Pianist and musicologist Frank Cooper talks about discovering Florent Schmitt’s Trois rapsodies (1903-4) and preparing a pioneering recital performance of the piece with Martin Marks in 1967.

Among the most impressive music channels on YouTube are two that are run by Helen Moritz, who has uploaded a wealth of rare piano performances from yesteryear. Ms. Moritz has painstakingly searched for audio recordings of recitals given by some of classical music’s greatest pianists.  Among the artists are Jorge Bolet, Mieszyslaw Horszowski, Raymond Lewenthal, […]

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 […]

Håkan Hardenberger and Fabien Gabel talk about making their new orchestral recording featuring twentieth century French trumpet concertante works, including Florent Schmitt’s Suite en trois parties (1955).

In August 2021, the renowned trumpet virtuoso Håkan Hardenberger joined with conductor Fabien Gabel in Stockholm to make a recording of several gleaming jewels of twentieth century French trumpet concertante music. Together with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Hardenberger and Gabel have recorded a program that includes: Henri Tomasi: Trumpet Concerto (original version – 1948) […]

Pianist Biljana Urban talks about her new recording featuring world premiere renditions of works by Florent Schmitt.

Five premiere recordings are part of the new collection devoted to the solo piano music of the composer, scheduled for release in October 2021 on NAXOS’s Grand Piano label. Over his long career, French composer Florent Schmitt created many piano compositions — a body of work spanning more than a half-century from the early 1890s […]

Scènes de la vie moyenne (1950): Florent Schmitt’s late-career work for orchestra.

During the latter years of Florent Schmitt’s long and illustrious career, the composer turned his creative talents increasingly toward music for scored small instrumental forces.  Among the notable achievements of this late creative period are the fascinating (and challenging) String Trio (1944) and String Quartet (1948), as well as a group of compositions that showcase […]

French author Emmanuel Jourquin-Bourgeois talks about the life of his grandfather, Pierre Bourgeois, and his consequential tenure as head of Pathé-Marconi during the 1950s.

Recently, several photos were uploaded to Twitter that had been taken at a social event in Paris celebrating the release of the first-ever commercial recording of Florent Schmitt’s stunning choral composition Psaume XLVII.  Held in February 1953 at Pathé-Marconi headquarters, the event was attended by tout Paris – at least in terms of the classical […]

Chaîne brisée (1936-37): Florent Schmitt’s posthumous tribute to his friend and fellow-composer Paul Dukas.

Living and working as he did throughout the entirety of France’s “Golden Age” of classical music, Florent Schmitt was well-acquainted with all of the significant composers of the day in Paris.  Among the most famous of them — Achille-Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Albert Roussel and Paul Dukas — the latter three were particularly close friends […]

Nine important compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in the upcoming 2021-22 concert season by orchestras in Avignon, Berlin, Detroit, Geneva, Hamburg, Kyoto, La Coruña, Malmö, Metz, Osnabrück, Paris, Rochefort, Saratoga Springs, Tokyo, Toulouse and Urbana.

In a classical music world finally emerging from the COVID-19 crisis, orchestras are beginning again to program “large orchestra” works that had been embargoed due to social distancing requirements. It bodes well for French composer Florent Schmitt’s big, highly colorful scores. The year 2020 was one of several important anniversaries for classical music composers.  The […]

Albert Gleizes, Florent Schmitt, and Le Chant de guerre (1914-15).

The pioneering Cubist artist and the forward-looking composer — kindred spirits in their disdain for the “conventional” in the arts — are forever linked by an iconic painting. In 2012, the French postal service issued a stamp portraying a 1915 painting by the French Cubist artist, theoretician and philosopher Albert Gleizes titled Le Chant de […]

JoAnn Falletta’s Buffalo Philharmonic recording of Florent Schmitt’s orchestral music wins the prestigious Diapason d’Or.

The 2020 NAXOS recording, completed just days before the COVID pandemic shuttered classical music performances across the globe, includes two colorful ballet scores along with two world premieres. Since its November 2020 release during Florent Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary year, the NAXOS recording of four orchestral works by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under its music […]

In a concert season upended by COVID-19, Florent Schmitt’s original scoring of La Tragédie de Salomé (1907) gets its moment in the sun at last.

The 2020-21 season includes performances of the small-orchestra version in Japan, Germany and France. As is so well-known to music-lovers everywhere, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on concert-going the world over.  For too many orchestras and chamber ensembles, the entire 2020-21 season has been a total bust — or at the very least, upended […]

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 […]

Florent Schmitt and the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors

The elderly composer chaired the jury at the Besançon’s first competition in 1951. These days there’s certainly no dearth of international competitions for young and emerging conductors.  No fewer than 30 such events are open to contenders from all over the world.  Add in a number of similar competitions that are national rather than international in […]

On the occasion of Florent Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary, Crescendo magazine publishes an interview article about the composer and his consequential artistic legacy.

As many readers of the Florent Schmitt Website + Blog are undoubtedly aware, 2020 marks the 150th birthday anniversary year for French composer Florent Schmitt.  During the course of this year, many concerts of Schmitt’s music had been scheduled — alas, too many of them having to be canceled or postponed in the wake of […]

Giving vibrant voice to powerful poetry: Florent Schmitt’s Trois Chants (1943).

French composers of the period really knew how to write vocal music.  Composers like Ravel, Debussy and Florent Schmitt were taught how to write for the human voice. — Karina Gauvin, Canadian Soprano How can one composer be so gifted at so much? — JoAnn Falletta, American Orchestra Conductor When one looks at the extensive […]