Quatre pièces (1901): Florent Schmitt’s early suite for violin and piano.

Like many composers who came of age during the late 1800s, French composer Florent Schmitt’s formative years were influenced by the prevailing musical currents of the day. In the case of Schmitt, Schumann was an early influence, as was Wagner. But by the time Schmitt entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1888, other influences were making […]

Members of the Kebyart Ensemble talk about Florent Schmitt’s Quartet for Saxophones (1941) and its preeminent position in the saxophone repertoire.

The piece will serve as the centerpiece of Kebyart’s ECHO Rising Stars concert programs being presented in 13 European countries between September 2021 and May 2022. Formed in 2014, the Kebyart Ensemble is one of Europe’s most promising saxophone quartets. The group is making a name for itself on concert stages throughout Europe, and also […]

Chant du soir (1895): An early composition by Florent Schmitt comes into its own — 125 years after its creation.

Up until recently, familiarity with the earliest compositions of Florent Schmitt was rather scant.  The composer’s first works were created in the decade leading up to his winning the Prix de Rome first prize for composition in 1900. It was the period after Schmitt had completed his music studies at the conservatory in Nancy and […]

Members of the Prisma String Trio talk about preparing, performing and recording Florent Schmitt’s endlessly fascinating Trio à cordes (1944).

It was a dream come true for the three Prisma musicians, who prepared for nearly a decade before venturing into the recording hall to document their interpretation of Florent Schmitt’s stunning creation: “a string trio with sextet ambitions.”  Music-lovers who are familiar with Florent Schmitt’s artistry are most likely to know his big orchestral compositions, […]

Musicians of the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra talk about discovering Florent Schmitt’s Quartet for Trombones and Tuba (1946) and preparing it for performance.

Late last year, several clips quietly appeared on Facebook — each of them featuring a movement from Florent Schmitt’s Quartet for Trombones and Tuba, Opus 109, a fascinating piece that the composer created in 1946. This quartet is a composition that, despite its creativity and inventiveness, remains one of the least-known of Schmitt’s scores.  Indeed, […]

Israeli pianist and pedagogue Tomer Lev talks about planning and producing the new NAXOS recording of the Tombeau de Claude Debussy (1920) complete anthology.

“What stands out in Schmitt’s work is the hypnotic-impressionist atmosphere, verging on the surreal. Both the atmospherics and the piano writing … hint very strongly at Debussy’s own aesthetic world.  It creates a kind of spiritual dialogue that Schmitt conducts with his late older colleague.” — Tomer Lev, pianist and pedagogue In late 2020, NAXOS […]

Scottish composer Alistair Hinton talks about the influential artistry of Florent Schmitt.

“Florent Schmitt’s artistic legacy is of such importance that his work deserves all the exposure it can get. Once it has done so, it’s no exaggeration to say that the history of French music in the 20th century will have been rewritten.” — Alistair Hinton, composer and music scholar One of Florent Schmitt’s most ardent […]

Just Announced: Prisma String Trio to make a new recording of Florent Schmitt’s extraordinary Trio a cordes (1944).

It will be just the third time the work has been commercially recorded — and the first one in more than three decades. Among French composer Florent Schmitt’s extensive chamber music creations are a string trio and string quartet that he composed during the waning days of World War II and immediately following. It was […]

Florent Schmitt’s strikingly inventive Quartet for Trombones and Tuba (1946): Leaving the ‘oompah’ behind.

It’s quite likely that many music-lovers who know of French composer Florent Schmitt are most familiar with his “big” pieces scored for large orchestral forces, overlaid with sparkling orchestration in the grandest post-Rimsky tradition.  And it’s true that many of Schmitt’s best-known works are just those kinds of compositions — pieces like La Tragédie de Salomé, […]

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 […]

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 and performers. 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Musicians of the Scarab Club Chamber Music Series Talk About Preparing and Performing Florent Schmitt’s Quartet Pour presque tous les temps (1956).

On October 7, 2018, Detroit’s Scarab Club Chamber Music Series launched its 21st season with a performance of Florent Schmitt’s quartet Pour presque tous les temps, Op. 134 (“Quartet for Almost All the Time”), a late-career work for flute, violin, cello and piano created by Schmitt in 1956 when the composer was 86 years old. […]