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 […]

Musicologist and Author Nicolas Southon talks about his new book profiling orchestral works by 16 Francophone composers including Florent Schmitt.

Published in English and French versions, the book is available for viewing and download free of charge. Recently, the music publishing firm Durand-Salabert-Eschig (part of Universal Music Publishing Group) released a book titled A French Touch: Rediscovering a Uniquely French Symphonic Repertoire. Researched and written by French musicologist and author Nicolas Southon, the slender volume (44 pages long) […]

The Composer and the Impresario: Florent Schmitt and Felix Aprahamian

Felix Aprahamian (1914-2005) is probably the closest thing to a renaissance man we’ve seen in the 20th Century — at least in the realm of music. Born into an Armenian immigrant mercantile family in London in 1914, he spent his entire life in the service of music, despite having trained for a career in business. […]

Janiana: Florent Schmitt’s Rich, Robust Symphony for String Orchestra (1941)

We know that Florent Schmitt’s penultimate work was the Symphony No. 2, composed in 1957 and premiered in 1958 by Charles Munch and the French National Radio Orchestra a few months before the composer’s death at age 87. The question is, which composition stands as Schmitt’s first essay in the genre?  Because in fact, the […]

Oriane et le Prince d’Amour: Florent Schmitt’s Final ‘Orientalist’ Composition (1933)

One of the most memorable aspects of French composer Florent Schmitt’s musical output is his artistic work in the “orientalist” realm.  In fact, in this aspect it could be claimed with some justification that Schmitt had no peer, notwithstanding the efforts of other fine composers in France (Saint-Saens, Bizet, Lalo, d’Indy, Roussel, Rabaud, Ravel, Delage, Aubert, etc.) and elsewhere […]

Florent Schmitt’s Valedictory Composition: Symphony No. 2 (1957)

Musicologists have noted the large number of pieces composed by Florent Schmitt during his life – some 138 “official” opus numbers plus a number of others. And the works span the full range of musical expression, except for opera. Of course, considering Schmitt’s seven decades as a productive composer – he continued writing music until nearly […]