Fonctionnaire MCMXII: Florent Schmitt versus French Civil Servants (1923)

Around the world today, the news is full of stories about bloated government bureaucracies and the inefficiencies of various public agencies. From France and Italy to the United States, there are persistent calls for governments to become leaner and more effective, beginning with eliminating “waste, fraud and abuse” from various agencies. But this isn’t a […]

Duo-pianists Kasparov and Lutsyshyn talk about their new Florent Schmitt Recording Project

One of the most exciting recent recording projects featuring the music of Florent Schmitt is the complete duo-piano music being released in 2012-13 by Naxos Grand Piano. The four-CD traversal is performed by the Invencia Piano Duo: Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn. The first of the four volumes in the series was released in late […]

Florent Schmitt and the Saxophone (Légende; Saxophone Quartet)

The saxophone has always held a tenuous position in the symphony orchestra. Perhaps because of its relatively late invention (around 1845), it’s never really become a full-fledged part of the wind section. Undoubtedly too, some composers have found the saxophone’s sonorities to be better suited for wind ensembles and pop bands than for classical music. But if […]

One Heck of a Film Score: Florent Schmitt’s Salammbô (1925)

There are a number of indisputably great composers for the film: names like Richard Addinsell, David Raksin and Dimitri Tiomkin. And there are “serious” 20th century composes who also devoted more than a little of their effort and energy to writing for the screen. Erich Wolfgang Korngold comes immediately to mind, although one could also place Serge […]

Musicologist Dr. Jerry Rife talks about his introduction to Florent Schmitt’s music.

Dr. Jerry E. Rife, a musicologist and professor of music at Rider University, has been a specialist on the music of Florent Schmitt for over 30 years. He has published several articles on the composer, and has just completed a detailed entry on Schmitt for the upcoming  edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians. The early […]

Dionysiaques: Florent Schmitt’s Incredible Composition for Concert Band (1913-14)

One of the most fascinating and forward-looking works in the concert band repertoire was penned by Florent Schmitt back in 1913/14. Dionysiaques, Op. 62 was composed for France’s elite Garde Républicaine Band, which premiered the work in 1925. Dionysiaques is a brilliant, 11-minute tour de force that takes the listener on an incredible sound journey. Although […]