Musiques de plein air (1900-04): An orchestral rarity from Florent Schmitt’s early compositional period.

As Florent Schmitt’s star has continued to rise in recent decades, one happy result has been the growing number of recordings helping to fill gaps in the composer’s discography. The trajectory has been real: At the turn of this century, only about half of Florent Schmitt’s compositions had been commercially recorded, but that number is […]

Organist and music researcher Guillaume Le Dréau talks about French composer Florent Schmitt’s consequential work as a Parisian music critic (1912-1939).

Guillaume Le Dréau is one of the most multi-faceted musicians I know. A keyboard artist, he is currently the organist at Rennes Cathedral in France — but this position represents only one aspect of his many musical activities.  Not only does he play the organ and piano, he is a composer, an arranger, a teacher and a researcher. […]

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 […]

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

Here we have it, ladies and gentlemen: France’s missing symphony from the 1950s … It is almost impossibly beautiful, with some of the most kaleidoscopic sound-staging and effective bass sonorities you will encounter. Florent Schmitt’s Second Symphony was never precisely lost, to be sure. It’s actually the Francophone 50s which seemed to disappear and turn […]