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ROUSSEL, A.: Bacchus et Ariane (Bacchus and Ariadne) / Symphony No. 3 (Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Deneve)

Composer(s):Roussel, Albert
Artist(s) Deneve, Stephane, Conductor • Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category BalletOrchestral
Catalogue 8.570245
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Roussel’s two most successful works, the ballet Bacchus et Ariane and Symphony No. 3 demonstrate his mature, neo-classical idiom. The Third Symphony, one of a number of works commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra for its fiftieth anniversary season, represents the composer’s neo-classical language at its most incisive. Notable for opening and closing movements which are propelled with unstoppable momentum, this is the only symphony by Roussel to have retained its place in the repertoire. With its unbridled sensuality, subtle harmonies and intricate counterpoint, the sumptuously scored two-act ballet Bacchus et Ariane, is another dazzling display of Roussel at the height of his powers.


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Stéphane Denève offers follows up his first Roussel disc for Naxos with excellent accounts of these other two wonderful works. The performances are lively and invigorating, with all the sensuous elements brought out fully in the ballet as well as its rhythmic drive. The dense textures of Roussel’s scores can be tricky to capture on CD, but the recordings offer excellent detail within a warm and nicely reverberant acoustic. Listening again to the masterful Third Symphony, one wonders why it is so scandalously neglected in the concert hall.

Review By Julian Haylock,Classic FM,August 2007

Roussel's ballet Bacchus et Ariane proved so popular in the 1920s that the composer was able to extract two suites from it, one from each act. Denève conducts the RSNO through both, shaping the story with a sensuous arm, freeing the dances and seeking out the nuances in Roussel's rich instrumentation. Denève does justice to a dazzling piece of work, fresh and vigorous, a mix of Stravinskyian rhythms and Debussyian colours. He begins the symphony, however, rather too quickly; the steady build-up seems over-eager and the long subsequent Adagio withdrawn as a result. Still, overall, this is a thrilling reminder of an underperformed composer.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,May 2007

Having started life with a career in the navy, Albert Roussel was almost 30 before he began full-time study as a composer. Though welcomed as a major new voice in French music at the opening of the 20th century, he was never to enjoy the popular success of his compatriots, Debussy and Ravel, though his early scores, including the luscious material for the first symphony, were highly approachable. He was also one of many composers whose music dramatically changed as a direct result of the effects of the First World War, his output becoming more acerbic before he eventually reached the third period of his career where we find hard-hitting and driving rhythms presented in primary colours. Both works on this disc come from this later period having dated from 1930, and had he lived long



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