A link with history: French composer, teacher and writer Alain Margoni, 81, talks about working with Florent Schmitt in Paris during the 1950s.

Here in the year 2016, it is well over a half-century since French composer Florent Schmitt passed away at the age of nearly 90 years. Consequently, the number of musicians who have first-hand memories of interacting with the master has dwindled to a precious few. But we are fortunate to have French composer and teacher […]

Florent Schmitt and Igor Stravinsky: A Consequential Musical Relationship

Throughout his long life and composing career, Florent Schmitt would forge many personal friendships with his counterparts.  He was at the center of musical life in Paris, maintaining particularly close relationships with Maurice Ravel, Albert Roussel, Gabriel Pierné, Paul Dukas, Gabriel Fauré, Guillaume Lekeu and numerous other French composers. He also had decades-long friendships with composers from other […]

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra announces the North American premiere concert performances of Florent Schmitt’s complete Antoine et Cléopâtre Suites — 95 years following their composition.

Le Palais hanté is also planned for performance and recording. North American classical music lovers are in for a treat this coming orchestra season.  The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has announced that its 2014-15 concert schedule includes the first performances in North America of Florent Schmitt’s complete Antoine et Cléopâtre Suites, Op. 69. The performances of this […]

A Surprising Collaboration and Friendship: Florent Schmitt and Frederick Delius (1894-1934)

One interesting yet virtually unknown early chapter in Florent Schmitt’s musical life involved the work he did in creating the piano/vocal reduction scores of the first four operas of the English composer Frederick Delius (1862-1934). These efforts began around 1894 when Schmitt was not yet 25 years old, with the transcription of Delius’ opera Irmelin.  The […]

Introït, récit et congé: Florent Schmitt’s tour de force for cello and orchestra (1948).

Over his seven decades-long composing career, Florent Schmitt would pen three concertante works for cello. The early Chant élégiaque (from 1899-1903) seems clearly influenced by Schmitt’s teacher and mentor, Gabriel Fauré, who had composed his own Elegy for Cello & Orchestra in the 1880s. The 1932 Final for Cello & Orchestra comes from Schmitt’s middle period of […]

Excitement on steroids: Seven live concert recordings of Florent Schmitt’s blockbuster choral composition Psalm 47 (1904)

For many classical music lovers, nothing can compare to a live performance.  While studio recordings promise greater precision and better sound quality — along with avoiding distracting audience noise – often this comes at the expense of spontaneity and immediacy. And for a piece of music as viscerally thrilling as Florent Schmitt’s Psalm XLVII, Op. 38, composed […]

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 […]

Élizabeth Herbin, French Pianist and Daughter of Composer René Herbin, Talks about the Music of Florent Schmitt and her Father

The French pianist Élizabeth Herbin has long been a champion of the music of her father, the composer René Herbin (1911-1953). This includes making recordings of his music, including one featuring Herbin’s Quartet #1 for Piano & Strings, composed in 1949. That celebrated recording, on the Gallo label, also contains two works by Florent Schmitt: […]

French Composer Florent Schmitt’s Romance with the Orient

When one looks at the body of work that makes up Florent Schmitt’s 138 opus numbers, the period 1900 to 1935 is striking in the number of important works that were inspired by Eastern/Oriental subjects and themes. Among the most significant of these compositions are: Psalm XLVII, Op. 38 (1904) for soprano, chorus, organ and orchestra […]

La Tragédie de Salomé: Florent Schmitt’s Sinuous Temptress, Seducing Audiences for 100 Years

“[It] is like a half-hour visit to the pleasure dome in Xanadu, and if it doesn’t give you a few spiritual orgasms, then perhaps you need to insert Viagra® in each of your ears.” — Raymond Tuttle, Music Critic, Fanfare Magazine The ballet La Tragédie de Salomé, Op. 50 is Florent Schmitt’s most famous and […]