Arts critic Steven Kruger talks about the music of Florent Schmitt and its place in France’s “Golden Age” of classical music.

One of my favorite critics on the international classical music scene today is Steven Kruger, who is a reviewer for New York Arts and Fanfare magazine.  What is particularly special is Kruger’s way of tying his music criticism to broader cultural and artistic undercurrents, often making fresh and novel connections that go unnoticed by others. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

“A sphinx, an enigmatic being … nature steeped in demanding contradictions and seductive by that very fact … she seemed to come from another world — one where she would have been despotically sovereign.” — René Dumesnil, from a tribute article published in Le Monde, October 25, 1960 In every era, there are always a […]

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 […]

Members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Talk about Preparing Florent Schmitt’s Music for Performance and Recording

In February and March 2015, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and its music director, JoAnn Falletta, performed and recorded two of Florent Schmitt’s orchestral works:  the 1900-04 symphonic etude Le Palais hanté, Opus 49 (The Haunted Palace), inspired by a poem of Edgar Allan Poe; and the two Antoine et Cléopâtre Suites, Opus 69, composed in 1920 […]

American orchestra conductor JoAnn Falletta talks about performing and recording the music of Florent Schmitt (Antoine et Cléopâtre and Le Palais hanté).

Recorded in March 2015 by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the pieces are slated for release on the NAXOS label later this year. Under its music director JoAnn Falletta, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has established something of a reputation for programming neglected scores from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including performances in recent years of works […]

Five Important Compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in Concert in Spring 2015 by Orchestras in Berlin, Buffalo, Cleveland, Metz and Tokyo

The Bachtrack website has just completed uploading its global database of programs for the upcoming concert season. Although it isn’t an exhaustive listing of every orchestral group, the site covers nearly all of the major orchestras and other ensembles around the world, making it a good “one-stop” resource for information about what’s happening on the […]

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra announces the North American premiere concert performances of Florent Schmitt’s complete Antoine et Cléopâtre Suites — 95 years following their composition.

Le Palais hanté is also planned for performance and recording. North American classical music lovers are in for a treat this coming orchestra season.  The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has announced that its 2014-15 concert schedule includes the first performances in North America of Florent Schmitt’s complete Antoine et Cléopâtre Suites, Op. 69. The performances of this […]

Brilliance and Sophistication: Florent Schmitt’s Trois Rapsodies for Two Pianos (1903-04)

One of the most satisfying of Florent Schmitt’s extensive trove of music for piano duet and duo – and the one that is my personal favorite of all of them – is Trois Rapsodies, Op. 53, a work he composed in 1903-4. Made up of three movements titled Française, Polonaise and Viennoise, it is a work that fully engages […]

La Tragédie de Salomé: Florent Schmitt’s most famous composition … 15 commercial recordings and counting.

Without question, La Tragédie de Salomé, Op. 50 is Florent Schmitt’s most famous composition.  Composed in 1907 and revised in 1910, this ballet is far more often performed as a symphonic suite these days (although the Mariinsky Ballet revived the stage version in 2013). The composition became famous from the very start – recognized by […]