Pianist Alain Lefèvre reminisces about working with the great French violinist Christian Ferras, and together preparing Florent Schmitt’s Sonate libre (1918-19) for tour.

To younger music-lovers, the name Christian Ferras may not be well-recognized. But Ferras, who lived from 1933 to 1982, was one of the finest violinists of the 20th century. Unfortunately, it was a career cut short by suicide at the age of just 49 years, but during his 25 years on the stage, Christian Ferras established a reputation as an uncommonly fine […]

Habeyssée (1947): Florent Schmitt’s rich and colorful suite for violin.

Even though he is justly famous for his highly colorful and opulent orchestrations, Florent Schmitt’s own instrument was the piano. And in his early years, much of what he composed were vast swaths of music for piano, as well as for voice with piano. But roughly contemporaneous with his tenure at the Villa Medici in Rome (1900-04), […]

Musicians Beata Halska and Claudio Chaiquin talk about researching and recording French composer Florent Schmitt’s music for violin and piano.

The new NAXOS recording includes several discographic world premieres, along with the monumental Sonate libre. In mid-2015, NAXOS released a recording devoted to Florent Schmitt’s music for violin and piano.  It contains several world premieres, along with the Sonate libre en deux parties enchainées, Opus 68, a half hour-long stylistically advanced tour de force composed by Schmitt […]

World-premiere recording featuring Florent Schmitt’s works for violin and piano to be released by NAXOS this month (May 2015).

The NAXOS family of labels (NAXOS, Marco Polo, Grand Piano, etc.) has been one of the most active in bringing the music of Florent Schmitt to the microphones.  In fact, its catalogue of Schmitt compositions includes numerous world premiere commercial recordings. And this month, NAXOS is doing it again with the release of a new […]

American violinist John McLaughlin Williams talks about the music of Florent Schmitt and the Sonate libre (1918-19).

“In the 20th century, France was unusually blessed with composers who can be called ‘great’ without question or compromise. It’s arguable that they could be listed with a certain linearity. Debussy, Schmitt, Ravel, Messiaen, Dutilleux; when I think of their music it seems clear to me that they were listening to each other, and those […]

Forgotten Records: Resurrecting noteworthy recordings of Florent Schmitt’s music from the LP era.

There’s no question that in the past two decades, the breadth and depth of French composer Florent Schmitt’s music that has made it to the microphones has increased dramatically. Nearly every year, we are treated to world premiere recordings of more Schmitt works. The most recent examples are the complete works for piano duo and duet as […]