Music critics at France-Musique evaluate current recordings of Florent Schmitt’s ballet La Tragédie de Salomé (1907/10).

Their designation of Paul Paray’s classic reading with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as the best overall recording is echoed by France-Musique’s listener audience. As part of its popular broadcast series La Tribune des critiques de disques, in October 2017 the French national public radio channel France-Musique aired a two-hour program in which a roundtable panel of eminent […]

Experiencing Florent Schmitt’s Symphony No. 2 (1957) in concert: An eyewitness report from London.

On October 27, 2017, Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra presented Florent Schmitt’s Symphony No. 2, Opus 137 — the composer’s final orchestral work, which was completed in 1957 when Schmitt was 87 years old. This performance at the Barbican in London was the first time the Symphony No. 2 had been presented in concert […]

In Memoriam: Florent Schmitt’s tribute to his teacher and mentor Gabriel Fauré (1922-35).

During his time as a student at the Paris Conservatoire, Florent Schmitt had his share of esteemed teachers including Jules Massenet, Théodore Dubois, André Gédalge and Albert Lavignac. But Gabriel Fauré, who along with Massenet were Schmitt’s two instructors in composition, was his favorite teacher and also arguably the most influential one. Time and again, we can hear […]

Florent Schmitt and the Organ

One of Florent Schmitt’s most famous and popular compositions is his monumental choral work Psaume XLVII, Opus 38.  Composed in 1904, it is one of the most striking choral works of the 20th Century — or of any era in classical music. Music lovers who are familiar with this work know how important the organ is in Schmitt’s […]

American violinist John McLaughlin Williams talks about the music of Florent Schmitt and the Sonate libre (1918-19).

“In the 20th century, France was unusually blessed with composers who can be called ‘great’ without question or compromise. It’s arguable that they could be listed with a certain linearity. Debussy, Schmitt, Ravel, Messiaen, Dutilleux; when I think of their music it seems clear to me that they were listening to each other, and those […]

Powerful Sounds: The Seven Commercial Recordings of Florent Schmitt’s Psaume 47 (1904)

There is little question that Florent Schmitt’s Psaume XLVII, Op. 38, composed in 1904,  is one of the most powerful compositions in the choral repertoire. Indeed, the forces called for in this music — large chorus, large orchestra, soprano solo and organ — make it nearly unique in the French repertoire.  When it had its premiere in […]

Excitement on Steroids: Six 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 […]