Paul Paray: The conductor who popularized Florent Schmitt’s ballet La Tragédie de Salomé (1907/10) for half a century.

Music history tells us that the French conductor Paul Paray (1886-1979) gave more first performances of Florent Schmitt’s compositions than any other director. Indeed, Maestro Paray premiered nearly a dozen of the composer’s creations spanning more than a quarter-century, including the following works: Trois rapsodies, Op. 53, January 29, 1928 Cinq motets, Op. 60, January 21, 1934 In Memoriam, Op. 72, November […]

Musicologist and Author Nicolas Southon talks about his new book profiling orchestral works by 16 Francophone composers including Florent Schmitt.

Published in English and French versions, the book is available for viewing and download free of charge. Recently, the music publishing firm Durand-Salabert-Eschig (part of Universal Music Publishing Group) released a book titled A French Touch: Rediscovering a Uniquely French Symphonic Repertoire. Researched and written by French musicologist and author Nicolas Southon, the slender volume (44 pages long) […]

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” […]

Florent Schmitt and Igor Stravinsky: A Consequential Musical Relationship

Throughout his long life and composing career, Florent Schmitt would forge many personal friendships with his counterparts.  He was at the center of musical life in Paris, maintaining particularly close relationships with Maurice Ravel, Albert Roussel, Gabriel Pierné, Paul Dukas, Gabriel Fauré, Guillaume Lekeu and numerous other French composers. He also had decades-long friendships with composers from other […]

Brilliance and Sophistication: Florent Schmitt’s Trois Rapsodies for Two Pianos (1904)

One of the most satisfying of Florent Schmitt’s extensive trove of music for piano duet and duo – and the one that is my personal favorite of all of them – is Trois Rapsodies, Op. 53, a work he composed in 1903-4. Made up of three movements titled Française, Polonaise and Viennoise, it is a work that fully engages […]

Youthful Exuberance: Lionel Bringuier’s Thrilling Performance of Florent Schmitt’s La Tragédie de Salomé (Stockholm, 2009)

I always suspected that French conductor Lionel Bringuier’s interpretation of Florent Schmitt’s ballet La Tragédie de Salomé, Op. 50 would be something special. After all, this young conductor has been traveling the globe in the past half-decade, performing the work in numerous locations including England, Scandinavia, Germany and the United States (with the Los Angeles Philharmonic). […]

Fonctionnaire MCMXII: Florent Schmitt versus French Civil Servants (1923)

Around the world today, the news is full of stories about bloated government bureaucracies and the inefficiencies of various public agencies. From France and Italy to the United States, there are persistent calls for governments to become leaner and more effective, beginning with eliminating “waste, fraud and abuse” from various agencies. But this isn’t a […]