Keyboard musician Emmanuel Pélaprat talks about Florent Schmitt’s Chant de guerre (1914) and preparing transcriptions for the Musiciens et la Grande Guerre series of recordings (Editions Hortus).

One of the most artistically significant and vital projects to come out of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I is a group of 35 recordings published by Editions Hortus in its Musiciens et la Grande Guerre series.  These recordings have been issued over a five-year span – each one based on […]

Musiques intimes (1891-1904): Captivating piano miniatures by Florent Schmitt that reveal the composer in his most introspective moods.

Florent Schmitt may be best-known for his opulent orchestral scores, most of which were written in the first three decades of the 20th century. But Schmitt’s compositional career, which spanned more than seven decades beginning in the late 1880s, contains so much more than just those creations. Taking a look at the composer’s extensive catalogue — […]

Musicians of the Scarab Club Chamber Music Series Talk About Preparing and Performing Florent Schmitt’s Quartet Pour presque tous les temps (1956).

On October 7, 2018, Detroit’s Scarab Club Chamber Music Series launched its 21st season with a performance of Florent Schmitt’s quartet Pour presque tous les temps, Op. 134 (“Quartet for Almost All the Time”), a late-career work for flute, violin, cello and piano created by Schmitt in 1956 when the composer was 86 years old. […]

Mathieu Cherkit: A noted young painter draws artistic inspiration from French composer Florent Schmitt’s longtime home in Saint-Cloud.

Not long ago, a document surfaced on the Internet that dates from the time of the Paris Exposition of 1937. As Europe’s last great transnational gathering before World War II swept the continent, countries great and small exhibited their art and culture at the International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life (as it […]

Playful liveliness and ironic verve: Florent Schmitt’s Trois trios for female voices (1940)

Within the extensive catalogue of compositions by Florent Schmitt are a large number of choral works, great and small. Of these, music-lovers are likely to be most familiar with Schmitt’s grandiose setting of Psalm 47, which he composed in 1904 during his Prix de Rome period. But most of Schmitt’s other choral works are vastly different from […]

Feuillets de voyage: French composer Florent Schmitt’s musical travel diary (1903-5).

Often, composers “favor” instruments that they themselves know how to play.  Florent Schmitt’s own instruments were the piano, organ and flute, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that a significant number of this composer’s creations would feature these instruments. In particular, Schmitt was a highly proficient pianist, which helps explain the expressiveness and effectiveness of his piano compositions […]

American cellist Elisa Kohanski talks about Florent Schmitt’s Chant élégiaque (1899-1903) and its debt to Gabriel Fauré’s Élégie.

Over a composing career of seven decades, Florent Schmitt would pen music featuring nearly every instrument of the symphony orchestra in a solo capacity. The cello was no exception. In fact, Schmitt composed three concertante pieces featuring the cello — one each during his early, middle and late period of creativity.  The earliest of the […]

American soprano Korliss Uecker talks about preparing and singing the solo soprano part in Florent Schmitt’s choral masterpiece Psalm 47 (1904).

One of the most memorable highlights of my concert-going life was hearing Florent Schmitt’s stunning choral masterpiece Psaume XLVII, Op. 38 presented at Lincoln Center in New York City. Although I was well-familiar with the piece, having discovered it several decades earlier, this was the first opportunity I’d had to see it performed live in concert. Like […]

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 […]

French actor and narrator Vincent Figuri talks about resurrecting and recording the full version of Florent Schmitt’s Fonctionnaire MCMXII (1923) with narration.

In the late 1980s the first and only commercial recording of Florent Schmitt’s intriguing composition Fonctionnaire MCMXII, Op. 74 (Functionary #1,912) was released on the Cybelia label, featuring the Rhenish State Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by James Lockhart. Schmitt published this symphonic picture 1923, and it received its premiere performance at the Lamoureux Concerts in 1924, conducted […]

Reminiscing with American soprano Audrey Stottler about presenting Florent Schmitt’s Psalm 47 (1904) at the Washington National Cathedral

The dramatic soprano, famous across the world for her Turandot and other signature operatic roles, sang the rapturous solo part in Florent Schmitt’s stunning choral work Psaume XLVII in 2001. Ask anyone who has attended a performance of Florent Schmitt’s exhilarating 1904 choral masterpiece Psaume XLVII, Op. 38, and they’ll tell you how impactful the piece is when heard […]

Fascinating, complex sonorities: Florent Schmitt’s String Trio (1944).

“So dense, so many notes, so many double-stops. So hard to play in tune together, so tricky to balance and to make it sound natural.  But what special notes they are!”    — Michiel Weidner, Prisma String Trio In the latter part of his career, the French composer Florent Schmitt turned his attention to musical […]

Enfants (1940): Florent Schmitt’s evocation of the world of childhood.

During his lengthy career, the French composer Florent Schmitt would periodically turn to the subject of children for musical inspiration – often involving pieces written for piano. In the early 1900s Schmitt composed four collections of piano duets featuring easy primo parts for young pupils. Sur cinq notes (1906); Trois pièces récréatives (1907); Huit courtes pieces […]

Finnish composer and music journalist Osmo Tapio Räihälä shares his experience of visiting the gravesite of Florent Schmitt in Paris (November 2017).

Osmo Tapio Räihälä is one of Finland’s better-known composers of today. He has created music in many forms, from vocal and chamber pieces to large orchestral works. Mr. Räihälä’s highly active career includes fulfilling numerous composition commissions.  His works have been performed by important European orchestras and ensembles, interpreted by leading artists such as the […]

Music critic Rob Barnett talks about the music of Florent Schmitt and its growing presence on recordings.

Recently, the online magazine MusicWeb International published a feature article about the French recording label Timpani Records and its commitment to bringing out recordings of the music of Florent Schmitt. Encompassing a range of works including solo piano, chamber music, vocal and orchestral selections, this enterprising label has released six recordings devoted exclusively to Schmitt’s compositions — including several […]