Director Bill Barclay and conductor JoAnn Falletta talk about mounting a dramatic adaptation of Antony & Cleopatra that pairs Shakespeare’s words with Florent Schmitt’s jaw-dropping music from the 1920 Paris production of the play.

By now, it seems that Florent Schmitt’s two Antoine et Cléopâtre Suites, Op. 69 have at last transitioned from being true rarities to become orchestral repertoire that is actually known.  There are now four commercial recordings of the suites (three of them made within the past decade), and in the past several years the music […]

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 […]

Contrasting voices: Florent Schmitt’s a cappella masterpiece A contre-voix (1944).

Within the vast catalogue of music created by the French composer Florent Schmitt are a great number of vocal compositions. Indeed, throughout his 70+ year composing career, Schmitt would return again and again to the human voice — writing works for solo voice as well as for chorus. The choral pieces are particularly interesting in […]

American choral director Scott Tucker talks about the connection between Gabriel Fauré, Lili Boulanger and Florent Schmitt — and presenting Schmitt’s Psaume XLVII in a concert showcasing the important choral legacy of all three composers.

“It was the most thrilling piece I’d heard in years.  I was so moved by its unbridled joy that I knew we had to build an entire concert around it …” — Scott Tucker, Artistic Director, The Choral Arts Society of Washington On Sunday, May 19, 2019, The Choral Arts Society of Washington will present a […]

Ten important compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in the upcoming 2019/20 concert season by orchestras in Antwerp, Augusta, Boston, Buffalo, Cluj, Hiroshima, Maastricht, Montréal, Mulhouse, Paris, Perth, Québec City, Rio de Janeiro, Rochefort and Shanghai.

The international Bachtrack website is in the process of uploading its global database of classical music programs for the coming season. Although it doesn’t provide a comprehensive listing of every professional group’s events, the site covers nearly all of the major orchestras, opera and ballet companies around the world, making it the “go-to” resource for […]

Conductor JoAnn Falletta and mezzo-soprano Susan Platts talk about preparing Florent Schmitt’s music for performance and recording (Musique sur l’eau – 1898/1913 and La Tragédie de Salomé – 1907/10).

In 2020, the NAXOS label plans to release its second disk of music by the French composer Florent Schmitt that features the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and its music director, JoAnn Falletta. The first recording, which was released in 2015, included several orchestral pieces by Schmitt:  the two Antoine et Cléopâtre suites (after William Shakespeare) and […]

Infectious elegance and so much more: Florent Schmitt’s Trois valses nocturnes (1901).

French composer Florent Schmitt’s abilities as a pianist were considerable. Even so, he characterized the piano as “a convenient but disappointing substitute for the orchestra.” Taking a look at Schmitt’s piano scores, what’s immediately apparent are the technical demands that are required to do the music justice.  It’s akin to what the French pianist Alfred Cortot famously […]

Clavecin obtempérant (1945), Florent Schmitt’s endlessly fascinating harpsichord suite created for Marcelle de Lacour.

Over a lengthy career spanning more than seven decades, the French composer Florent Schmitt created numerous works that showcased the special qualities of various different instruments — including some that are not so often the “featured celebrities” in scores. As an accomplished keyboard artist, it’s no surprise that the composer’s catalogue of works contains many […]

French music specialist Michael Feingold talks about creating orchestrations of Maurice Ravel’s piano and vocal scores.

Regular readers of the Florent Schmitt Website + Blog know that sometimes we “relax the routine” and publish an article that focuses on a different composer – usually a contemporary of Schmitt. Of the many fellow composers who Schmitt interacted with during his lengthy career, one with whom he shared an enduring professional and personal bond […]

Musiques intimes (1891-1904): Captivating piano miniatures by Florent Schmitt that reveal the composer in his most introspective moods.

Florent Schmitt may be best-known for his opulent orchestral scores, most of which were written in the first three decades of the 20th century. But Schmitt’s compositional career, which spanned more than seven decades beginning in the late 1880s, contains so much more than just those creations. Taking a look at the composer’s extensive catalogue — […]

Pianist Alain Lefèvre reminisces about working with the great French violinist Christian Ferras, and together preparing Florent Schmitt’s Sonate libre (1918-19) for tour.

To younger music-lovers, the name Christian Ferras may not be well-recognized. But Ferras, who lived from 1933 to 1982, was one of the finest violinists of the 20th century. Unfortunately, it was a career cut short by suicide at the age of just 49 years, but during his 25 years on the stage, Christian Ferras established a reputation as an uncommonly fine […]

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. […]

Mathieu Cherkit: A noted young painter draws artistic inspiration from French composer Florent Schmitt’s longtime home in Saint-Cloud.

Not long ago, a document surfaced on the Internet that dates from the time of the Paris Exposition of 1937. As Europe’s last great transnational gathering before World War II swept the continent, countries great and small exhibited their art and culture at the International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life (as it […]

Playful liveliness and ironic verve: Florent Schmitt’s Trois trios for female voices (1940)

Within the extensive catalogue of compositions by Florent Schmitt are a large number of choral works, great and small. Of these, music-lovers are likely to be most familiar with Schmitt’s grandiose setting of Psalm 47, which he composed in 1904 during his Prix de Rome period. But most of Schmitt’s other choral works are vastly different from […]

Feuillets de voyage: French composer Florent Schmitt’s musical travel diary (1903-5).

Often, composers “favor” instruments that they themselves know how to play.  Florent Schmitt’s own instruments were the piano, organ and flute, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that a significant number of this composer’s creations would feature these instruments. In particular, Schmitt was a highly proficient pianist, which helps explain the expressiveness and effectiveness of his piano compositions […]