La Tragédie de Salomé (1907/10): Florent Schmitt’s sinuous temptress, seducing audiences for over 100 years.

“[It] is like a half-hour visit to the pleasure dome in Xanadu, and if it doesn’t give you a few spiritual orgasms, then perhaps you need to insert Viagra® in each of your ears.”

  — Raymond Tuttle, Music Critic, Fanfare Magazine

Costume designs for the 1913 Ballets Russes production of La Tragedie de Salome, designed by Serge Soudeikine.

Costume designs for the 1913 Ballets Russes production of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé, created by Serge Soudeikine.

The ballet La Tragédie de Salomé, Op. 50 is Florent Schmitt’s most famous and oft-recorded composition — and it isn’t hard to figure out why.

Loie Fuller Lamp

All the rage: A Loïe Fuller lamp, created and sold at about the time of Fuller’s 1907 premiere of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé in Paris.

Salomé represents the very best in the French tradition of evocative music on exotic subjects … but in this case, we have a hefty dose of the “epic” and “barbaric” to go along with the Impressionistic and “orientalist” touches.

Composed in 1907 for chamber-size orchestra, the ballet started out nearly one hour long.  Its first performance was at the Théâtre des Arts (now the Théâtre Hébertot) in a production that featured Loïe Fuller, the American-born dancer and choreographer who was famous for her scarves and lighting effects.

Writing of the lead dancer’s commanding performance, the French music and drama critic Edmond Stoullig remarked:

“All the other persons in the drama dwelt immovable, looking at Mme. Fuller. What could they do otherwise? There was nothing to do except to admire her, mouths agape.”

In an article published in 1987 by the periodical 19th Century Music, musicologist and author Susan Youens characterizes Fuller as “a living embodiment of art nouveau and the femmes fleurs in art, with their expressive merger of botany and human anatomy.” As an example, in the “Dance of Fear” in La Tragédie de Salomé, Youens describes Fuller as being clothed in “voluminous dresses made of thin India silk with immense trains; by manipulating the folds of cloth she created effects of butterflies, lilies and flames — the new technology of electric arc lights playing on the moving folds and pleats.”

Tragedie de Salome 1907 Program Cover

The program cover for the original production of La Tragédie de Salomé, presented at the Théâtre des Arts.

Several years later, Schmitt revisited the score, condensing it to about one-half its original length while substantially augmenting the orchestration and making the female voices optional. The resulting score, premiered in 1911 as an orchestral suite and featuring composer-conductor Gabriel Pierné directing the Colonne Concerts Orchestra, was a sonic spectacular.

Florent Schmitt with Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky (l.), photographed with Florent Schmitt about the time of the composition of Salomé. Schmitt dedicated the score to him.

Schmitt dedicated his composition to Igor Stravinsky, who is said to have been influenced by the jagged rhythms and barbarism in certain parts of the score.

Pierre-Octave Ferroud, Schmitt’s pupil and first biographer, wrote these words about the the outsized influence of this music:

La Tragédie precedes Le Sacre du printemps by six years — and the honor goes to Florent Schmitt to have opened a road where others would follow.  He opened it up and lit it up in the Danse des éclairs (no pun intended), followed by the Danse de l’effroi where he released rhythmic powers like no one before had dared to do.”

Stephane Deneve French conductor

Stéphane Denève

Mirroring those sentiments the French conductor Stéphane Denève, speaking to the audience before a 2011 concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra where he performed Schmitt’s piece, declared:

“Without La Tragédie de Salomé, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring would not have been the same!”

The ballet score illustrates the pioneering aspects of Schmitt’s writing.  According to research conducted by music notation specialist Dr. Donald Byrd at Indiana University, the 1907 Salomé represents the earliest appearance of a non-integer time signature numerator — (3-1/2)/4 — in published music, pre-dating the usage of similar treatments by Charles Ives, Edgar Varèse and others.

Florent Schmitt Tragedie de Salome score page Rhene-Baton

A vintage copy of Florent Schmitt’s score to La Tragédie de Salomé that was once in the personal music library of René-Emmanuel Baton (aka Rhené-Baton). Maestro Rhené-Baton’s notes are marked throughout. (Score: Courtesy of Léo Marillier)

Writing in the pages of Le Monde after seeing Salomé performed by André Cluytens and the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra at the 1951 Besançon Festival, the music critic René Dumesnil made these memorable comments about the ballet:

“We can only repeat what we say whenever we hear it: We never tire of it — it is one of those works in which one discovers at each new hearing some reason to admire it more. It is one of those creations where the richness of the ideas, the accuracy of their expression and the sumptuousness of the coloring rank it among the leading compositions of all time.”

Schmitt Tragedie de Salome Score Gabel Bringuier

A miniature score to Florent Schmitt’s ballet La Tragédie de Salomé, inscribed by conductors Lionel Bringuier (The Cleveland Orchestra, 2015) and Fabien Gabel (Detroit Symphony Orchestra, 2022).

Of Schmitt’s score — and the fevered story line as dramatized by the French writer and stage director Robert d’Humières — author and composer Edward Burlingame Hill wrote these words in his classic 1924 book Modern French Music:

Robert d'Humieres

A noteworthy stage and literary career cut short by the First World War: Robert d’Humières (1868-1915).

“Florent Schmitt has depicted this lurid scenario in music of unexampled vividness — of exotic imagination. His gifts for construction, contrapuntal mastery and appropriate harmonic luxuriance have fired his inventive powers to produce one of the most graphically dramatic works in the range of French music … [indeed] the French prototype of a new species of ballet in which all the resources of scenic production, orchestral splendor, and detailed and plastic accompaniment of action combine.”

Hill could have added that Schmitt introduced a number of novel instructions in the score — for instance, directing that the snare drum be played sur le bois (on the wood, i.e., on the rope-hoop) — to winsome effect.

La Tragedie de Salome 1912 Florent Schmitt

A newspaper clipping from the 1912 Trouhanova production of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé in the composer’s new version — half the music, triple the musicians.

