French conductor and wind ensemble specialist Philippe Ferro talks about the music of Florent Schmitt and Hymne funèbre (1899/1933).

In 2008, 50 years following the death of Florent Schmitt, a recording featuring all of the repertoire written by the French composer for wind ensemble was released on the Corelia label. The recording featured the Orchestre d’Harmonie de la Région-Centre joined by the Ensemble Vocal Universitaire de Tours — all under the direction of Philippe Ferro. […]

French conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud, soprano Ewa Biegas and choral director Teresa Majka-Pacanek talk about the 2016 Polish premiere performances of Florent Schmitt’s choral masterpiece Psalm 47 (1904).

Florent Schmitt’s powerful choral work Psalm XLVII may have been composed in 1904, but it took more than a century for the piece to receive its premiere performances in Poland, in February 2016. That’s when French conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud and the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra joined forces with the Krakow Philharmonic Choir, directed by Teresa Majka-Pacanek and soprano […]

Conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud talks about Florent Schmitt’s choral masterpiece Psalm 47 (1904) and introducing the music to concert audiences in Poland.

“It’s the sensuality — as well as the expressive power borne from Florent Schmitt’s exceptional mastery of massed musical forces and contrasts …”  — Jean-Luc Tingaud, French Orchestral and Operatic Conductor This month, French conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud will be leading the first-ever concert performances of Florent Schmitt’s blockbuster choral work Psaume XLVII in Poland, conducting the […]

Florent Schmitt and the Prix de Rome: 1900-1904 (Musiques de plein air; Le Palais hanté; Psaume XLVII)

In the century-long period from 1850 to 1950, the Prix de Rome prize for composition was probably the single most important and prestigious recognition for any French composer. And for that reason, nearly every important French composer strove to win it. Offered to students at the Paris Conservatoire, winners of the award were rewarded with a handsome stipend, along with a multi-year stay […]

In the chamber of the Shulamite: The great sopranos who have performed and recorded Florent Schmitt’s Psalm 47 (1904).

The Psaume XLVII of Florent Schmitt is recognized as one of the most important choral works of the early 20th century.  And while it isn’t performed with great regularity, it has benefited from quality interpretations as revealed by some of the world’s leading conductors, ensembles and soloists. Particular pride of place goes to a group […]

Choral chromaticism par excellence: Florent Schmitt’s Cinq chœurs en vingt minutes for mixed chorus and large orchestra (1951).

Within the extensive catalogue of Florent Schmitt’s compositions are a great many vocal works — pieces written for solo voice or for chorus.  In fact, there are over 50 such opus numbers. Many of Schmitt’s choral works are based on sacred texts, although often the scores seem quite removed from a sense of piety.  Perhaps the best-known example of […]

American orchestra conductor JoAnn Falletta talks about performing and recording the music of Florent Schmitt (Antoine et Cléopâtre and Le Palais hanté).

Recorded in March 2015 by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the pieces are slated for release on the NAXOS label later this year. Under its music director JoAnn Falletta, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has established something of a reputation for programming neglected scores from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including performances in recent years of works […]

Experiencing Florent Schmitt’s Psaume XLVII in concert: An eyewitness report from Berlin.

On Sunday afternoon, March 1, 2015, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (Deutsches-Symphonie Orchester Berlin), joined by American soprano Jacquelyn Wagner, performed Florent Schmitt’s monumental Psalm 47, Opus 38. The concert was presented in Philharmonie Hall, famed for its sonic splendor. The forces were led by Marek Janowski, artistic director of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, who […]

Florent Schmitt and Igor Stravinsky: A Consequential Musical Relationship

Throughout his long life and composing career, Florent Schmitt would forge many personal friendships with his counterparts.  He was at the center of musical life in Paris, maintaining particularly close relationships with Maurice Ravel, Albert Roussel, Gabriel Pierné, Paul Dukas, Gabriel Fauré, Guillaume Lekeu and numerous other French composers. He also had decades-long friendships with composers from other […]

Florent Schmitt and the Organ

One of Florent Schmitt’s most famous and popular compositions is his monumental choral work Psaume XLVII, Opus 38.  Composed in 1904, it is one of the most striking choral works of the 20th Century — or of any era in classical music. Music lovers who are familiar with this work know how important the organ part […]

Five Important Compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in Concert in Spring 2015 by Orchestras in Berlin, Buffalo, Cleveland, Metz and Tokyo

The Bachtrack website has just completed uploading its global database of programs for the upcoming concert season. Although it isn’t an exhaustive listing of every orchestral group, the site covers nearly all of the major orchestras and other ensembles around the world, making it a good “one-stop” resource for information about what’s happening on the […]

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 […]

Powerful Sounds: The Seven Commercial Recordings of Florent Schmitt’s Psaume 47 (1904)

There is little question that Florent Schmitt’s Psaume XLVII, Op. 38, composed in 1904,  is one of the most powerful compositions in the choral repertoire. Indeed, the forces called for in this music — large chorus, large orchestra, soprano solo and organ — make it nearly unique in the French repertoire.  When it had its premiere in […]

Film music specialist Doug Adams talks about Florent Schmitt’s Salammbô (1925) and other music scores from the silent film era.

One of the world’s leading journalists and authors on film music gives Schmitt’s score pride of place in the first quarter century of motion pictures. Among the most intriguing entries in the catalogue of Florent Schmitt’s compositions are the three suites he extracted from his score to the silent film Salammbô, which was premiered at the […]

Excitement on steroids: Seven live concert recordings of Florent Schmitt’s blockbuster choral composition Psalm 47 (1904)

For many classical music lovers, nothing can compare to a live performance.  While studio recordings promise greater precision and better sound quality — along with avoiding distracting audience noise – often this comes at the expense of spontaneity and immediacy. And for a piece of music as viscerally thrilling as Florent Schmitt’s Psalm XLVII, Op. 38, composed […]