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 […]

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. […]

Musicologist and Author Nicolas Southon talks about his new book profiling orchestral works by 16 Francophone composers including Florent Schmitt.

Published in English and French versions, the book is available for viewing and download free of charge. Recently, the music publishing firm Durand-Salabert-Eschig (part of Universal Music Publishing Group) released a book titled A French Touch: Rediscovering a Uniquely French Symphonic Repertoire. Researched and written by French musicologist and author Nicolas Southon, the slender volume (44 pages long) […]

A link with history: French composer, teacher and writer Alain Margoni, 81, talks about working with Florent Schmitt in Paris during the 1950s.

Here in the year 2016, it is well over a half-century since French composer Florent Schmitt passed away at the age of nearly 90 years. Consequently, the number of musicians who have first-hand memories of interacting with the master has dwindled to a precious few. But we are fortunate to have French composer and teacher […]

The Composer and the Impresario: Florent Schmitt and Felix Aprahamian

Felix Aprahamian (1914-2005) is probably the closest thing to a renaissance man we’ve seen in the 20th Century — at least in the realm of music. Born into an Armenian immigrant mercantile family in London in 1914, he spent his entire life in the service of music, despite having trained for a career in business. […]

Elegance and Class: Florent Schmitt’s Quartet Pour presque tous les temps (1956)

One of the final works created by the French composer Florent Schmitt was a quartet he titled Pour presque tous les temps. It is one of the last numbered compositions in Schmitt’s entire output (#134 out of a total of 138 opus numbers) and was completed in 1956, two years before the composer’s death. Schmitt was known […]

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 […]