The plot line at which Edward Burlingame Hill is intimating is the dramatic action conceived by Robert d’Humières and set down in the following narrative that prefaces Schmitt’s published score, as translated from the original French by the music producer and arts administrator Harold Lawrence:

Prelude A terrace of Herod’s palace overlooking the Dead Sea.  The pink and reddish Moab Mountains shut in the horizon.  Dominating the scene is massive Mount Nebo, from which Moses, on the threshold of the Promised Land, greeted Canaan before his death.  The sun is setting.  John the Baptist crosses the terrace and disappears.

Danse des perles (Pearl Dance) — Torches illuminate the scene.  Their light draws sparking reflections from the clothing and jewels that spill out of a precious coffer.  Herodias [Salome’s mother], in a thoughtful mood, dips her hands into the coffer and removes necklaces and silken veils of gold.  Salome appears and leans over the chest in fascination.  She puts on the necklaces and veils, and begins to dance with childish glee.

Florent Schmitt Tragedie de Salome Inghelbrecht

Désiré Inghelbrecht conducted the orchestral forces at the 1907 premiere of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé. Maestro Inghelbrecht would conduct this music often in subsequent years, including an ORTF memorial concert in honor of Schmitt presented in October 1958 following the composer’s death. This billboard announces a 1920 Inghelbrecht performance.

Georges Wague

Georges Wague (1874-1965), the French actor and mime artist who portrayed Herod in Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé more than 75 times on the Paris Opéra stage. Considering the art of pantomime as capable of far greater emotional range than spoken words — particularly in communicating feelings — Wague once wrote, “With the blaze of a look, the cadence of a step, a torso rotation, a wrinkling of the features, a mime artist can characterize ulterior motives such as hatred, remorse, desire, enjoyment or disgust, which the most warmly described and dramatically well-stated phrases can only superficially provide.”

Les Enchantements sur la mer (The Magic of the Sea) Salome has gone.  Herod is lost in gloomy thoughts of lust and fear.  Herodias spies on her husband.  Mysterious lights gleam in the water’s depths.  Beneath the waves, the outlines of the engulfed Pentapolis are dimly perceived.  Distant sounds of an orgy emerge faintly through the shower of ash and bitumen over Sodom and Gomorrah: fragments of dance rhythms … sighs … demented laughter …

A voice is heard from the abyss; Herod listens fearfully.  Vapors float upwards from the sea.  As if created out of troubled dreams and the guilt of old sin, a living cloud takes shape.  Out of this cloud, Salome suddenly leaps into view.  As the sound of thunder is heard in the distance, Salome begins to dance.  Herod stands …

Musique Moderne International poster 1923 Walther Straram

Walther Straram’s 1923 Musique Moderne Internationale season in Paris reads like a veritable “Who’s Who” of the classical composer world. Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé was included in the first of the concert programs during the season.

Theatre Hebertot

The interior of the Théâtre des Arts (now known as the Théâtre Hébertot), where Florent Schmitt’s ballet was first mounted in 1907.

Danse des éclairs (Dance of Lighting) Darkness envelops the scene, and flashes of lightning provide the only source of illumination.  In the wanton dance that follows, Herod pursues Salome, seizes her and tears off her veils.  Salome is naked — but only for an instant.  John the Baptist quickly appears and covers her body with his anchorite’s robe.  Herod is furious and orders John to be delivered to the executioner, who takes the prophet offstage and returns later with his severed head on a brass charger.

Florent Schmitt Walther Straram 1923

A 1923 performance of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé with the Walther Straram Orchestra. The concert also featured the pianist Magda Tagliaferro.

Salome triumphantly grasps the trophy and begins to dance.  Then, imagining that the voice of the prophet is whispering in her ear, she runs to the terrace’s edge and hurls the charger over the battlements into the sea.  The water immediately turns blood-red, terror grips everyone, and Salome collapses.  Salome recovers, but the head appears, stares at Salome, and vanishes.  From another position, the head reappears.  Salome tries to escape, but the heads multiply, springing up from all sides.  Salome covers her face in an attempt to blot out the grisly apparition.

Danse de l’effroi (Dance of Fright) A storm breaks out.  Raging winds envelop Salome as sulfurous clouds float out of the abyss.  A tempest rocks the sea and agitates the lonely deserts, while lofty cypresses twist convulsively in the wind and crash to earth.  Lightning bolts shake loose the stones of the citadel, Mount Nebo shoots forth flames, the entire Moab Mountain range takes fire — and Salome, swept away an infernal excitement, is crushed in the onslaught of the elements.

Florent Schmitt drawing by Paul Charles Delaroche 1912

Florent Schmitt directing his own ballet La Tragédie de Salomé at the 1912 gala ballet evening starring Natalia Trouhanova. This drawing was created by Paul Charles Delaroche (1886-1914), a dessinateur who, like so many other creative artists, would not survive World War I.

Today, while Salomé is performed mainly in the concert hall as a symphonic suite in the manner of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, one of the most memorable events in the annals of dance occurred in Paris in 1912 when a quartet of ballets was staged in a single evening: Paul Dukas’ La Péri … Vincent d’Indy’s Istar … Maurice Ravel’s Valses Nobles et Sentimentales … and Florent Schmitt’s Salomé.

Each composer conducted his own stage work, leading the Lamoureux Orchestra.

Nathalie Trouhanova Florent Schmitt Salome

The cover of the 1912 dance programme featuring Natalia Trouhanova in four starring femme-fatale roles: Istar, Péri, Adelaïde (Valses nobles et sentimentales) … and Salomé.

Trouhanova program 1912 Schmitt d'Indy Dukas Ravel

The quartet of ballets presented at the famous 1912 Paris program featuring prima ballerina Natalia Trouhanova. Each of the four composers — Paul Dukas, Vincent d’Indy, Maurice Ravel and Florent Schmitt — conducted their own scores. Of the evening’s programme, the music critic Pierre Lalo wrote of “a spectacle that was the most tasteful, the most beautiful, the most harmonious and fulfilling that we have ever witnessed … Mlle. Trouhanova gave us a synthesis of the art of our time.”

