Enfants (1940): Florent Schmitt’s evocation of the world of childhood.

During his lengthy career, the French composer Florent Schmitt would periodically turn to the subject of children for musical inspiration – often involving pieces written for piano. In the early 1900s Schmitt composed four collections of piano duets featuring easy primo parts for young pupils. Sur cinq notes (1906); Trois pièces récréatives (1907); Huit courtes pieces […]

Habeyssée (1947): Florent Schmitt’s rich and colorful suite for violin.

Even though he is justly famous for his highly colorful and opulent orchestrations, Florent Schmitt’s own instrument was the piano. And in his early years, much of what he composed were vast swaths of music for piano, as well as for voice with piano. But roughly contemporaneous with his tenure at the Villa Medici in Rome (1900-04), […]

Fête de la lumière: Florent Schmitt’s extravagant showpiece at the Paris Exposition (1937).

In 1937, one of the final transnational gatherings held on the European continent before the onset of World War II occurred in the city of Paris. The International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life — colloquially known as the Paris Exposition — took place between May and November of that year. Its lofty […]