Giving vibrant voice to powerful poetry: Florent Schmitt’s Trois Chants (1943).

French composers of the period really knew how to write vocal music.  Composers like Ravel, Debussy and Florent Schmitt were taught how to write for the human voice. — Karina Gauvin, Canadian Soprano How can one composer be so gifted at so much? — JoAnn Falletta, American Orchestra Conductor When one looks at the extensive […]

Florent Schmitt looks to the France of antiquity: Quatre poèmes de Ronsard (1941).

In May 1924, a new edition of the French magazine La Revue musicale hit the newsstands — one that was devoted to the artistic legacy of Pierre de Ronsard, among the most celebrated poets in all of French literary history. The brainchild of Henry Prunières, founder and editorial guiding light of the magazine, the May […]

Pianist Edward Rushton talks about exploring Florent Schmitt’s repertoire of vocal music and preparing it for performance and recording.

Considering that 2020 marks the 150th birthday anniversary of French composer Florent Schmitt, who lived from 1870 to 1958, it isn’t surprising that the milestone would be marked by the release of several new recordings this year that are devoted to the composer’s music. The first of these is a recording devoted to the vocal […]

Austrian conductor Gottfried Rabl talks about preparing and presenting the 2020 Romanian premiere performance of Florent Schmitt’s blockbuster choral composition Psalm 47 (1904).

In early March 2020, I had the opportunity to attend what turned out to be the very last public performances of Florent Schmitt’s orchestral before the Coronavirus pandemic effectively shut down classical concerts across the globe. Those concerts, presented by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of JoAnn Falletta, were noteworthy not only because the […]

Danse des Devadasis (1908): Florent Schmitt’s masterful evocation of the temple dancers of South India.

“What I find most astonishing about this piece is the fact that such heightened intensity and élan is achieved in record time … Florent Schmitt packs in the musical imagery required to make us imagine in our minds — and feel in our bodies — the dancing rites and rituals of the Devadasis. He makes […]

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, […]

Quiet intensity and moving moderation: Messe en quatre parties, Florent Schmitt’s final composition (1958).

Many music-lovers I know are under the mistaken impression that Florent Schmitt’s Symphony No. 2, Op. 137 was the last piece the composer created.  It’s a reasonable supposition because the Symphony received its premiere performance in Strasbourg on June 15, 1958, by the French National Radio Orchestra under the direction of Charles Munch, just two […]

Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin and French conductor Fabien Gabel talk about becoming acquainted with Florent Schmitt’s choral spectacular Psalm 47 (1904) and preparing the music for performance.

On May 29, 2019, the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebéc and its chorus presented the orchestra’s final concert of the season – one that featured French music exclusively. The event was a red-carpet affair at the Grand-Théâtre in Québec City in which local dignitaries were invited guests of the orchestra.  Also noteworthy was the centerpiece of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]