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 […]

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 […]

French pianist Bruno Belthoise talks about keeping Florent Schmitt’s Une semaine du petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil (1912) part of his performing repertoire over the years.

In 2013, one of the earliest interviews I conducted for the Florent Schmitt Website + Blog was with the French pianist Bruno Belthoise.  I had discovered him from YouTube, where several movements of Florent Schmitt’s piano four-hand suite Une semaine du petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil, Opus 58 had been uploaded from a performance he gave at the […]

Musicians Edward Rushton, Guillaume Le Dréau and JoAnn Falletta talk about Florent Schmitt’s captivating Chansons à quatre voix (1903-05).

Throughout his long composing career spanning from the late 1880s to the late 1950s, Florent Schmitt would return again and again to the human voice. While he never composed an opera, he wrote voluminous pages of music in every other form that features solo and mixed voices. Tellingly, the composer’s Opus 1 and his final Opus 138 […]

The Grand Piano label announces the release of a specially priced 4-CD set of Florent Schmitt’s complete original works for piano duet and duo (1899-1916) performed by the Invencia Piano Duo.

Available in mid-January 2017, the boxed set includes all 14 compositions first released in 2012-13 … now at a special price of four CDs for the price of two. Several years ago, the Grand Piano label issued a series of four CDs that together make up the complete original works for piano duet and duo by […]

Florent Schmitt Goes to Germany: Reflets d’Allemagne (1902-05).

For music-lovers who aren’t very familiar with the music of Florent Schmitt, they may well think that the composer is German. Or at the very least, they might assume that the music bears a strong resemblance to Germanic musical style. Of course, for those who know Schmitt and his artistry, they realize that any “German” musical influence falls well-behind French influence […]

Forgotten Records: Resurrecting noteworthy recordings of Florent Schmitt’s music from the LP era.

There’s no question that in the past two decades, the breadth and depth of French composer Florent Schmitt’s music that has made it to the microphones has increased dramatically. Nearly every year, we are treated to world premiere recordings of more Schmitt works. The most recent examples are the complete works for piano duo and duet as […]

Brilliance and Sophistication: Florent Schmitt’s Trois Rapsodies for Two Pianos (1903-04)

One of the most satisfying of Florent Schmitt’s extensive trove of music for piano duet and duo – and the one that is my personal favorite of all of them – is Trois Rapsodies, Op. 53, a work he composed in 1903-4. Made up of three movements titled Française, Polonaise and Viennoise, it is a work that fully engages […]

Lied et Scherzo (1910), Florent Schmitt’s Incredible Piece Featuring the French Horn

One of the most interesting works by Florent Schmitt is his Lied et Scherzo, Op. 54, which he composed in 1910. The piece was first conceived as a work for double wind quintet, with one of the French horns acting as soloist throughout. The work was dedicated to Schmitt’s fellow French composer Paul Dukas, who […]

L’Eventail de Jeanne: When Florent Schmitt teamed up with his compatriots to create an “omnibus” ballet (1927).

Throughout classical music history, “omnibus” compositions have been rather rare – and for the most part, they’ve been forgotten shortly after their celebrated premieres. Perhaps the earliest one of these interesting concoctions that has at least remained on the fringes of the repertoire is Hexameron — a morceau de concert put together in the late […]

The Invencia Piano Duo Completes its Florent Schmitt Series on the Grand Piano Label

“[Florent Schmitt’s four-hand piano works are] probably the finest in the whole modern repertoire. Sanely modern and splendidly constructed (they are a joy to play), his large output — in quality and inspiration — stands alone, and his genius finds full expression in this form.” — Alec Rowley, English composer and keyboard artist One of […]

Le petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil: Florent Schmitt’s Children’s Ballet (1923)

The popularity of large-scale works like Psalm XLVII, La Tragédie de Salomé and Dionysiaques would make one think that Florent Schmitt cared little for intimate subject matters as inspiration for his compositions. But the reality is different.  While it’s true that the more grandiose and dramatic scores of the composer tend to be the ones […]

World-Premiere Recordings of Florent Schmitt’s Music for Piano Duet and Duo

As the complete music for piano duet and duo composed by Florent Schmitt continues to be released by the Grand Piano label in its series featuring the Invencia Piano Duo, it’s becoming clear that this is music of immediate appeal … and also of substance. Three of the four planned CDs in the series have now been released in […]

Duo-pianists Kasparov and Lutsyshyn talk about their new Florent Schmitt Recording Project

One of the most exciting recent recording projects featuring the music of Florent Schmitt is the complete duo-piano music being released in 2012-13 by Naxos Grand Piano. The four-CD traversal is performed by the Invencia Piano Duo: Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn. The first of the four volumes in the series was released in late […]

Florent Schmitt and the French Fascination with Edgar Allan Poe: Le Palais hanté (1904)

What is it in the French psyche that makes so many of its people attracted to the “dark side” in literature? Whether it’s the symbolists like Maurice Maeterlinck and Paul Verlaine, the noir novels of David Goodis or the dissolute stories and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe (as translated masterfully by Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane […]