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 […]

Experiencing Florent Schmitt’s Antony & Cleopatra (1920) in a dramatic adaptation: An eyewitness report from London.

In 2010, the American conductor JoAnn Falletta resurrected a Florent Schmitt rarity: The Suite No. 1 from the incidental music the composer had written for Andre Gide’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play Antony & Cleopatra.  It was an Ida Rubinstein production done in her characteristically outré style: an entire-evening extravaganza mounted at the Paris Opéra. […]

Is Florent Schmitt’s Antony & Cleopatra (1920) beginning the transition from “rarity” to “rep we know”?

This year, Florent Schmitt’s opulent score will be presented by two leading orchestras — the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony — in collaboration with Shakespeare’s Globe. It’s quite interesting to witness a piece of classical music make the journey from being a rarity to becoming mainstream. I can think of several examples, headlined by […]

Conductor JoAnn Falletta’s Podcast Interview for NAXOS, on the Musical Legacy of French Composer Florent Schmitt

… His music, quintessentially French, moves beyond impressionism into a lush and tangled world of dark poetry and sumptuous storytelling. Rhapsodic, brooding and startlingly beautiful, Schmitt’s language is deeply personal – passionate yet extraordinarily detailed, sophisticated and elusive. —  JoAnn Falletta, American Orchestra Conductor The NAXOS release of two of Florent Schmitt’s most expressive “tonal […]

American conductor JoAnn Falletta talks about the release of her new NAXOS recording of Florent Schmitt’s Antony & Cleopatra and The Haunted Palace with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Florent Schmitt’s music should be mentioned in the same breath as Debussy and Ravel.” — JoAnn Falletta, American Orchestra Conductor In March of this year, the American conductor JoAnn Falletta recorded two important works by Florent Schmitt: the 1904 symphonic etude Le Palais hanté, Opus 49 and the two suites of incidental music for André […]

Made for the stage: The incredible life and career of dancer and dramatic actress Ida Rubinstein … and her 20-year collaboration with French composer Florent Schmitt.

In every era, there are always a few people in the arts whose life and career seem like something out of a movie or novel. Such a characterization is wholly apt in the case of dancer and dramatic actress Ida Rubinstein, the Russian-Jewish femme fatale who commanded the limelight in Paris for nearly half a century. Born in 1885 […]

Florent Schmitt and the Prix de Rome: 1900-1904 (Musiques de plein air; Le Palais hanté; Psaume XLVII)

In the century-long period from 1850 to 1950, the Prix de Rome prize for composition was probably the single most important and prestigious recognition for any French composer. And for that reason, nearly every important French composer strove to win it. Offered to students at the Paris Conservatoire, winners of the award were rewarded with a handsome stipend, along with a multi-year stay […]