Phillip Nones, author of this website and blog, first encountered the music of French composer Florent Schmitt (1870-1958) when he was a teenager … and it was “love at first hearing.”
Not surprisingly, his first exposure to Schmitt’s music was the composer’s most famous work, La Tragédie de Salomé, in Paul Paray’s classic reading with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Wanting to hear more of this composer’s music, it soon became apparent that precious few works had ever been recorded – and fewer still were available in the United States.
But perseverance won out, and the musical rewards were many — in Robert and Gaby Casadesus’ Columbia recording of Schmitt’s music for duo-pianists … Georges Tzipine’s recording on EMI/Angel of the monumental Psaume XLVII (with soprano Denise Duval and organist Maurice Duruflé heading up an impressive cast of players) … and Désiré Dondeyne’s stunning Calliope recording of Dionysiaques, leading France’s premiere wind ensemble, the Musique des Gardiens de la Paix.
In recent decades, many more works of Florent Schmitt have made it to the microphones – and each new release has proven again what a wealth of creative material resides within the composer’s output.
Even better, Schmitt’s music is being performed more frequently in the concert hall and in recital, thanks to the efforts of conductors Alain Altinoglu, Leon Botstein, Lionel Bringuier, Stéphane Denève, JoAnn Falletta, Fabien Gabel, Jacques Mercier, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jean-Luc Tingaud and Yan-Pascal Tortelier … pianists Bruno Belthoise, Claudio Chaiquin, Leslie De’Ath, Andrey Kasparov, Tomer Lev and Oksana Lutsyshyn … the list goes on.
Still, Florent Schmitt’s music remains relatively unknown to many classical music afficionados – even among people who love the music of Schmitt’s French compatriots Debussy, Ravel and others. And there’s even less understanding and recognition of the substantial influence Schmitt had on many composers of his generation.
These factors were the inspiration for the Florent Schmitt website and blog. Its author, Phillip Nones, is not a professional musician — although he played piano and percussion through his college years and in civic orchestras for a number of years thereafter.
These days, he indulges his musical interests through intensive listening, attending concerts, and supporting the organizations that bring great music before the public. He is also a critic for the U.K.-based international classical music review e-zine Bachtrack.
In his professional life Phillip Nones studied economics and business administration, earning a B.S. degree at Vanderbilt University and an M.B.A. degree at the Thunderbird School of International Business. He recently retired from his position as president and director of client services at Mullin/Ashley Associates, Inc., a communications, PR and market research firm. Established in 1978, Mullin/Ashley supports commercial, industrial, business-to-business and healthcare industry clients that market their products and services on a regional, national and international level.
His other blog, NonesNotes, which he has published since 2009, focuses on business, marketing and socio/cultural topics.
The opinions expressed are those of Phillip Nones. The information provided is on an as-is basis, and no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog is made, nor any liability for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.
© 2012-2023 by Phillip Nones.
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