviewer for New York Arts and Fanfare magazine.  What is particularly special is Kruger’s way of tying his music criticism to broader cultural and artistic undercurrents, often making fresh and novel connections that go unnoticed by others. […]

Substance as well as style: The Quartet for Strings (1948) of Florent Schmitt.

During the extraordinarily long musical career of Florent Schmitt — which spanned 70 years from the late 1880s to the late 1950s — the composer created works for many combinations of instruments. Early on, there were vast swaths of piano music. Then came the sumptuous orchestral creations between 1900 and the onset of World War […]

French conductor Fabien Gabel talks about Florent Schmitt’s Le Palais hanté (1904) and leading The Cleveland Orchestra in its first performance of this Poe-inspired tone picture.

  On August 19, 2017, French conductor Fabien Gabel led The Cleveland Orchestra in a concert of mainly French music at the Blossom Music Center, the orchestra’s summer home. Not only is Maestro Gabel a tireless advocate for the music of his native country wherever he conducts around the world, the artistry of Florent Schmitt is […]

Musicologist Suddhaseel Sen talks about the artistry of Florent Schmitt and the importance of his orientalist compositions.

Musicologist, author and teacher Suddhaseel Sen comes to his appreciation of Western classical music from an interesting angle. A native of the Indian subcontinent, Dr. Sen made his first musical discoveries there, long before coming to the West for a range of music-related studies and research. Today, Dr. Sen is back in India as Assistant Professor of Humanities […]

Musicologist Megan Varvir Coe talks about the Symbolist roots of Florent Schmitt’s ballet La Tragédie de Salomé (1907/10).

Along with his concert band masterpiece Dionysiaques, La Tragédie de Salomé, Op. 50 is French composer Florent Schmitt’s best-known score.  But most music-lovers know only the version that Schmitt prepared in 1910 for large orchestra.  Three years earlier, an original version twice as long had been created by Schmitt for the American dancer Loïe Fuller, who presented it at […]

Conductor and educator Armand Hall talks about the journey of Florent Schmitt’s Dionysiaques (1913) to its pinnacle position in the concert band repertoire.

“In my estimation, Dionysiaques is the first truly artistic work created for large concert band … Regardless of how many times I listen to Dionysiaques, it always feels new and interesting.  It also suggests that Florent Schmitt considered the wind band ensemble to be ‘without limits’.”  — Dr. Armand Hall,  American conductor and educator Florent […]