French Soprano Denise Duval: Muse to Francis Poulenc … Friend of Florent Schmitt

A living legend today — well into her nineties — the French soprano Denise Duval is a link to France’s glorious musical past. History remembers her as the famous muse to Francis Poulenc, but Duval was also an important interpreter of the music of other significant French composers of the early- and mid-twentieth century — among […]

Giuseppe Verdi and the nexus of music and politics: An interview with author Alberto Nones.

“For Verdi, music was an integral part of reality … a force behind history …” In something of a change of pace for regular readers of the Florent Schmitt Blog, this post is on the topic of the Italian operatic composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901).  Highly successful during his lifetime, his fame has hardly dimmed in […]

Hallucinatory Atmospherics: Florent Schmitt’s Rêves (1915)

Sprinkled throughout the catalogue of Florent Schmitt’s compositions are a goodly number of shorter orchestral pieces. They range in their moods from contemplative to joyous to stormy. One of these orchestral miniatures that I find particularly compelling is Rêves, Op. 65 (Dreams), a work that Schmitt began composing in 1913.  He prepared a piano version […]