Florent Schmitt

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Born: 28 September 1870 — Blamont — France
Died: 17 August 1958 — Neuilly — France
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Music

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Life

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Schmitt is one of the most fascinating of the French composers active in the first half of the 20th century. Brought up firmly in the "establishment" of the Paris Convervatoire (his teachers included Fauré, Massenet and Gedalge), he won the Prix de Rome after several attempts, and proceeded to travel not only to Italy, but also to Turkey and North Africa. Upon his return to Paris, his monumental score Psalm 47 (for soprano, chorus, organ and orchestra) was premiered in 1906. This was to be the only epic choral score from a French composer until Honegger wrote Le Roi David 20 years later. Several other important scores followed: the ballet La Tragedie de Salomé, premiered in 1907, later refashioned into a symphonic poem with expanded orchestra; and the Piano Quintet, a 50 minute work with a particularly moving slow movement. The Salomé score has proven to be the most enduring of Schmitt’s compositions, having been recorded by such luminaries as Dervaux, Martinon, Paray, and Coppola. In the U.S., it was championed by Mitropolous. More recently, it has been performed by Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on that ensemble’s U.S. tour in the mid-1980s. Schmitt continued to compose up until the day he died (at age 88 in 1958). His catalogued compositions number 138, the last being the Symphony no. 2, premiered in April of 1958 by Charles Munch in France, with the composer in attendence. Most of Schmitt’s works have been published by Durand (some earlier ones by Salabert). His music is turning up more frequently on CD. Best ones to sample include the Psalm 47 on EMI with Martinon; La Tragedie de Salomé in the 1912 re-work on Mercury Living Presence with Paray; the Piano Quintet with Rudolf Bartshi on Accord; the Symphonie Concertante for Piano & Orchestra with Sermet on Valois; the great film music to Salammbo on Ades; and the Trois Rapsodies for two pianos with Paik and Sermet on Valois.

In addition to his composing, Schmitt was very active in the music scene of Paris, a critic for several publications, and later director of the Lyon Convervatory (succeeding Dukas). He was a decorated citizen of France, a member of l’Institute, and a recipient of the Legion of Honor. Having been a good friend of the youthful Igor Stravinsky in the early 1900s, the two had a falling out in later years. The two met one last time at an American Embassy function in Paris in 1957. A photo from that occasion shows the two old gentlemen with Vera Stravinsky, and published in several of the Stravinsky books that are currently on the market.

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 Blâmont (54) Schmitt birthplace<br/><p class="copy">Uploaded by <a href="/user/10">Ed Tervooren</a> [© Copyright may apply] — Classical Composers Database</p>
Schmitt birthplace
 Blâmont (54) Schmitt plaque<br/><p class="copy">Uploaded by <a href="/user/10">Ed Tervooren</a> [© Copyright may apply] — Classical Composers Database</p>
Schmitt plaque

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Concerts

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Events

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9 November 1907: Premiere of La Tragédie de Salomé, in Paris, France.
1 May 1942: Premiere of Symphony for Strings “Janiana”, in Paris, France.

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Wed 23 Apr: Trois Miniatures Pour quatuor à cordes, Premiere and workshop by the Arditti Quartet Milton court concert hall, Guildhall School of Music & Drama (London)
Thu 24 Apr: Von Hollywood nach Pankow - Hanns Eisler und die Frauen Arnold Schönberg Center Schwarzenbergplatz 6 1030 Wien
Sun 27 Apr: Godelieve Shrama + Wouter Snoei Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ Piet Heinkade 1 Amsterdam
Sat 3 May: Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC Presents “The Poet’s Song” Church of the Holy Apostles New York
Sun 4 May: Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC Presents “The Poet’s Song” DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 W. 37th St., NY, NY
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Events:
(1627) Heinrich Schütz: Premiere of Dafne, in Torgau, Germany.
(1909) Milii Balakirev: Premiere of Symphony no. 2 in d minor, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
(1948) André Jolivet: Premiere of the Concerto for Ondes Martenot and Orchestra, in Vienna, Austria.
(1953) Olivier Messiaen: Premiere of Livre d'Orgue, Stuttgart, Germany, with Messiaen at the organ.
(1963) Iannis Xenakis: Premiere of Stratégie, in Venice, Italy.

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Latest changes → rss

Mitch Leigh (17 Mar)
Jean Wiener (11 Mar)
John Carbon (4 Mar)
Pawlu Grech (3 Mar)
Luigi Nono (27 Feb)

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Classical Sheet Music and MP3 accompaniment: download instantly at Virtual Sheet Music®
Picture of Florent Schmitt.
(sent by R.J. Stove)

Sheet music for Schmitt

[details ←] En bonnes voix, choral, vocal,
[details ←] Music for the Open Air (Suite for Orchestra, Op. 44), piano,
[details ←] Three Preludes, piano,
[details ←] Album of Piano Duets, Volume II, piano,
[details ←] Album of Piano Duets, Volume I, piano,
[details ←] Reflections of Germany, Op. 28, piano,
[details ←] Legende, Op. 66, Alto saxophone, piano, sax, saxophone,
[details ←] Quartet, Op. 102, woodwind quartet, sax, saxophone quartet, saxophone,
[details ←] Saxophone Quartet, Op. 102, jazz band, woodwind quartet, sax, saxophone quartet, saxophone,
[details ←] Humoresques, piano,
[details ←] Andante Religioso, Op. 109, viola, violin, cello, string quartet,
[details ←] Mirages, Op. 70:
[details ←] Andante Religioso, Op. 109, cello, string quartet,
[details ←] Andante Religioso, Op. 109, viola, string quartet,
[details ←] Andante Religioso, Op. 109, violin, string quartet,
[details ←] Andante Religioso, Op. 109, violin, string quartet,
[details ←] Ave Regina Coelorum, Op. 60, No. 2, choral, vocal,
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Cds for Schmitt

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French Flute Chamber Music
Classical Music : French Flute Chamber Music
by: Tournier, Schmitt, Pierne, Mirage Quintet, Francaix, Roussel

Features:
  • Record Label: Naxos
  • Catalog#: 8570444
  • Year Of Release: 2009

Amazon.com's Price: $10.98
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Fauré: Requiem; Pavane / Koechlin: Choral Sur Le Nom De Fauré / Schmitt: In Memoriam / Ravel: Pavane
Classical Music : Fauré: Requiem; Pavane / Koechlin: Choral Sur Le Nom De Fauré / Schmitt: In Memoriam / Ravel: Pavane
from: Philips

Features:
  • Record Label: Naxos
  • Catalog#: 8570444
  • Year Of Release: 2009

Musique Impressionniste
Classical Music : Musique Impressionniste
from: Koch Schwann (Germ.)

Features:
  • Record Label: Naxos
  • Catalog#: 8570444
  • Year Of Release: 2009


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