Schmitt Tragedie de Salome set design Maxime Dethomas 1912 Paris Trouhanova

A spread page from the April 1912 program of ballets presented in Paris by prima ballerina Nathalie Trouhanova (1885-1956) and members of the Lamoureux Orchestra, portraying the set design by Maxime Dethomas (1867-1929) for Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé. The page bears inscriptions to Maurice Ravel penned by Schmitt and Dethomas. The ballet programme, published by Maquet, was one of 100 copies signed by Mlle. Trouhanova and presented to dignitaries in music and the arts. The production, organized by theatre director Jacques Rouché, featured four ballets, each conducted by their respective composers (Paul Dukas in La Péri, Maurice Ravel in Adélaïde ou le langage des fleurs [Valses nobles et sentimentales, orchestrated by Ravel expressly for Trouhanov’s program], and Vincent d’Indy in Istar, in addition to Schmitt’s ballet).

Rosella Hightower ballet dancer 1961

Rosella Hightower (1920-2008)

Since World War II, mountings of the ballet have been infrequent.  The Marquis de Cuevas ballet company staged it at the Champs-Elysées theatre in Paris in 1950, with Rosella Hightower in the starring role. The last Parisian stage production of the ballet happened in 1954 at the Palais Garnier — a Paris Opéra production featuring choreography by Albert Aveline and sets by Yves Brayer.  Lycette Darsonval starred in the title role and the orchestra was conducted by Robert Blot.

France may not have seen any recent revivals of the ballet, but in the past several years the Mariinsky Ballet has revived La Tragédie de Salomé as a theatre piece — to my knowledge, one of just three times the ballet has been presented on stage anywhere in more than half a century.

Schmitt Tragedie de Salome Paris Opera 1954

The 1954 Paris Opéra stage production, starring Lycette Darsonval in the title role of Salomé. (Photo: ©Boris Lipnitzki/Roger-Viollet)

Pierre Monteux conductor

Pierre Monteux (1875-1964) led the Boston Symphony Orchestra in performances of La Tragédie de Salomé at home and also in New York City and Baltimore. New York Times music critic Richard Aldrich attended the Carnegie Hall performance and noted in his review for the Times: “The music is strongly marked in mood and the dances, some of them tinged with an oriental color, have propulsive movement and picturesque expression … [Schmitt’s] ideas are strong and musically significant; they are submitted to a treatment at once plastic and vigorous: fecund, often harsh, but stimulating in harmonic devices, vividly colored in orchestration. There is in this music the suggestion of the vague inquietude, the mystery, the orgiastic revel, the wild abandon of the dancer, the final terror. There are new and strange orchestra effects, [such] as the deep gasps of the lowest woodwinds …”

Despite the dearth of stage productions, Schmitt’s score has never lost its popularity in France.  Moreover, it has been brought to the far corners of the world by a surprisingly diverse group of conductors.

The Concertgebouw Orchestra played the score in 1913, the same year that the first performances in America were presented by Karl Muck and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in November of 1913. Dr. Muck also brought the piece to New York City area with his orchestra for concerts on December 5, 1913 (Brooklyn’s Academy of Music) and January 10, 1914 (Carnegie Hall). He also gave the work’s first Chicago-area performance in 1920, leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Of the 1914 Karl Muck performance, the New York Times reported:

Karl Muck conductor

A caricature of Dr. Karl Muck (1859-1940) drawn by Arthur George Witherby and published in Vanity Fair magazine (July 27, 1899 issue).

“Florent Schmitt’s piece was played for the first time in New York, and it was the first of his music to be played here. He is … a winner of the Grand Prix [de Rome] and [is] now one of those considered most recent, most modern in France.

Schmitt writes, naturally, in the idiom that has been developed by the school of modern Frenchmen — an idiom that is still difficult for many listeners. And yet Schmitt is no follower of those who are regarded as the leaders of the French school; his voice is a voice of his alone. It appears, indeed, stronger in invention and in fibre than much that has recently come out of France. It depends less on mere color — instrumental and harmonic — although he makes the fullest use of such color …”

Boston Sympohony Orchestra concert program Brooklyn December 3 1913

The program for the Boston Sympnony Orchestra’s presentation of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé at the Academy of Music in Brooklyn, New York (December 1913). The program also featured the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Fritz Kreisler as soloist. Karl Muck conducted.

Considering the Boston Symphony alone, the piece has been presented there by Kerl Muck (in 1913 and also in Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1914), Pierre Monteux (in 1919 in Boston and also at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Academy of Music in Brooklyn and the Lyric Theatre in Baltimore), Serge Koussevitzky (in 1931 and 1939) and Dmitri Mitropoulos (1936).

Boston Symphony Lyric Baltimore 1919 Monteux

The first Baltimore performance of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé (and the only one to date) was presented at the Lyric Theatre (Lyric Opera House) in December 1919. Pierre Monteux conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a concert that also included the Tchaikovsky Sixth Symphony (dubbed the “Pathetic” on the program above).

In the Midwest U.S., La Tragédie de Salomé was performed by Max Zach and the St. Louis Symphony Symphony Orchestra the same year as it was first performed in Chicago (1920). Moreover, the piece was played on the West Coast as early as 1930 (by the University of California Symphony Orchestra in Berkeley), and by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 1932.

Concertgebouw Orchestra Schmitt Salome 1913

The first performance of La Tragédie de Salomé outside France was with the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam in 1913.

The 1913 Concertgebouw program.

The 1913 concert performance of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé with the Concertgebouw Orchestra shared billing with Ernest Chausson’s Symphony in B-Flat.

Indeed, fortunate audiences on five continents have had the opportunity to see and hear this “perilously seductive” score — as one music critic from BBC Music Magazine has described it recently. The partial listing below of post-World War II public performances attests to the piece’s widespread reach over the past 75 years.

[N.B. Special thanks to Chandler Cudlipp, former artistic advisor at the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, for his assistance in compiling the performance listing below.  Additions and corrections to the information are welcomed.]


Public Performances Since 1945 – Partial Listing

1945  –  October 18, 19 – Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Désiré Defauw, conductor

1947  –  April 1 – Orchestre des Concerts Pasdeloup; Albert Wolff, conductor

1951  –  January 7 – Orchestre des Concerts Pasdeloup; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

Schmitt Dukas Gaubert Vienna Philharmonic Salzburg Festival Program 1932

Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé shared billing with Paul Dukas’ La Péri and Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole in a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival in August 1932. Jacques Thibaud was the featured violinist and Philippe Gaubert conducted.

