Author Topic: Florent Schmitt(1870-1958)  (Read 16829 times)

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SymphonicAddict

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Re: Florent Schmitt(1870-1958)
« Reply #60 on: November 30, 2018, 10:01:11 PM »


This is one of those times I say: why did I wait so long to listen to this? The Psaume XLVII HAS to be one of the most shattering pieces ever penned for chorus and orchestra (in this case, plus soprano and organ), it packs a punch of TNT! It's simply something that appeals to my most gargantuan tastes. Utterly fascinating, dramatic and atmospheric like nothing else, goosebumps galore! I've read this is the best available recording of it, and I can claim with total clarity that it's more than probable. The middle section contains a more meditative part with the soprano, just the necessary dose of contrast, yet it's somewhat intense as well.

It goes straight to my all-time favorite choral works.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 10:09:48 PM by SymphonicAddict »

Online vandermolen

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Re: Florent Schmitt(1870-1958)
« Reply #61 on: December 01, 2018, 02:20:07 AM »


This is one of those times I say: why did I wait so long to listen to this? The Psaume XLVII HAS to be one of the most shattering pieces ever penned for chorus and orchestra (in this case, plus soprano and organ), it packs a punch of TNT! It's simply something that appeals to my most gargantuan tastes. Utterly fascinating, dramatic and atmospheric like nothing else, goosebumps galore! I've read this is the best available recording of it, and I can claim with total clarity that it's more than probable. The middle section contains a more meditative part with the soprano, just the necessary dose of contrast, yet it's somewhat intense as well.

It goes straight to my all-time favorite choral works.
I have this CD but have hardly listened to it so must give it another go. Thanks for the heads-up Cesar. I was probably put off by knowing that Schmitt, like d'Indy, was a rabid anti-Semite, shouting out 'Heil Hitler - enough of these German emigres' at a concert of Kurt Weill's music in Paris in 1933. Such things, I know, shouldn't really interfere with my appreciation of the music but they do.
He died at the same time as Vaughan Williams and there is a picture of the two of them together in 1958.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 02:22:29 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline pjme

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Re: Florent Schmitt(1870-1958)
« Reply #62 on: December 01, 2018, 02:58:43 AM »
I think this article is quite interesting:

"So why are some composers accepted and not others? Do we spend too much time checking up which ideologies they supported and too little time assessing their actual music? Again, Berthold Goldschmidt’s opinion needs to be taken into consideration: “Those of you [us!] who did not live through the terror cannot know the fear that was felt by every individual. What people said and did in order to keep their daily lives quiet cannot be taken as representing their true character. Fear distorts character. And it was not just the fear for oneself, but the fear for family and friends.”

https://forbiddenmusic.org/2015/08/09/why-some-composers-and-not-others/



Online vandermolen

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Re: Florent Schmitt(1870-1958)
« Reply #63 on: December 01, 2018, 03:31:03 AM »
I think this article is quite interesting:

"So why are some composers accepted and not others? Do we spend too much time checking up which ideologies they supported and too little time assessing their actual music? Again, Berthold Goldschmidt’s opinion needs to be taken into consideration: “Those of you [us!] who did not live through the terror cannot know the fear that was felt by every individual. What people said and did in order to keep their daily lives quiet cannot be taken as representing their true character. Fear distorts character. And it was not just the fear for oneself, but the fear for family and friends.”

https://forbiddenmusic.org/2015/08/09/why-some-composers-and-not-others/

It's a very interesting article. Thanks for posting it.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline André

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Re: Florent Schmitt(1870-1958)
« Reply #64 on: December 01, 2018, 07:40:47 AM »


This is one of those times I say: why did I wait so long to listen to this? The Psaume XLVII HAS to be one of the most shattering pieces ever penned for chorus and orchestra (in this case, plus soprano and organ), it packs a punch of TNT! It's simply something that appeals to my most gargantuan tastes. Utterly fascinating, dramatic and atmospheric like nothing else, goosebumps galore! I've read this is the best available recording of it, and I can claim with total clarity that it's more than probable. The middle section contains a more meditative part with the soprano, just the necessary dose of contrast, yet it's somewhat intense as well.

It goes straight to my all-time favorite choral works.

Stupendous work indeed. The Hyperion version is better recorded, but Tzipine carries the day. There are other recordings but I haven’t heard them.

Yes, Schmitt was notoriously antisemite, but he was prepared to make exceptions ( ::)), defending jewish composers Schönberg, Dukas and Tansman, or the singer Madeline Grey for example. What especially irked him was not so much the question of race, but rather a perceived trend toward musical decadence, something the nazis famously branded as entartete musik. The use of jazz, blues, swing, popular melodies, "sleazy" orchestrations etc sharply divided the musical world. "Negro" music was put in the same basket of deplorables. See the association of the negro man with the star of David in this nazi propaganda poster:



Musical life in France during the nazi years was a patchwork of opinions, opportunistic moves, expressions of intolerance and even some acts of heroism. For those who are interested in the subject and who can read French, this article sheds some light on this very sensitive subject, still an open wound in french intellectual circles. As recently as 2005, the Lycée Florent Schmitt was renamed Lycée Alexandre Dumas folowing a long, protracted controversy. In this article you will spot the names of Honegger, Poulenc, Dutilleux, Jolivet, Sauguet. Not all were active collaborationists, but many found ways to "accommodate" their career aspirations with the political environment of the time.


https://www.nonfiction.fr/articleprint-2876-les_compositeurs_et_la_collaboration.htm

Online vandermolen

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Re: Florent Schmitt(1870-1958)
« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2018, 07:57:52 AM »
Stupendous work indeed. The Hyperion version is better recorded, but Tzipine carries the day. There are other recordings but I haven’t heard them.

Yes, Schmitt was notoriously antisemite, but he was prepared to make exceptions ( ::)), defending jewish composers Schönberg, Dukas and Tansman, or the singer Madeline Grey for example. What especially irked him was not so much the question of race, but rather a perceived trend toward musical decadence, something the nazis famously branded as entartete musik. The use of jazz, blues, swing, popular melodies, "sleazy" orchestrations etc sharply divided the musical world. "Negro" music was put in the same basket of deplorables. See the association of the negro man with the star of David in this nazi propaganda poster:



Musical life in France during the nazi years was a patchwork of opinions, opportunistic moves, expressions of intolerance and even some acts of heroism. For those who are interested in the subject and who can read French, this article sheds some light on this very sensitive subject, still an open wound in french intellectual circles. As recently as 2005, the Lycée Florent Schmitt was renamed Lycée Alexandre Dumas folowing a long, protracted controversy. In this article you will spot the names of Honegger, Poulenc, Dutilleux, Jolivet, Sauguet. Not all were active collaborationists, but many found ways to "accommodate" their career aspirations with the political environment of the time.


https://www.nonfiction.fr/articleprint-2876-les_compositeurs_et_la_collaboration.htm


Very interesting Andre - thanks. I can't read French properly (I failed the 'O' Level exam three times at school) but it's clear that these situations are often more nuanced than I imagine.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline pjme

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Re: Florent Schmitt(1870-1958)
« Reply #66 on: December 20, 2020, 02:13:13 AM »
Fête de la lumière op. 88, for soprano, alto, chorus and orchestra.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/QPgdCqJApPk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/QPgdCqJApPk</a>

The recording sounds really good for its age. It is a very opulent score full of Schmitt's harmonic and rythmical characteristics.
Read more about this extravaganza at:
https://florentschmitt.com/2016/12/17/fete-de-la-lumiere-florent-schmitts-extravagant-showpiece-at-the-paris-exposition-1937/