Originality, Eclecticism … and Female Voices: Florent Schmitt’s Six Chœurs (1931).

Music lovers who know Florent Schmitt’s stunning Psaume XLVII (1904) might wonder what other choral music may have come from the composer’s pen. And in fact, there are nearly 25 individual choral scores written by Schmitt, composed over more than a half-century’s time. None of them are nearly as famous as the Psalm, but they […]

Florent Schmitt and the Flute (Scherzo-Pastorale; Quatuor; Suite en trois parties)

For a composer who wrote many pages of chamber and instrumental music featuring nearly every instrument of the orchestra, Florent Schmitt’s compositions featuring the flute are comparative few. This may seem surprising for a musician who actually played the flute in several military musical ensembles during World War I.  Nevertheless, I count only three such works in the Schmitt […]

First-ever recording of Florent Schmitt’s ballet Le petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil (1923) to be released.

Timpani, the French CD label that specializes in recording unfamiliar French repertoire of the romantic and modern eras, has just announced plans to release the first-ever recording of Florent Schmitt’s children’s ballet, Le petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil, Opus 73. The Ferme-l’oeil score is quite interesting in that it began life in 1912 as a suite of […]

Saxophonist Christopher Bartz talks about Florent Schmitt’s Légende (1918) and its pride of place in the saxophone repertoire.

Florent Schmitt’s Légende, Op. 66 is one of the most compelling concertante pieces ever written for the saxophone.  Composed in 1918, it’s a work that exists in versions for saxophone, viola and violin soloist, along with orchestral or piano accompaniment. Simply put, it’s an unforgettable piece of music:  Within the span of just ten minutes, Schmitt presents a rhapsodic […]

Oriane et le Prince d’Amour: Florent Schmitt’s Final ‘Orientalist’ Composition (1933)

One of the most memorable aspects of French composer Florent Schmitt’s musical output is his artistic work in the “orientalist” realm.  In fact, in this aspect it could be claimed with some justification that Schmitt had no peer, notwithstanding the efforts of other fine composers in France (Saint-Saens, Bizet, Lalo, d’Indy, Roussel, Rabaud, Ravel, Delage, Aubert, etc.) and elsewhere […]

French Pianist Bruno Belthoise Talks About the Music of Florent Schmitt and Le petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil (1912)

The French pianist Bruno Belthoise has been performing Florent Schmitt’s piano duet composition Une semaine du petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil, Op. 58 since 2006. Not only has he become a champion of the music score, he has also created a special presentation incorporating Schmitt’s music, story line narration and imagery that helps introduce children to the world of […]

Dionysiaques Around the World: Celebrating 100 Years of Florent Schmitt’s Masterpiece for Concert Band (1913-2013)

Dionysiaques, Op. 62 is unquestionably Florent Schmitt’s most famous work for wind ensemble.  It was composed exactly 100 years ago, but it would take decades for this 11-minute tour de force to become part of the core repertoire of concert bands. First in France … then in Europe and the United States and now in the […]