Schmitt Orchestral Works

March 23, 2018

CHSA 5200.20180130102908


Florent Schmitt (1870-1958) is best known for his suites to the ballet Antoine et Cleopatre and Chandos doesn’t disappoint with a SACD (sounds great on dolby surround) 24 bit/ 96Khz lively recording replacing in my mind the Leif Segerstam recording. Applause also must go to Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Written under one opus #69 the work is divided into six parts and is very much a program work filled with the sounds of Egypt as well as sweeping melodic lines that capture your attention. In fact the whole work does and the 50 minutes fly by rather quickly with only one or two spots where the eyelids close. One is reminded of something that Rimsky-Korsakov might do with similar flare, brashness, and mystery. Track no. 5 will remind you of Debussy more than anyone. My description contains compoers to gie you an idea of the sound, not copying.

His second symphony is an example of an atonal piece that occasionally becomes melodic. Written in three movements the first movement is birght and upbeat, the second dark and tranquil again with no melodic line. The last movement is dissonant and scattered. I listened to it three times and didn’t like it but maybe you will.

Written nearly 40 years apart you get two sides of the prolific composer.



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