… His music, quintessentially French, moves beyond impressionism into a lush and tangled world of dark poetry and sumptuous storytelling. Rhapsodic, brooding and startlingly beautiful, Schmitt’s language is deeply personal – passionate yet extraordinarily detailed, sophisticated and elusive.
— JoAnn Falletta, American Orchestra Conductor
The NAXOS release of two of Florent Schmitt’s most expressive “tonal pictures” — Le Palais hanté (1904) and Antoine et Cléopâtre (1920), is happening worldwide this month.
The recordings, made in March 2015 by conductor JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, followed several memorable concerts in which nearly all members of the audience were hearing this music for the very first time.
In fact, the second suite from Antony & Cleopatra was being performed in North America for the first time ever — nearly a century after its composition.
By virtue of the recording being considered one of the most important NAXOS releases for the month of November, JoAnn Falletta was interviewed for a special podcast, during which she explained the musical importance of the two works as well as the literary inspiration behind them (Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare and André Gide).
Maestra Falletta also commented on Schmitt’s musical language, his originality, and the place he holds in the era in which he worked — a composing career that spanned some seven decades up until the year 1958.
You can listen to the podcast here, courtesy of NAXOS records.
The new recording can be purchased on Amazon and on other online music websites.
Maestra Falletta has also given several related interviews to the Florent Schmitt Website + Blog, which can be read here and here.