Musicologist and conductor César Leal talks about the impresario Gabriel Astruc and his consequential role in Parisian musical and artistic life in the early 1900s.

Not long ago, I compiled a listing of published biographies, other books and dissertations that cover music and the arts in Paris during the time of Florent Schmitt’s career as a composer (roughly the 70-year period from 1890 to 1960).  Among the many documents I discovered, one of the most interesting was one that focused […]

Musicologist Megan Varvir Coe talks about the Symbolist roots of Florent Schmitt’s ballet La Tragédie de Salomé (1907/10).

Along with his concert band masterpiece Dionysiaques, La Tragédie de Salomé, Op. 50 is French composer Florent Schmitt’s best-known score.  But most music-lovers know only the version that Schmitt prepared in 1910 for large orchestra.  Three years earlier, an original version twice as long had been created by Schmitt for the American dancer Loïe Fuller, who presented it at […]

Musicians of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec talk about Florent Schmitt’s Ronde burlesque (1927) and explore the “secret sauce” of the composer’s orchestral writing.

On May 24, 2017, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and its music director, Fabien Gabel, presented the North American premiere performance of Florent Schmitt’s Ronde burlesque, Opus 78, a work composed 90 years before (in 1927). Not only was it the first performance of this piece on the continent, it was also the first time […]

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 […]

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 […]