Musicologist Suddhaseel Sen talks about the artistry of Florent Schmitt and the importance of his “orientalist” compositions.

Musicologist, author and teacher Suddhaseel Sen comes to his appreciation of Western classical music from an interesting angle. A native of the Indian subcontinent, Dr. Sen made his first musical discoveries there, long before coming to the West for a range of music-related studies and research. Today, Dr. Sen is back in India as Assistant Professor of Humanities […]

Saxophonist Christopher Bartz talks about Florent Schmitt’s Légende (1918) and its pride of place in the saxophone repertoire.

Florent Schmitt’s Légende, Op. 66 is one of the most compelling concertante pieces ever written for the saxophone.  Composed in 1918, it’s a work that exists in versions for saxophone, viola and violin soloist, along with orchestral or piano accompaniment. Simply put, it’s an unforgettable piece of music:  Within the span of just ten minutes, Schmitt presents a rhapsodic […]

Psalm XLVII: Florent Schmitt’s Astounding Choral Masterpiece (1904)

“… An extravagant outburst of highly perfumed Franco-exoticism at its most virile, heroic and exalted … I can’t think of another piece that achieves — or even attempts — quite the impact made by this work.” — Walter Simmons, music critic, Fanfare Magazine “Regarding the Psaume, what can we say that hasn’t already been said […]

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 […]

World premiere recording of Florent Schmitt’s Suite for Flute & Orchestra, dedicated to the great Jean-Pierre Rampal (1954).

Welcome news in that Florent Schmitt’s Suite for Flute & Orchestra, Opus 129, is receiving its world premiere recording by flautist James Strauss, with Laercio Diniz conducting the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra. The Suite was composed in 1954 when Schmitt was 84 years old.  It was dedicated to the great French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal — […]