Something borrowed, something new: Exploring the recurring musical themes and passages in Florent Schmitt’s catalogue of works.

It isn’t uncommon for classical composers to create alternate versions of their musical creations.  Many have prepared piano reductions of their orchestral works, or done the opposite by orchestrating pieces originally written for piano. We also have numerous examples of pieces that began life as chamber music that were later orchestrated by their creators; the […]

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 release event was attended by tout Paris – at least in terms of the […]

Olivier Despax: Grand-nephew of composer Florent Schmitt … French heart-throb singer and actor of the 1960s.

In a life cut tragically short even as Florent Schmitt’s was blessedly long, Olivier Despax was a musical meteor shot across the sky. Music history is full of examples of family members following in the footsteps of important composers and musicians. It’s easy to understand why — exposed (and even immersed) as they would have been […]

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 […]

One Heck of a Film Score: Florent Schmitt’s Salammbô (1925)

There are a number of indisputably great composers for the film: names like Richard Addinsell, David Raksin and Dimitri Tiomkin. And there are “serious” 20th century composes who also devoted more than a little of their effort and energy to writing for the screen. Erich Wolfgang Korngold comes immediately to mind, although one could also place Serge […]