1951  –  March 7, 8, 10  –  Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam; Jean Fournet, conductor

1951 – September 11 (Besançon Festival) – Paris Conservatoire Orchestra; André Cluytens, conductor

1951  –  December 2 – Orchestre des Concerts Pasdeloup

1951  –  December 2, 9 – Orchestre des Concerts Colonne; Gaston Poulet, conductor

1952  –  January 25, 27 – Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Paul Paray, conductor

Paray Pittsburgh Symphony Schmitt 1952

In good company: Paul Paray’s 1952 Pittsburgh Symphony performances of Salomé also featured the music of Beethoven, Berlioz and Chabrier.

1952  –  December 11 – Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Paul Paray, conductor

1953  –  July 26 – Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Eric Paul Stekel, conductor

1953 –  September 21  –  Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Eugène Bigot, conductor

1953 – October – Pasdeloup Concerts Orchestra; Jean Fournet, conductor

1954  –  January 13 – Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Désiré-Emile Inghelbrecht, conductor

1954 – December 15 – Paris Opera Orchestra; Robert Blot, conductor [Théâtre National de l’Opéra stage production]

1955  –  Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Joseph Post/Eugene Goossens, conductors

1955  –  February 21 – Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Pedro de Freitas Branco, conductor

1955  –  February 27  –  New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Rémus Tzincoca, conductor

Florent Schmitt Robert Blot Paris Opera 1954

Florent Schmitt confers with Robert Blot, conductor of the musical forces in the Paris Opéra Ballet’s revival of La Tragédie de Salomé in December 1954.

1956  –  March 21, 22, 23, 24, 25  –  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra; André Cluytens, conductor

1956  –  April (various dates, Switzerland tour)  –  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1956  –  May 16  –  Philharmonia Orchestra; Rémus Tzincoca, conductor

1957  –  February 20  –  Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Pierre-Michel Le Conte, conductor

Remus Tzincoca

Rémus Tzincoca (1915-2012) led performances of Schmitt’s Salomé during the 1950s. His February 27, 1955 New York Philharmonic performance was described by New York Times critic Harold C. Schonberg as follows: “He securely built up the cliamaxes, molded the phrases with authority, and in general showed complete acquaintance with the score … he and the players got on remarkably well.”

1957  –  September 8 – Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Pierre-Michel Le Conte, conductor

1958  –  March 20 – Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Paul Paray, conductor

1958  –  May 20 – Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1958  –  July 24  –  Orchestre de la Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française de Toulouse-Pyrénées; Jean Clergue, conductor

ORTF de Toulouse-Pyrenees Clergue Schmitt Aubert Ravel 1958 program

This July 24, 1958 program, part of a series of concerts featuring “music of Gabriel Fauré and his disciples,” was presented just a month before Florent Schmitt’s death.

1958  –  October 9 – Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F + Chorus.; Simone Condinas, soprano; Désiré-Emile Inghelbrecht, conductor (Memorial concert in honor of Florent Schmitt)

1959  –  October 12  –  Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Mladen Bašić, conductor

1960  –  October 25 – Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Manuel Rosenthal, conductor

1960  –  November 6  –  Colonne Concerts Orchestra; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1960  –  December 20 –  Lamoureux Concerts Orchestra; François-Julien Brun, conductor

1961  –  May 20  –  Moscow

1961  –  July 14  –  National Symphony Orchestra of Portugal; Pedro de Freitas Branco, conductor

1961  –  October 20  –  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Jean Fournet, conductor

1962  –  February 10 – Orchestre Philharmonique de l’O.R.T.F.; Eugène Bigot, conductor

1962  –  March 17, 18  –  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra; François-Julien Brun, conductor

1962  –  August 17 – Orchestre Philharmonique de l’O.R.T.F.; Jean Clergue, conductor

1962  –  September 5, 27  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg; Charles Bruck, conductor

1962  –  October 28  –  Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux; Manuel Rosenthal, conductor

BBC Symphony Concert Season 1928-29

Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé was presented during the BBC Symphony’s 1928-29 season. Albert Wolff conducted the program, which also included the Frederick Delius Piano Concerto and César Franck’s Symphony in D Minor.

1963  –  June 25  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de l’O.R.T.F.; Manuel Rosenthal, conductor

1963  –  November 9  –  Lamoureux Concerts Orchestra; Jacques Bazire, conductor

1964  –  July 6  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de l’O.R.T.F.; Tony Aubin, conductor

1964 – December 27 – Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Eugène Bigot, conductor

1965  –  January 11, 12, 13  –  NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo); Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1966  –  February 14  –  Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo; Paul Paray, conductor  (also performed on American tour, March/April 1966)

Boston Symphony Orchestra program January 1936 Florent Schmitt Salome Mitropoulos

The concert program for a January 1936 performance of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé, presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos.

1966  –  June 10  –  Orchestre Nationale de Strasbourg; Roger Albin, conductor

1968  –  February  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de l’O.R.T.F.; Jean Fournet, conductor

1967 OSQ Invitation Schmitt Dervaux

A postcard invitation announcing a concert featuring Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé, performed by the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec under the direction of its then-music director, Pierre Dervaux (1967).

1967  –  April 3, 4 – Orchestre Symphonique de Québec; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1968  –  April 2  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de l’O.R.T.F.; Jean Fournet, conductor

1969  –  March 17, 18, 20 – Orchestre Symphonique de Québec; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1970  –  April 8  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg; Roger Albin, conductor

1970  –  September 12  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de l’O.R.T.F.; Gérard Devos, conductor

1970  –  October 25  –  Pasdeloup Concerts Orchestra; Gérard Devos, conductor

1970  –  December 2  –  Orchestre de Paris; Serge Baudo, conductor

1971  [date unknown]  –  SABC Symphony Orchestra (Johannesburg); Cantare Choir; Francesco Mander, conductor

1971  –  October 22 – Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Paul Paray, conductor

1972  –  January 12  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg; Roger Albin, conductor

1972  –  April  –  Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Sixten Ehrling, conductor

1972  –  April 9, 11  –  American Symphony Orchestra; Ainslee Cox, conductor

1972  –  October 10, 11  –  Orchestre Philharmonique des Pays de la Loire; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1973  –  January 7  –  Orchestre National de l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1973 –  January 7  –  Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Jean Martinon, conductor

San Antonio Symphony Huybrechts Florent Schmitt program 1978

The November 1978 San Antonio Symphony Orchestra program, presented by music director François Huybrechts.

