Just Announced: Prisma String Trio to make a new recording of Florent Schmitt’s extraordinary Trio a cordes (1944).

It will be just the third time the work has been commercially recorded — and the first one in more than three decades. Among French composer Florent Schmitt’s extensive chamber music creations are a string trio and string quartet that he composed during the waning days of World War II and immediately following. It was […]

Five important compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in the upcoming 2020-21 concert season by orchestras in Duluth, Houston, Indianapolis, London, Lucerne, Osaka, Paris, Québec City, Rochefort, St. Louis, Saratoga Springs, Strasbourg and Tokyo.

In a classical music world turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, orchestras are bravely stepping forward in the 2020-21 concert season to commemorate French composer Florent Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary. 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 […]

Musicians Louis-Philippe Bonin, Janz Castelo and Nikki Chooi talk about Florent Schmitt’s moody, musing Légende (1918) and the three versions the composer created featuring solo saxophone, viola and violin.

On March 6 and 7, 2020, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of its music director, JoAnn Falletta, presented Florent Schmitt’s Légende, Op. 66 in concert. But it wasn’t the customary version for saxophone that the composer had created in 1918, but rather the version prepared several years later that features a solo violin. Arthur […]

In Florent Schmitt’s 150th birthday anniversary year, a new recording featuring the composer’s vocal music is being prepared.

Funding from Florent Schmitt aficionados around the world is being sought to help underwrite the project. As we embark on the 150th birthday anniversary year of Florent Schmitt, who was born in 1870, it is particularly gratifying to discover that this milestone is being recognized in increased programming of Schmitt’s music in Europe, North America, […]

Florent Schmitt’s strikingly inventive Quartet for Trombones and Tuba (1946): Leaving the ‘oompah’ behind.

It’s quite likely that many music-lovers who know of French composer Florent Schmitt are most familiar with his “big” pieces scored for large orchestral forces, overlaid with sparkling orchestration in the grandest post-Rimsky tradition.  And it’s true that many of Schmitt’s best-known works are just those kinds of compositions — pieces like La Tragédie de Salomé, […]

French-American conductor David Grandis talks about discovering the music of French composer Max d’Ollone and championing his repertoire in the concert hall.

Regular readers of the Florent Schmitt Website + Blog know that occasionally we “relax the routine” a bit and delve into the artistry of other composers — particularly ones who lived and worked in the same time period as Schmitt.  (See, for example, these articles about Stravinsky, Ravel and Zandonai.) Another such person is Max […]

Diverse winds: Florent Schmitt’s late-career quintet Chants alizés (1951-55).

In his later period of creation, French composer Florent Schmitt would turn to the sonorities of wind instruments for a goodly number of his creations. This may seem surprising for an artist who had made his reputation on his numerous “big orchestra” compositions along with a noteworthy collection of “orientalist” creations.  But if we recall […]

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 […]

Keyboard musician Emmanuel Pélaprat talks about Florent Schmitt’s Chant de guerre (1914) and preparing transcriptions for the Musiciens et la Grande Guerre series of recordings (Editions Hortus).

One of the most artistically significant and vital projects to come out of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I is a group of 35 recordings published by Editions Hortus in its Musiciens et la Grande Guerre series.  These recordings have been issued over a five-year span – each one based on […]

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 […]

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 […]

American cellist Elisa Kohanski talks about Florent Schmitt’s Chant élégiaque (1899-1903) and its debt to Gabriel Fauré’s Élégie.

Over a composing career of seven decades, Florent Schmitt would pen music featuring nearly every instrument of the symphony orchestra in a solo capacity. The cello was no exception. In fact, Schmitt composed three concertante pieces featuring the cello — one each during his early, middle and late period of creativity.  The earliest of the […]

Fascinating, complex sonorities: Florent Schmitt’s String Trio (1944).

“So dense, so many notes, so many double-stops. So hard to play in tune together, so tricky to balance and to make it sound natural.  But what special notes they are!”    — Michiel Weidner, Prisma String Trio In the latter part of his career, the French composer Florent Schmitt turned his attention to musical […]

Experiencing Florent Schmitt’s Symphony No. 2 (1957) in concert: An eyewitness report from London.

On October 27, 2017, Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra presented Florent Schmitt’s Symphony No. 2, Opus 137 — the composer’s final orchestral work, which was completed in 1957 when Schmitt was 87 years old. This performance at the Barbican in London was the first time the Symphony No. 2 had been presented in concert […]

Habeyssée (1947): Florent Schmitt’s rich and colorful suite for violin.

Even though he is justly famous for his highly colorful and opulent orchestrations, Florent Schmitt’s own instrument was the piano mainly (although he also played the organ and flute). And during his early years as a composer, much of what he created was a vast quantity of music for piano, as well as for voice […]