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 […]