1972  –  May 22  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg; Marius Briançon, conductor

1973 –  June 19, 21, 22, 23  –  Orchestra of the Florence Maggio Musicale; Edoardo Müller, conductor  [Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Stage Production]

1974  –  March 6, 7, 8, 9  –  Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam; Jean Fournet, conductor

1974  –  March 10  –  Colonne Concerts Orchestra; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1974  –  March 13, 15, 16 – San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; Kazuyoshi Akiyama, conductor (Japanese premiere performance)

1974  –  July 13 – St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin

1975  –  February 25 – Orchestre Symphonique de Québec; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1978  –  November 4, 6  –  San Antonio Symphony Orchestra; François Huybrechts, conductor

Sylvain Cambreling

Forty years of advocacy: Sylvain Cambreling (1980, 1983, 2007, 2016, 2022).

1980  –  February 9  –  Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Sylvain Cambreling, conductor

1980  –  March 19  –  Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F. + Chorus; Pierre Dervaux, conductor

1981  –  October 6  –  Orchestre Philharmonique and Choeurs de Radio-France; Hubert Soudant, conductor

1981  –  October 19, 20; November 3, 4, 8, 13  –  L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal; Charles Dutoit, conductor  (also performed on a nine-city North American tour, October/November 1981)

Schmitt Salome Koblenz

The program cover for the Coblenz Ballet’s staging of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé in 1994/95.

1982  –  October 20, 21 [Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, New York City, USA; Toronto, Canada] – Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France; Marc Soustrot, conductor

1983  –  March 13  –  Frankfurt Opera House and Museum Orchestra; Sylvain Cambreling, conductor

1983  –  October 2  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo; Lawrence Foster, conductor

1983  –  October 25, 26  –  Fort Lauderdale Symphony Orchestra; Emerson Buckley, conductor

1985  –  August 1, 2  –  Orchestre National de France; Thomas Fulton, conductor

1987  –  January 28, 29  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France; Marek Janowski, conductor

1987  –  August 2 –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France; Marek Janowski, conductor [BBC Proms premiere performance]

1987  –  September 29 –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France; Marek Janowski, conductor [Berlin, Germany]

1988  –  January 1 –  Orchestre National de France

Fort Lauderdale Symphony program Florent Schmitt Emerson Buckley 1983

The October 1983 performances of La Tragédie de Salomé by the Fort Lauderdale Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Emerson Buckley. Also on the program was another relative rarity — the overture to Phèdre by Florent Schmitt’s onetime teacher, Jules Massenet.

1990  –  December 17  –  New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra; Pascal Verrot, conductor

1993  –  March 15  –  Orchestre National de France; Victor Puhl, conductor

1993  –  October 19, 20  –  Orchestre National de France; James Conlon, conductor

1994  –  April 28  –  Orchestre de Paris; James Conlon, conductor

1994/95 –  October 28, November 2, 4, 11, 14, 19, 22, December 10, 19, January 8, 10, 22, 26, February 19, March 2, 11, 14, 15  –  Coblenz Ballet Orchestra; Marioara Trifan and Christian Letschert, conductors  [Theater der Stadt Koblenz Stage Production]

Soustrot Schmitt Stravinsky Debussy-

A poster promoting the May 1995 concerts by the Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie under the direction of Marc Soustrot.

1995  –  May 21, 23, 24, 1995  –  Orchestre Symphonique de la Monnaie; Marc Soustrot, conductor

1995  –  June 10, 1995  –  Texas Festival Orchestra; Pascal Verrot, conductor

1995  –  November 4  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France; Marek Janowski, conductor

1996  –  November 27  –  Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Jean Fournet, conductor

1997  –  April 23  –  RTVE Symphony Orchestra (Madrid); Richard Fletcher, conductor

1997  –  May 30  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France; Marek Janowski, conductor

1997  –  October 30  –  Berlin Symphony Orchestra; Diego Masson, conductor

1998  –  January 18, 28, 29, 30  –  Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra (Antwerp); Muhai Tang, conductor

1998  –  June 16  –  Orquesta Sinfonica Portuguesa (Lisbon); Giuliano Carella, conductor

Florent Schmitt Tragedie de Salome score cover Mitropoulos

The personal score of conductor Dimitri Mitropoulos resides in the archives of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Researchers viewing the score will see Maestro Mitropoulos’ personal markings noted throughout.

2000  –  January 9  –  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; Heinz Rögner, conductor

2000  –  February 17, 18, 21  –  NDR Hannover Radio-Philharmonic Orchestra; Manfred Trojahn, conductor

2000  –  April 12, 13  –  Thuringia Philharmonic Orchestra; Heinz Rögner, conductor

2000  –  May 9  –  Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Jean Fournet, conductor

2000  –  September 1  –  Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra; Heinz Rögner, conductor

2000  –  December 7  –  Orchestre National de l’O.R.T.F.; Yevgeny Svetlanov, conductor

2000  –  December 8  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège; Serge Baudo, conductor

2002  –  January 25  –  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra; Jean-Paul Penin, conductor

2002  –  March 16  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France; Sandra Zeltzer, soprano; Pascal Rophé, conductor [original 1907 version]

2002  –  July 14  –  Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo; Marek Janowski, conductor

2002  –  December 15, 16  –  Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra; Golo Berg, conductor

2003  –  April 17  –  Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse; Michel Plasson, conductor

Stephane Deneve

Passionate advocate of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé: French conductor Stéphane Denève (2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2022, 2023, 2024).

