Florent Schmitt. An introduction.

The French composer Florent Schmitt was born on 28 September, 1870; he died in 1958. Marking the anniversary of his birth, this week’s blog presents a small selection of his compositions. If you’re unfamiliar with his works, we hope our choice will tempt you to explore further this intriguing composer’s output. For now, we’ll let the Read More …

Bali hi!

I recently took a short break on the Indonesian island of Bali, a three-day cocktail not just of swimming, surfing and sunsets; colourful batik, engaging artwork and an ancient temple completed the mix. Ambling around the grounds of that temple, and above the respectful silence of the bevy of tourists, there floated a sound: gently Read More …

Podcast: 20th-century harpsichord music. An irresistible revival.

It was the great virtuoso Wanda Landowska who spearheaded a revival of interest in the dormant harpsichord at the turn of the 20th century. Working closely with Pleyel of Paris, the instrument manufacturer, she helped develop and promote a sturdier and more sonorous instrument than was hitherto the case. Composers of the time weren’t slow Read More …

Podcast: Poised purity. Poulenc’s choral settings

Raymond Bisha introduces the latest Naxos recording of the Elora Festival Singers in performances of Poulenc’s unaccompanied choral works. Transcending a backcloth of geopolitical and personal turmoil, these gems marry a delicacy of form with harmonic pungency, described by conductor Noel Edison as “like putting a stained glass to song.” View album details of Francis Read More …