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ROUSSEL, A.: Symphony No. 2 / Pour une fete de printemps / Suite in F major (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 Orchestral
Catalogue 8.570529
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

A perennial outsider in French music, Albert Roussel was the tutor of a whole generation of composers, including such diverse figures as Eric Satie and Edgard Varèse. The three works inclided here outline the transitional phase in which Roussel's mature idiom took shape. Most important of these is the Second Symphony with its densely intricate orchestration and its wide range of expression, while Pour une fête de printemps is a symphonic poem that could be thought of as preparation for the larger work. With Suite in F, Roussel arrived at his mature style; the piece is taut and economical in design, with a distinctly 'contemporary' feel.


Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Stéphane Denève, Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, is obviously completely at home in the music of Roussel, readily capturing the somber evocation of the Second Symphony, without making the harmonic clashes too forceful. He draws strong contrasts between the three movements, returning at the end to the introspective mood of the beginning. The plaintive feeling of the opening of the similarly arch-structured Pour une fête de printemps is well caught, and the work’s climax makes a pungent centerpiece before once again the composer returns to more peaceful nostalgia. The Suite is much more extrovert, its opening rumbustious, the central Sarabande bitter-sweet, and final Gigue again pungently


Review By Guy Rickards,Gramophone,July 2008

Editor's Choice

Three transitional Roussel scores, exhilaratingly played

The major work here is the Second Symphony, begun in 1919 and completed two years later. Looking Janus-like both back to the composer’s pre-war impressionism and forward to the athleticism of his music from the 1930s, the Symphony is counterpointed here by the short Pour une fête de printemps (1921), a delightful evocation of French rural life. The concluding Suite in F (1926) presents Roussel’s final manner at its most exuberant, the three neo-Baroque dance forms acting as the basis for a synthesis of intellectual rigour with maximum entertainment.


Review By Julian Haylock,Classic FM,June 2008

An intoxicating programme providing an ideal opportunity for readers to investigate the most underrated composer in French musical history.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,April 2008

This is one of the most persuasive and idiomatic Roussel discs in the CD catalogue



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