2004  –  May 11  –  Orchestra del Teatro Massimo; Stéphane Denève, conductor

2004  –  September 17  –  Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; James Conlon, conductor

2005  –  April 14, 15  –  Orchestre National de Lyon; Stéphane Denève, conductor

2005  –  August 20  –  Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse; Michel Plasson, conductor

2005  –  October 14  –  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra; Dorian Wilson, conductor (Russian premiere performance)

2005  –  November 4  –  Irish National Radio & Television Orchestra (RTE); Rebecca Ryan, soprano; Jacques Mercier, conductor

2006  –  January 22 – Paris Conservatoire Orchestra; Patrick Davin, conductor

2006  –  March 21  –  Ensemble Orchestral de Paris; Juraj Valcuha, conductor

2006  –  November 10, 11, 12  –  Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Stéphane Denève, conductor

2006  –  November 17  –  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Ronald Zollman, conductor

2007  –  March 4  –  Edmonton Youth Orchestra; Michael Massey, conductor

2007  –  March 9, 10, 11  –  Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana; Juraj Valcuha, conductor

2007 – March 11, July 4  –  L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège; Pascal Rophé, conductor

2007  –  May 11  –  Spokane Symphony Orchestra; Eckart Preu, conductor

2007  –  July 29  –  National Orchestra of Italy; Massimiliano Caldi, conductor

2007  –  December 15  –  Southwest German Radio Symphony (Baden-Baden u. Freiburg); Sylvain Cambreling, conductor

2008  –  March 12  –  National Philharmonic of Russia (Moscow); Ion Marin, conductor

2008  –  June 30  –  Zurich Chamber Orchestra; Muhai Tang, conductor [original 1907 version]

2008  –  December 4  –  Orchestre National de France; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Lionel Bringuier French orchestra conductor

Schmitt’s Salomé is a beloved repertoire staple for French conductor Lionel Bringuier (2009, 2015, 2017).

2009  –  February 5  –  Limburg Symphony Orchestra (Maastricht); Lionel Bringuier, conductor

2009  –  February 20  –  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Lionel Bringuier, conductor

Ira Levin Florent Schmitt Salome Brasilia

Ira Levin conducts Brasilia’s Claudio Santoro Orchestra in South American performances of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé (2009).

2009  –  February 27  –  BBC Symphony Orchestra; Lionel Bringuier, conductor

2009  –  March 4  –  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra; Lionel Bringuier, conductor

2009  –  April 14, 24, November 24  –  Orchestre Sinfonica do Teatro Nacional Claudio Santoro (Brasilia); Ira Levin, conductor

2009  –  April 24, 26, 27  –  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; Lionel Bringuier, conductor

2009  –  May 15, 16  –  Orchestre National de Montpellier; Alain Altinoglu, conductor

2009  –  July  –  Ulster Orchestra; Pascal Rophé, conductor

2009  –  November 22  – Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Yannick Nezet-Seguin recording Florent Schmitt's Tragedie de Salome

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s 2009 performance with the Orchestre Métropolitain was also recorded and released on the ATMA label.

2010  –  March 20-28  –  Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra; Pascal Verrot, conductor

2010  –  May 20, 21, 22  –  Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Yan-Pascal Tortelier, conductor

2011  –  March 30, 31  –  Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Stéphane Denève, conductor

Schmitt-salome-TSO program-Deneve

French conductor Stéphane Denève brought La Tragédie de Salomé to Canadian audiences in March 2011 (Toronto Symphony Orchestra).

2011  –  May 12, 13 – Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra; Alain Pâris, conductor

2012  –  February 23, 24  –  Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Alain Altinoglu, conductor

2012  –  May 16  –  Orchestre de Paris; Alain Altinoglu, conductor

2012  –  June 1  –  Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse; Alain Altinoglu, conductor

2013  –  May 4 – Singapore Symphony Orchestra; Lan Shui, conductor

2013  –  May 28, 29, 30, 31, June 1 – Teatro Verdi Orchestra (Trieste); Alexei Repnikov, conductor  [Mariinsky Ballet stage production]

2013  –  November 13 – Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Lan Shui, conductor

2014  –  July 2, 4 – Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra (Stuttgart); Stéphane Denève, conductor

2014  –  October 30 – Sibiu State Philharmonic Orchestra (Romania); Gottfried Rabl, conductor

2015  –  January 31  –  Sinfonietta Shizuoka (Tokyo); Tomoya Nakahara, conductor [original 1907 version]

2015  –  April 16, 18  –  The Cleveland Orchestra; Lionel Bringuier, conductor

Cleveland Orchetra Lionel Bringuier Schmitt

The Cleveland Orchestra’s concert program, conducted by Lionel Bringuier (April 2015). Maestro Bringuier’s performances of Schmitt’s composition were the first ones presented by The Cleveland Orchestra in more than 70 years.

2015  –  May 14, 15, 16  –  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Lionel Bringuier, conductor

Lionl Bringuier Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Florent Schmitt Salome

Lionel Bringuier rehearsing Florent Schmitt’s La Tragedie de Salome with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (May 2015).

2015  –  March 19  –  Sinfonietta Shizuoka; Tomoya Nakahara, conductor [original 1907 version]

2015  –  July 31, August 1  –  National Youth Orchestra of Wales; Paul Daniel, conductor

2015  –  October 1  –  Real Filharmonica de Galicia; Paul Daniel, conductor

2015  –  October 8, 9  –  Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Bordeaux; Paul Daniel, conductor

2015  –  October 17  –  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra; Miha Rogina, conductor

Florent Schmitt Salome Miha Rogina

In 2015, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Miha Rogina performed La Tragédie de Salomé in the Schlosstheater Schönbrunn in Vienna — reportedly the first time the piece had been presented in Austria in decades.

2016  –  April 22 – Moldova Philharmonic Orchestra of Iasi; Gottfried Rabl, conductor


Austrian conductor Gottfried Rabl introduced Schmitt’s score to concert audiences in Romania — and kept right on going with follow-up performances in that country (2014, 2016, 2018).

2016  –  March 7 – Paris Conservatoire Student/Graduate Orchestra; Alain Altinoglu, conductor

2016  –  May 22, 23 – Stuttgart State Orchestra; Sylvain Cambreling, conductor

Schmitt Tragedie de Salome Cambreling Stuttgart 2016

The Stuttgart State Orchestra’s performances of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé were presented in April 2016. Sylvain Cambreling conducted.

2016  –  September 15 – Orchestre National de France; Stéphane Denève, conductor

Stephane Deneve Florent Schmitt Orchestre National de France 2016

Conductor Stéphane Denève rehearses the Orchestre National de France in preparation for presenting Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé (September 2016).

