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 […]

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 […]

L’Eventail de Jeanne: When Florent Schmitt teamed up with his compatriots to create an “omnibus” ballet (1927).

Throughout classical music history, “omnibus” compositions have been rather rare – and for the most part, they’ve been forgotten shortly after their celebrated premieres. Perhaps the earliest one of these interesting concoctions that has at least remained on the fringes of the repertoire is Hexameron — a morceau de concert put together in the late […]

World premiere recording of Florent Schmitt’s Suite for Flute & Orchestra, dedicated to the great Jean-Pierre Rampal (1954).

Welcome news in that Florent Schmitt’s Suite for Flute & Orchestra, Opus 129, is receiving its world premiere recording by flautist James Strauss, with Laercio Diniz conducting the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. The Suite was composed in 1954 when Schmitt was 84 years old.  It was dedicated to the great French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal, who […]