Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin and French conductor Fabien Gabel talk about becoming acquainted with Florent Schmitt’s choral spectacular Psalm 47 (1904) and preparing the music for performance.

On May 29, 2019, the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebéc and its chorus presented the orchestra’s final concert of the season – one that featured French music exclusively. The event was a red-carpet affair at the Grand-Théâtre in Québec City in which local dignitaries were invited guests of the orchestra.  Also noteworthy was the centerpiece of […]

Experiencing Florent Schmitt’s Antony & Cleopatra (1920) and other orientalist masterpieces from France’s “Golden Age” of classical music live in concert: An eyewitness report from Paris.

American cellist Aaron Merritt and French arts administrator Eric Butruille traveled to the Philharmonie in Paris for the June 2018 event and were interviewed immediately thereafter. On June 9th and 10th, 2018, the Orchestre de Paris presented a program that must rank as one of the most interesting concerts of this year’s artistic season in the […]

Substance as well as style: The Quartet for Strings (1948) of Florent Schmitt.

During the extraordinarily long musical career of Florent Schmitt — which spanned 70 years from the late 1880s to the late 1950s — the composer created works for many combinations of instruments. Early on, there were vast swaths of piano music. Then came the sumptuous orchestral creations between 1900 and the onset of World War […]

French conductor Fabien Gabel talks about Florent Schmitt’s Le Palais hanté (1904) and leading The Cleveland Orchestra in its first performance of this Poe-inspired tone picture.

  On August 19, 2017, French conductor Fabien Gabel led The Cleveland Orchestra in a concert of mainly French music at the Blossom Music Center, the orchestra’s summer home. Not only is Maestro Gabel a tireless advocate for the music of his native country wherever he conducts around the world, the artistry of Florent Schmitt is […]

French conductor Fabien Gabel talks about Florent Schmitt’s Ronde burlesque (1927) … and why he champions the music of this composer around the world.

Fabien Gabel is one of France’s leading conductors of the younger generation, with an international career. He has been music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec since 2012, and this year was also named music director of the Orchestre Français des Jeunes, succeeding David Zinman.  In addition, he guest-conducts regularly in the United States and major […]

Members of the Mélomanie chamber ensemble talk about the music of Florent Schmitt and preparing his Sonatine en trio (1936) for performance.

In April 2017, the Delaware-based chamber group Mélomanie presented Florent Schmitt’s Sonatine en trio, Opus 85, an intimate and engaging piece for flute, clarinet and harpsichord the composer created in 1936. The Schmitt Sonatine was part of a fascinating program that featured seven works stretching from the 1600s (Marin Marais) through to contemporary pieces by Nicolas Bacri, Shulamit […]

Fête de la lumière: Florent Schmitt’s extravagant showpiece at the Paris Exposition (1936-37).

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 […]

Six important compositions of Florent Schmitt to be featured in the upcoming 2016/17 concert season by orchestras in Asheville, Berlin, Bern, Bordeaux, Liège, London, Metz, Neuss-am-Rhein, Paris, Philadelphia, Québec, Seoul, Spokane, Stockholm and Tokyo.

The international Bachtrack website is in the process of uploading its global database of classical music programs for the upcoming season. Although it isn’t an exhaustive listing of every orchestral group, the site covers nearly all of the major orchestras, opera and ballet companies and other important ensembles around the world, making it the “go-to” […]

In Memoriam: Florent Schmitt’s tribute to his teacher and mentor Gabriel Fauré (1922-35).

During his time as a student at the Paris Conservatoire, Florent Schmitt had his share of esteemed teachers including Jules Massenet, Théodore Dubois, André Gédalge and Albert Lavignac. But Gabriel Fauré, who along with Massenet were Schmitt’s two instructors in composition, was his favorite teacher and also arguably the most influential one. Time and again, we can hear […]

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 […]

Passionate advocate: French conductor Lionel Bringuier talks about the music of Florent Schmitt and La Tragédie de Salomé.

French conductor Lionel Bringuier’s meteoric rise in the classical music field has been noteworthy.  Not yet 30 years old, he has been conducting major orchestras in the United States and Europe since 2006. Currently, Maestro Bringuier is chief conductor of the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zürich, Switzerland.  Prior to that, he was an associate conductor of […]

Members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Talk about Preparing Florent Schmitt’s Music for Performance and Recording

In February and March 2015, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and its music director, JoAnn Falletta, performed and recorded two of Florent Schmitt’s orchestral works:  the 1900-04 symphonic etude Le Palais hanté, Opus 49 (The Haunted Palace), inspired by a poem of Edgar Allan Poe; and the two Antoine et Cléopâtre Suites, Opus 69, composed in 1920 […]

American orchestra conductor JoAnn Falletta talks about performing and recording the music of Florent Schmitt (Antoine et Cléopâtre and Le Palais hanté).

Recorded in March 2015 by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the pieces are slated for release on the NAXOS label later this year. Under its music director JoAnn Falletta, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has established something of a reputation for programming neglected scores from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including performances in recent years of works […]

Spirit of the Dance: Florent Schmitt’s Suite sans esprit de suite (1937-38)

In the last two decades of his long life and extensive musical career, the composer Florent Schmitt would devote much of his energies to creating instrumental music and pieces for voice and choir. Indeed, by and large Schmitt’s later-career output eschewed the full orchestra — with a number of notable exceptions, among them the Introït, récit et congé […]

Florent Schmitt and Ralph Vaughan Williams: A Friendship Over Five Decades

The cover story in the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society Journal, published in October 2014, focuses on the half-century friendship between the French composer Florent Schmitt and his English counterpart. The two composers were near contemporaries of one another — Schmitt was older by two years — and they died within mere days of each other in […]