Conductor Fabien Gabel talks about the strategy behind his October 2021 “Salome-centric” concert with the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse.

Recently, French conductor Fabien Gabel returned to the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse to lead a concert of music by composers from the 19th and early 20th centuries.  The choice of repertoire was interesting in that it had a distinctly “Salome-centric” cast — featuring the music of Florent Schmitt and Richard Strauss.  But the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Simplicity meets virtuosity: Florent Schmitt’s a cappella vocal masterpiece En bonnes voix (1938).

Throughout his extraordinarily long and productive life, the French composer Florent Schmitt would return again and again to the human voice.  His earliest catalogued compositions dating from the 1880s were various mélodies, and his final work was the Messe en quatres parties for mixed chorus and organ, completed just a few months before his death […]

Members of the Prisma String Trio talk about preparing, performing and recording Florent Schmitt’s endlessly fascinating Trio à cordes (1944).

It was a dream come true for the three Prisma musicians, who prepared for nearly a decade before venturing into the recording hall to document their interpretation of Florent Schmitt’s stunning creation: “a string trio with sextet ambitions.”  Music-lovers who are familiar with Florent Schmitt’s artistry are most likely to know his big orchestral compositions, […]

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 […]

Musicians of the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra talk about discovering Florent Schmitt’s Quartet for Trombones and Tuba (1946) and preparing it for performance.

Late last year, several clips quietly appeared on Facebook — each of them featuring a movement from Florent Schmitt’s Quartet for Trombones and Tuba, Opus 109, a fascinating piece that the composer created in 1946. This quartet is a composition that, despite its creativity and inventiveness, remains one of the least-known of Schmitt’s scores.  Indeed, […]

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 […]

Florent Schmitt and the piano collection à l’Exposition: Musical vignettes of the Paris Exposition of 1937 (La Retardée).

For students of history, the International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life — colloquially known as the Paris Exposition of 1937 — is one of those events that’s been the subject of much sociological dissection, seeing as how it was the last great transnational gathering held on the European continent prior to the […]

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 […]

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 […]