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. 138 (“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. […]

American cellist Elisa Kohanski talks about Florent Schmitt’s Chant élégiaque (1899-1903) and its debt to Gabriel Fauré’s Élégie.

Over a composing career of seven decades, Florent Schmitt would pen music featuring nearly every instrument of the symphony orchestra in a solo capacity. The cello was no exception. In fact, Schmitt composed three concertante pieces featuring the cello — one each during his early, middle and late period of creativity.  The earliest of the […]

Fascinating, complex sonorities: Florent Schmitt’s String Trio (1944).

“So dense, so many notes, so many double-stops. So hard to play in tune together, so tricky to balance and to make it sound natural.  But what special notes they are!”    — Michiel Weidner, Prisma String Trio In the latter part of his career, the French composer Florent Schmitt turned his attention to musical […]

French pianist Bruno Belthoise talks about keeping Florent Schmitt’s Une semaine du petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil (1912) part of his performing repertoire over the years.

In 2013, one of the earliest interviews I conducted for the Florent Schmitt Website + Blog was with the French pianist Bruno Belthoise.  I had discovered him from YouTube, where several movements of Florent Schmitt’s piano four-hand suite Une semaine du petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil, Opus 58 had been uploaded from a performance he gave at the […]

Habeyssée (1947): Florent Schmitt’s rich and colorful suite for violin.

Even though he is justly famous for his highly colorful and opulent orchestrations, Florent Schmitt’s own instrument was the piano. And in his early years, much of what he composed were vast swaths of music for piano, as well as for voice with piano. But roughly contemporaneous with his tenure at the Villa Medici in Rome (1900-04), […]

Substance as well as style: The Quartet for Strings (1948) of Florent Schmitt.

During the extraordinarily long musical career of Florent Schmitt — which spanned 70 years from the late 1880s to the late 1950s — the composer created works for many combinations of instruments. Early on, there were vast swaths of piano music. Then came the sumptuous orchestral creations between 1900 and the onset of World War […]

Members of the Mélomanie chamber ensemble talk about the music of Florent Schmitt and preparing his Sonatine en trio (1936) for performance.

In April 2017, the Delaware-based chamber group Mélomanie presented Florent Schmitt’s Sonatine en trio, Opus 85, an intimate and engaging piece for flute, clarinet and harpsichord the composer created in 1936. The Schmitt Sonatine was part of a fascinating program that featured seven works stretching from the 1600s (Marin Marais) through to contemporary pieces by Nicolas Bacri, Shulamit […]