Chaîne brisée (1936-37): Florent Schmitt’s posthumous tribute to his friend and fellow-composer Paul Dukas.

Living and working as he did throughout the entirety of France’s “Golden Age” of classical music, Florent Schmitt was well-acquainted with all of the significant composers of the day in Paris.  Among the most famous of them — Achille-Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Albert Roussel and Paul Dukas — the latter three were particularly close friends […]

Fête de la lumière: Florent Schmitt’s extravagant showpiece at the Paris Exposition (1936-37).

In 1937, one of the final transnational gatherings held on the European continent before the onset of World War II occurred in the city of Paris. The International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life — colloquially known as the Paris Exposition — took place between May and November of that year. Its lofty […]

A link with history: French composer, teacher and writer Alain Margoni, 81, talks about working with Florent Schmitt in Paris during the 1950s.

Here in the year 2016, it is well over a half-century since French composer Florent Schmitt passed away at the age of nearly 90 years. Consequently, the number of musicians who have first-hand memories of interacting with the master has dwindled to a precious few. But we are fortunate to have French composer and teacher […]

In Memoriam: Florent Schmitt’s tribute to his teacher and mentor Gabriel Fauré (1922-35).

During his time as a student at the Paris Conservatoire, Florent Schmitt had his share of esteemed teachers including Jules Massenet, Théodore Dubois, André Gédalge and Albert Lavignac. But Gabriel Fauré, who along with Massenet were Schmitt’s two instructors in composition, was his favorite teacher and also arguably the most influential one. Time and again, we can hear […]

Florent Schmitt’s Best-Known Early Composition: Soirs (1890-96)

Generally speaking, music lovers who know the works of French composer Florent Schmitt are most familiar with his compositions dating from the early 1900s onward. Far less known are the numerous works the composer created in the years before the appearance of the startling and celebrated Psaume XLVII, which Schmitt composed in 1904 in Rome and which received its premiere […]

One Heck of a Film Score: Florent Schmitt’s Salammbô (1925)

There are a number of indisputably great composers for the film: names like Richard Addinsell, David Raksin and Dimitri Tiomkin. And there are “serious” 20th century composes who also devoted more than a little of their effort and energy to writing for the screen. Erich Wolfgang Korngold comes immediately to mind, although one could also place Serge […]

Antony & Cleopatra: Florent Schmitt Takes Palace Intrigue, Scandal and Death to New Heights (1920)

“To appreciate this music fully, ready the hot tub, invite a few friends over, burn incense and uncork the wine you were saving for a special occasion.” — International Record Review One of the most intriguing pieces of music composed by Florent Schmitt during his “orientalist” period was the incidental music to André Gide’s new adaptation […]