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 […]

French Conductor Fabien Gabel talks about Rêves (1915), other compositions of Florent Schmitt, and the future of French music in the concert hall.

This month, the French conductor Fabien Gabel revealed his plans to lead the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra in a December 2016 performance of Florent Schmitt’s tone picture Rêves, Opus 65 (Dreams), composed just over a century ago. In subsequent discussions with the Maestro, I discovered how much he is doing to program French repertoire from the late […]

Florent Schmitt Goes to Germany: Reflets d’Allemagne (1902-05).

For music-lovers who aren’t very familiar with the music of Florent Schmitt, they may well think that the composer is German. Or at the very least, they might assume that the music bears a strong resemblance to Germanic musical style. Of course, for those who know Schmitt and his artistry, they realize that any “German” musical influence falls well-behind French influence […]

Florent Schmitt and the Prix de Rome: 1900-1904 (Musiques de plein air; Le Palais hanté; Psaume XLVII)

In the century-long period from 1850 to 1950, the Prix de Rome prize for composition was probably the single most important and prestigious recognition for any French composer. And for that reason, nearly every important French composer strove to win it. Offered to students at the Paris Conservatoire, winners of the award were rewarded with a handsome stipend, along with a multi-year stay […]

French Composer Florent Schmitt’s Romance with the Orient

When one looks at the body of work that makes up Florent Schmitt’s 138 opus numbers, the period 1900 to 1935 is striking in the number of important works that were inspired by Eastern/Oriental subjects and themes. Among the most significant of these compositions are: Psalm XLVII, Op. 38 (1904) for soprano, chorus, organ and orchestra […]