2016  –  October 22 – Asheville Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Meyer, conductor

2016  –  November 12 – Fresno State Symphony Orchestra; Thomas Loewenheim, conductor

2017  –  January 12, 13, 14 – Philadelphia Orchestra; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Philadelphia Orchestra Paris Festival Week 1 Schmitt Canteloube

Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra presented La Tragédie de Salomé as part of its Paris Festival series of concerts in January 2017. It was the first time the orchestra had performed Florent Schmitt’s score in nearly a century (1919). Speaking of the piece, Maestro Nézet-Séguin stated, “I’m happy to reintroduce it to Philadelphia audiences. I really love this work because it has the exotic feel that is closely associated with the Middle Eastern world of Salome, and yet it has all the components of ballet music in the best sense of the word. It’s very French, of course, with the writing — especially the woodwinds and the string colors and harmonies. But it’s also a very dramatic piece that has a certain energy and tension, which I think brings the best of what French music can give us.”

2017  –  January 14 – Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; Kazuyoshi Akiyama, conductor

2017  –  February 25, 26 – Spokane Symphony Orchestra; Eckart Preu, conductor

2017  –  March 13 – Orchestre des Lauréats du Conservatoire; Romain Dumas, conductor [original 1907 version]

2017  –  April 20, 21 – Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège; John Neschling, conductor

2017  –  May 10, 11 – Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Stéphane Denève, conductor

2017  –  September 29 – Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Myssyk, conductor

2017  –  October 18, 19 – Orchestre de Paris; Jonathan Darlington, conductor

Jonathan Darlington Orchestre de Paris

Jonathan Darlington and the Orchestre de Paris present La Tragédie de Salomé (October 2017). (Photo: Osmo Tapio Räihälä)

Orchestre de Paris Jonathan Darlington October 2017 program

The program for the Jonathan Darlington performances at the Orchestre de Paris (October 2017).

2017  –  November 16 – Orchestre National de Lyon; Lionel Bringuier, conductor

2018  –  February 2 – Transylvanian State Philharmonic Orchestra of Cluj (Romania); Gottfried Rabl, conductor

2018  –  September 27, 29 – Malmö Symphony Orchestra; Marc Soustrot, conductor

2018  –  December 8, 9  –  Orquesta Filarmónica de México (UNAM, Mexico City); Ronald Zollman, conductor

Florent Schmitt Salome UNAM Zollman 2018

Ronald Zollman introduces La Tragédie de Salomé to concert-goers  in Mexico City (December 2018).

2019  –  March 2, 3 – Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Susan Platts, mezzo-soprano; Buffalo Girlchoir; JoAnn Falletta, conductor

BPO Dress Rehearsal Florent Schmitt 2019

Conductor JoAnn Falletta rehearses the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Buffalo Girlchoir in preparation for presenting Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé (March 2019).

Buffalo Philharmonic concert program Florent Schmitt Tailleferre Brahms concert program Buffalo Philharmonic March 2019

The March 2019 Buffalo Philharmonic concert program, featuring two compositions by Florent Schmitt in addition to works by Germaine Tailleferre and Johannes Brahms.

2019  –  March 8, 9 – Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Karen Vourc’h, soprano; Jacek Kaspszyk, conductor

2019  –  May 4, 5 – Bern Symphony Orchestra; Mario Venzago, conductor

2019  –  July 12 – Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra; Kazuyoshi Akiyama, conductor

Florent Schmitt Salome Akiyama Hiroshima Symphony 2019

Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé anchored an all-French program by the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kazuyoshi Akiyama (July 2019).

2019  –  June 27, 28, 29 – Het Zeeuws Orchestra; Anneke Luyten, soprano; Musica Cordis Chorale; Ivan Meylemans, conductor

2019  –  November 8 – Augusta Symphony; Women of the Augusta Choral Society; Dirk Meyer, conductor

Augusta Symphony Florent Schmitt Gustav Holst Dirk Meyer

The Augusta Symphony’s presentation of Florent Schmitt’s Salomé under the direction of German-American conductor Dirk Meyer was a sold-out performance (November 2019).

2020  –  March 14, 15 – Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal; Lionel Bringuier, conductor  [canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak]

2020  –  March 21 – Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; David Stern, conductor  [canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak]

2020  –  May 9, 17 – Theatro Municipal Orchestra & Chorus of Rio de Janeiro; Ira Levin, conductor  [postponed]

2020  –  November 4 – Sinfonietta Shizuoka; Tomoya Nakahara, conductor [original 1907 version]

Sinfonietta Shizuoka Tomoya Nakahara Florent Schmitt Salome November 2020

The Sinfonietta Shizuoka under the direction of Tomoya Nakahara presented the original 1907 version of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé to a small, socially distanced audience (Tokyo, November 2020).

Florent Schmitt Salome Japan 2020

A billboard announcing the Sinfonietta Shizuoka’s performance of the 1907 original version of La Tragédie de Salomé, conducted by Tomoya Nakahara (Tokyo, November 2020).

2020  –  November 13, 14 – St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; Stéphane Denève, conductor  [postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak]

2020  –  November 19, 20 – Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg; Fabien Gabel, conductor  [canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak]

2020  –  December 3 – Orchestre Française de Jeunes; Fabien Gabel, conductor  [canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak]

2020  –  December 9, 10 – Orchestre Symphonique de Québec; Fabien Gabel, conductor  [canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak]

Alain Altinoglu French conductor Ben Knabe

Music director-designate Alain Altinloglu leads the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in the 1907 original version of Florent Schmitt’s ballet La Tragédie de Salomé (January 21, 2021). (Photo: ©Ben Knabe)

2021  –  January 21  –  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ambur Braid, soprano; Alain Altinoglu, conductor [original 1907 version]

2021  –  February 5, 6, 7 – Houston Symphony; Fabien Gabel, conductor  [postponed]

2021  –  March 12, 13 – Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Fabien Gabel, conductor  [postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak]

2021  –  May 8 – Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra & Chorus; Dirk Meyer, conductor  [canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak]

2021  –  October 8 – Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse; Fabien Gabel, conductor  

Fabien Gabel Toulouse Orchestra October 2021

Conductor Fabien Gabel rehearses the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé (October 2021). (Photo: Romain Alcaraz)

2021  –  October 12 – Orchestre OSE (Léman Lyriques Festival, Geneva); Daniel Kawka, conductor

Leman Lyriques Festival Florent Schmitt Salome

The Orchestre OSE performs Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé at the Léman Lyriques Festival in Switzerland (October 2021).

