Just announced: The premiere recording of Florent Schmitt’s own version of Ombres for piano and orchestra, featuring French pianist Vincent Larderet, soon to be released.

  While the French composer Florent Schmitt wrote vast quantities of music for solo and duo-pianists, the concertante pieces he composed for piano and orchestra are few. In fact, there are just two of them. One is the Symphonie Concertante, a daringly modern work Schmitt composed in 1931 on commission from Serge Koussevitzky and the […]

French Pianist Vincent Larderet Talks about Performing and Recording the Music of Florent Schmitt

To say that Vincent Larderet is one of the most accomplished of the younger generation of classical pianists would be an understatement. As a Steinway Artist, Mr. Larderet has attracted international recognition by virtue of the exceptional intensity of his performances and commercial recordings, praised by critics not only in his native France but also in Continental […]

Beyond Debussy and Ravel: Florent Schmitt’s Ombres (1912-17)

Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit is justly recognized as that composer’s most towering achievement in piano keyboard writing.  Composed in 1908, this set of three pieces (Ondine, Le Gibet, Scarbo) which take their inspiration from a book by Aloysius Bertrand, are the most technically demanding and revolutionary of Ravel’s piano works. Far less well-known but equally […]

Florent Schmitt’s Mirages: Poignant and Potent Musical Pictures Inspired by Paul Fort and Lord Byron (1920-23)

One of the highly interesting compositions by Florent Schmitt is Mirages, Op. 70. This work exists in two versions: its original piano form composed in 1920/21, and a later orchestration prepared by the composer in 1923 and premiered in 1924 by Schmitt’s friend, the conductor Serge Koussevitzky. I find Mirages to be one of Schmitt’s most compelling […]