Hallucinatory Atmospherics: Florent Schmitt’s Rêves (1915)

Sprinkled throughout the catalogue of Florent Schmitt’s compositions are a goodly number of shorter orchestral pieces. They range in their moods from contemplative to joyous to stormy. One of these orchestral miniatures that I find particularly compelling is Rêves, Op. 65 (Dreams), a work that Schmitt began composing in 1913.  He prepared a piano version […]

Florent Schmitt’s Crépuscules (1898-1911): Richly evocative tone painting in the finest French pianistic tradition.

Composed between 1898 and 1911, Florent Schmitt’s Crépuscules, Op. 56 is a set of four pieces for solo piano that was published in 1913. It’s one of the most compelling French piano works of the period.  It also looks forward to Ombres which came along just a few years later — and which is probably the composer’s ultimate […]

The Influence of Florent Schmitt’s Psaume XLVII (1904) on Other French Composers

When Florent Schmitt’s monumental score Psaume XLVII was premiered in December 1906, it burst upon the Parisian music scene in a big way. Nothing this grandiose had been heard outside the opera house since the days of Berlioz. The French poet and essayist Léon-Paul Fargue echoed the sentiments of many when he wrote of the Psalm: […]