“Fresh daydreams, where worries are absent”: Florent Schmitt’s early-career Cinq pièces (1899-1909).

These charmers, written for violin or cello soloist, make for perfect recital pieces. Music-lovers who are familiar with Florent Schmitt’s catalogue know that he composed a number of works featuring the violin and cello as solo instruments. Most of the composer’s violin pieces have been gathered together in a fine collection of works including the […]

Capturing the persona of Florent Schmitt, as reflected in the reminiscences of the composer’s biographer, Madeleine Marceron.

A slender, petite man — and the giant legacy he left us — draw parallels with Maurice Ravel. Over the decades, a total of four biographies of the French composer Florent Schmitt have been published – all of them written in French. Three of these biographies were written during the composer’s lifetime, and with his […]

Conductor JoAnn Falletta talks about performing In Memoriam (1935), Florent Schmitt’s fervent tribute to his teacher and mentor Gabriel Fauré.

On November 12 and 13, 2022, JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra presented one of the most significant entries in the catalogue of Florent Schmitt’s orchestral works — the first part of In Memoriam, Op. 72 (Cippus Feralis). Composed in 1935, it is an extraordinarily beautiful composition, replete with “passion and pathos.” Even though […]

From clamorous outsider to consummate insider: Florent Schmitt’s consequential involvement with Parisian artistic organizations (Société des Apaches, Société musicale indépendante, Société nationale de musique, Association de musique contemporaine), 1902-1941.

The music world owes a debt of gratitude to two rival organizations that were at the center of the Parisian arts scene during France’s “Golden Age” of music.   Well into the latter part of the nineteenth century, the symphonic tradition continued to be regarded as the near-exclusive domain of the Austro-German school of music. There […]

Musiques de plein air (1900-04): An orchestral rarity from Florent Schmitt’s early compositional period.

As Florent Schmitt’s star has continued to rise in recent decades, one happy result has been the growing number of recordings helping to fill gaps in the composer’s discography. The trajectory has been real: At the turn of this century, only about half of Florent Schmitt’s compositions had been commercially recorded, but that number is […]

Two rarities are among the compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in the upcoming 2022-23 concert season, presented by orchestras in Amsterdam, Berlin, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Lübeck, Porto, Saint Louis, Stockholm, Tokyo, Warsaw and Wuppertal.

In addition to multiple presentations of Schmitt’s best-known composition La Tragédie de Salomé, music-lovers will be treated to two mid-career works — In Memoriam and the Symphonie concertante. It comes as no surprise that in the upcoming 2022-23 concert season, various conductors and orchestras will be presenting Florent Schmitt’s ballet La Tragédie de Salomé. Not […]

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, Ljubljana, 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 […]