2021  –  November 26, 30; December 3, 9, 10, 11, 16 – Ensemble Les Apaches; Marion Tassou, soprano; Julien Masmondet, conductor [original 1907 version]

Florent Schmitt Tragedie de Salome Masmondet

Conductor Julien Masmondet and Ensemble Les Apaches present the original version of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé in a mixed-media production (Rungis, Rochefort, Avignon, Paris, November-December 2021).

Schmitt Salome Masmondet Apaches orginal version 2021  

Osnabruck Symphony Andreas Hotz 2021 Jorn Martens

The Osnabrück Symphony Orchestra and Theater Osnabrück Damenchor perform Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé, conducted by Andreas Hotz. (Photo: Jörn Martens, December 13, 2021)

Osnabruck Symphony Orchestra concert poster Schmitt Stravinsky Strauss Bonis Hotz 20212021  –  December 13 – Osnabrück Symphony Orchestra; Theater Osnabrück Damenchor; Andreas Hotz, conductor

2022  –  January 21, 22 – Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia; Fabien Gabel, conductor

2022  –  March 15 – Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra; Slovenian Philharmonic Women’s Choir; Sylvain Cambreling, conductor

2022  –  April 22, 23 – Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Fabien Gabel, conductor  

Schmitt Strauss Bonis Hilborg Detroit Symphony Gabel program April 2022

Conductor Fabien Gabel’s April 2022 program with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra was a “Salome-centric” affair.

2022  –  May 19 – Hamburg Symphony Orchestra; Women’s Voices of Europa Chor Akademie Görlitz; Sylvain Cambreling, conductor 

2022  –  June 11, 12 – Japan-NHK Symphony Orchestra; Stéphane Denève, conductor 

2022  –  September 11, 12 – Lubeck Philharmonic Orchestra; Stefan Vladar, conductor

2022  –  October 21, 22 – St. Louis Symphony Orchestra & Chorus; Jeanine De Bique, soprano; Stéphane Denève, conductor

2022  –  October 29 – Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Stéphane Denève, conductor

Ravel Schmitt Deneve Netherlands Radio Philharmonic program October 29 2022

The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic concert program (October 29, 2022).

2023  –  February 1, 2 – Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Ryan Bancroft, conductor  

2023  –  February 4 – Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música; Bastien Stil, conductor  

Bastien Stil Tragedie de Salome Porto 2023

French conductor Bastien Stil leads the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música in Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé(Photo: Artur Gonçalves, February 2023)

2023  –  March 17, 18 – Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Fabien Gabel, conductor

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra 3-17-23 Beethoven Tomasi Schmitt Stravinsky Hardenberger Gabel

The March 1923 performances of La Tragédie de Salomé were the first time the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra had presented this music.

2023  –  April 2o – Borusan-Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra; Patrick Hahn, conductor  

2023  –  April 21, 22 – Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Jonathan Darlington, conductor 

2023  –  May 24 – Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Gabien Gabel, conductor  

Deutcshe Symphonie-Orchester Berlin Fabien Gabel 2023

Curtain call for Fabien Gabel and the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin following their performance of Florent Schmitt La Tragédie de Salomé (May 2023).

2023  –  June 4, 5 – Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra; Patrick Hahn, conductor  

2023  –  December 1, 3 – Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; Susan Platts, mezzo-soprano; JoAnn Falletta, conductor [planned]

2023  –  December 15 – Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Stéphane Denève, conductor [planned]

2024  –  January 20, 21 – New World Symphony Orchestra (Miami); Stéphane Denève, conductor [planned]

2024  –  February 26 – Ensemble Kontrapunkte (Vienna); Gottfried Rabl, conductor  [original 1907 version] [planned]

2024  –  May 8, 9, 11 – Orchestre Symphonie de Montréal; Fabien Gabel, conductor [planned]

Recordings of La Tragédie de Salomé

Florent Schmitt Salome Straram 1930

The second commercial recording of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé, made in 1930, featured the composer as conductor, too.

As Florent Schmitt’s most famous composition, it should come as no surprise that some 20 recordings have been released of this music — either studio recordings or taken from live concert performances.  This article provides details on each of those recordings.

Florent Schmitt Tragedie de Salome Paray Philips

The first stereophonic recording of La Tragédie de Salomé, featuring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra led by Paul Paray, won the Grande Prix du Disque award. This is the Philips release of the original Mercury recording.

For those who wish to explore the music in greater detail, an upload of one of those commercial recordings — a 1970 performance by the New Philharmonia Orchestra under the direction of Antonio de Almeida — can be viewed here, courtesy of Jean-Marie van Bronkhorst’s worthy YouTube music channel.

It’s interesting to note that performances of the original version of La Tragédie de Salomé have become more frequent in recent times — and this was happening even before the advent of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 gave a boost to performing music scored for smaller orchestral forces.

Florent Schmitt Tragedie de Salome Davin Marco PoloConductors such as Alain Altinoglu and Julien Masmondet appear to agree with what musicologist and critic Robert Layton wrote in the pages of Gramophone magazine back in May 1994, when the first commercial recording of the original version of the score was released on the Marco Polo label:

Robert Layton musicologist

Robert Layton (1930-2020)

[The original version] lasts all but a few seconds short of an hour (twice as long as the more familiar score Schmitt made for concert purposes) and uses far smaller forces — but with such skill that one scarcely notices that. As Lionel Salter put it, ‘Schmitt’s virtuosity in drawing rich sonorities and a voluptuous, barbaric atmosphere from it is astonishing’ …

It quickly put me under its spell and is of exceptional interest to those who are carried away by French music or art nouveau …  In this day and age when the catalogue is burgeoning with duplications, here is the sort of CD that makes collecting worthwhile.”

14 thoughts on “La Tragédie de Salomé (1907/10): Florent Schmitt’s sinuous temptress, seducing audiences for over 100 years.

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