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 […]

Hallucinatory Atmospherics: Florent Schmitt’s Rêves (1915)

Sprinkled throughout the catalogue of Florent Schmitt’s compositions are a goodly number of shorter orchestral pieces. They range in their moods from contemplative to joyous to stormy. One of these orchestral miniatures that I find particularly compelling is Rêves, Op. 65 (Dreams), a work that Schmitt began composing in 1913.  He prepared a piano version […]

Florent Schmitt and the French Fascination with Edgar Allan Poe

What is it in the French psyche that makes so many of its people attracted to the “dark side” in literature? Whether it’s the symbolists like Maurice Maeterlinck and Paul Verlaine, the noir novels of David Goodis or the dissolute stories and poetry of Edgar Allan Poe (as translated masterfully by Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane […]