Feuillets de voyage: French composer Florent Schmitt’s musical travel diary (1903-5).

Often, composers “favor” instruments that they themselves know how to play.  Florent Schmitt’s own instruments were the piano, organ and flute, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that a significant number of this composer’s creations would feature these instruments. In particular, Schmitt was a highly proficient pianist, which helps explain the expressiveness and effectiveness of his piano compositions […]

American cellist Elisa Kohanski talks about Florent Schmitt’s Chant élégiaque (1899-1903) and its debt to Gabriel Fauré’s Élégie.

Over a composing career of seven decades, Florent Schmitt would pen music featuring nearly every instrument of the symphony orchestra in a solo capacity. The cello was no exception. In fact, Schmitt composed three concertante pieces featuring the cello — one each during his early, middle and late period of creativity.  The earliest of the […]

American soprano Korliss Uecker talks about preparing and singing the solo soprano part in Florent Schmitt’s choral masterpiece Psalm 47 (1904).

One of the most memorable highlights of my concert-going life was hearing Florent Schmitt’s stunning choral masterpiece Psaume XLVII, Op. 38 presented at Lincoln Center in New York City. Although I was well-familiar with the piece, having discovered it several decades earlier, this was the first opportunity I’d had to see it performed live in concert. Like […]

Experiencing Florent Schmitt’s Antony & Cleopatra (1920) and other orientalist masterpieces from France’s “Golden Age” of classical music live in concert: An eyewitness report from Paris.

American cellist Aaron Merritt and French arts administrator Eric Butruille traveled to the Philharmonie in Paris for the June 2018 event and were interviewed immediately thereafter. On June 9th and 10th, 2018, the Orchestre de Paris presented a program that must rank as one of the most interesting concerts of this year’s artistic season in the […]

Paul Paray: The conductor who popularized Florent Schmitt’s ballet La Tragédie de Salomé (1907/10) for half a century.

Music history tells us that the French conductor Paul Paray (1886-1979) gave more first performances of Florent Schmitt’s compositions than any other director. Indeed, Maestro Paray premiered nearly a dozen of the composer’s creations spanning more than a quarter-century, including the following works: Trois rapsodies, Op. 53, January 29, 1928 Cinq motets, Op. 60, January 21, 1934 In Memoriam, Op. 72, November […]

Four important compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in the upcoming 2018/19 concert season by orchestras in Bern, Buffalo, Malmö, Norfolk, Paris, Québec City, Warsaw and Washington.

The international Bachtrack website is in the process of uploading its global database of classical music programs for the upcoming season. Although it isn’t an exhaustive listing of every professional group, the site covers nearly all of the major orchestras, opera and ballet companies around the world, making it the “go-to” resource for information about what’s happening […]

Exploring dance forms down through the ages: Florent Schmitt’s Trois danses (1935).

Florent Schmitt’s two instruments were the flute and the piano. Arguably the piano was the one he preferred most — at least based on the quantity of music he created — for within the catalogue of Schmitt’s compositions are vast swaths of music written for the piano solo, piano duet and duo. The large majority of these […]