Fascinating, complex sonorities: Florent Schmitt’s String Trio (1944).

“So dense, so many notes, so many double-stops. So hard to play in tune together, so tricky to balance and to make it sound natural.  But what special notes they are!”    — Michiel Weidner, Prisma String Trio In the latter part of his career, the French composer Florent Schmitt turned his attention to musical […]

French pianist Bruno Belthoise talks about keeping Florent Schmitt’s Une semaine du petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil (1912) part of his performing repertoire over the years.

In 2013, one of the earliest interviews I conducted for the Florent Schmitt Website + Blog was with the French pianist Bruno Belthoise.  I had discovered him from YouTube, where several movements of Florent Schmitt’s piano four-hand suite Une semaine du petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil, Opus 58 had been uploaded from a performance he gave at the […]

Finnish composer and music journalist Osmo Tapio Räihälä shares his experience of visiting the gravesite of Florent Schmitt in Paris (November 2017).

Osmo Tapio Räihälä is one of Finland’s better-known composers of today. He has created music in many forms, from vocal and chamber pieces to large orchestral works. Mr. Räihälä’s highly active career includes fulfilling numerous composition commissions.  His works have been performed by important European orchestras and ensembles, interpreted by leading artists such as the […]

Musicologist Suddhaseel Sen talks about the artistry of Florent Schmitt and the importance of his orientalist compositions.

Musicologist, author and teacher Suddhaseel Sen comes to his appreciation of Western classical music from an interesting angle. A native of the Indian subcontinent, Dr. Sen made his first musical discoveries there, long before coming to the West for a range of music-related studies and research. Today, Dr. Sen is back in India as Assistant Professor of Humanities […]

Musicians Edward Rushton, Guillaume Le Dréau and JoAnn Falletta talk about Florent Schmitt’s captivating Chansons à quatre voix (1903-05).

Throughout his long composing career spanning from the late 1880s to the late 1950s, Florent Schmitt would return again and again to the human voice. While he never composed an opera, he wrote voluminous pages of music in every other form that features solo and mixed voices. Tellingly, the composer’s Opus 1 and his final Opus 138 […]

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. […]

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 […]