French-American conductor David Grandis talks about discovering the music of French composer Max d’Ollone and championing his repertoire in the concert hall.

Regular readers of the Florent Schmitt Website + Blog know that occasionally we “relax the routine” a bit and delve into the artistry of other composers — particularly ones who lived and worked in the same time period as Schmitt.  (See, for example, these articles about Stravinsky, Ravel and Zandonai.) Another such person is Max […]

Quiet intensity and moving moderation: Messe en quatre parties, Florent Schmitt’s final composition (1958).

Many music-lovers I know are under the mistaken impression that Florent Schmitt’s Symphony No. 2, Op. 137 was the last piece the composer created.  It’s a reasonable supposition because the Symphony received its premiere performance in Strasbourg on June 15, 1958, by the French National Radio Orchestra under the direction of Charles Munch, just two […]

Canadian pianist Linda Ippolito talks about discovering and performing Pupazzi (1907), Florent Schmitt’s whimsical tribute to Commedia dell’Arte characters.

Over the past 20 years, the vast majority of Florent Schmitt’s music for piano solo has been rediscovered by a new generation of music-lovers. Moreover, nearly all of this music has been commercially recorded at least one time. However, one piano composition, Pupazzi, Opus 36 (Puppets), hasn’t been part of the revival, and the work […]

Diverse winds: Florent Schmitt’s late-career quintet Chants alizés (1951-55).

In his later period of creation, French composer Florent Schmitt would turn to the sonorities of wind instruments for a goodly number of his creations. This may seem surprising for an artist who had made his reputation on his numerous “big orchestra” compositions along with a noteworthy collection of “orientalist” creations.  But if we recall […]

Simplicity, elegance and wit: Florent Schmitt’s piano suite Small Gestures (1940).

Although he played the flute and the organ, French composer Florent Schmitt’s main instrument was the piano. So it should come as little surprise that when we look at Schmitt’s extensive catalogue of 138 opus numbers plus several additional creations, piano works comprise the largest single component of his output. On the other hand, Schmitt’s most […]

Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin and French conductor Fabien Gabel talk about becoming acquainted with Florent Schmitt’s choral spectacular Psalm 47 (1904) and preparing the music for performance.

On May 29, 2019, the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebéc and its chorus presented the orchestra’s final concert of the season – one that featured French music exclusively. The event was a red-carpet affair at the Grand-Théâtre in Québec City in which local dignitaries were invited guests of the orchestra.  Also noteworthy was the centerpiece of […]

Director Bill Barclay and conductor JoAnn Falletta talk about mounting a dramatic adaptation of Antony & Cleopatra that pairs Shakespeare’s words with Florent Schmitt’s jaw-dropping music from the 1920 Paris production of the play.

By now, it seems that Florent Schmitt’s two Antoine et Cléopâtre Suites, Op. 69 have at last transitioned from being true rarities to become orchestral repertoire that is actually known.  There are now four commercial recordings of the suites (three of them made within the past decade), and in the past several years the music […]

Andantino (Vocalise): Florent Schmitt’s most versatile composition (1906).

The French composer Florent Schmitt was known for creating multiple versions of many of his compositions. Throughout his lengthy career, time and again the composer would produce additional arrangements of his works featuring different sets of instruments. To illustrate, many of Schmitt’s orchestral works were also published in piano reduction scores (solo, duet and/or piano […]

Contrasting voices: Florent Schmitt’s a cappella masterpiece A contre-voix (1944).

Within the vast catalogue of music created by the French composer Florent Schmitt are a great number of vocal compositions. Indeed, throughout his 70+ year composing career, Schmitt would return again and again to the human voice — writing works for solo voice as well as for chorus. The choral pieces are particularly interesting in […]

American choral director Scott Tucker talks about the connection between Gabriel Fauré, Lili Boulanger and Florent Schmitt — and presenting Schmitt’s Psaume XLVII in a concert showcasing the important choral legacy of all three composers.

“It was the most thrilling piece I’d heard in years.  I was so moved by its unbridled joy that I knew we had to build an entire concert around it …” — Scott Tucker, Artistic Director, The Choral Arts Society of Washington On Sunday, May 19, 2019, The Choral Arts Society of Washington will present a […]

Keyboard musician Emmanuel Pélaprat talks about Florent Schmitt’s Chant de guerre (1914) and preparing transcriptions for the Musiciens et la Grande Guerre series of recordings (Editions Hortus).

One of the most artistically significant and vital projects to come out of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I is a group of 35 recordings published by Editions Hortus in its Musiciens et la Grande Guerre series.  These recordings have been issued over a five-year span – each one based on […]

Ten important compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in the upcoming 2019/20 concert season by orchestras in Antwerp, Augusta, Boston, Buffalo, Cluj, Hiroshima, Maastricht, Montréal, Mulhouse, Paris, Perth, Québec City, Rio de Janeiro, Rochefort and Shanghai.

The international Bachtrack website is in the process of uploading its global database of classical music programs for the coming season. Although it doesn’t provide a comprehensive listing of every professional group’s events, the site covers nearly all of the major orchestras, opera and ballet companies around the world, making it the “go-to” resource for […]

Conductor JoAnn Falletta and mezzo-soprano Susan Platts talk about preparing Florent Schmitt’s music for performance and recording (Musique sur l’eau – 1898/1913 and La Tragédie de Salomé – 1907/10).

In 2020, the NAXOS label plans to release its second disk of music by the French composer Florent Schmitt that features the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and its music director, JoAnn Falletta. The first recording, which was released in 2015, included several orchestral pieces by Schmitt:  the two Antoine et Cléopâtre suites (after William Shakespeare) and […]

Infectious elegance and so much more: Florent Schmitt’s Trois valses nocturnes (1901).

French composer Florent Schmitt’s abilities as a pianist were considerable. Even so, he characterized the piano as “a convenient but disappointing substitute for the orchestra.” Taking a look at Schmitt’s piano scores, what’s immediately apparent are the technical demands that are required to do the music justice.  It’s akin to what the French pianist Alfred Cortot famously […]

Clavecin obtempérant (1945), Florent Schmitt’s endlessly fascinating harpsichord suite created for Marcelle de Lacour.

Over a lengthy career spanning more than seven decades, the French composer Florent Schmitt created numerous works that showcased the special qualities of various different instruments — including some that are not so often the “featured celebrities” in scores. As an accomplished keyboard artist, it’s no surprise that the composer’s catalogue of works contains many […]