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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » R » Roussel, Albert

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Albert Roussel (4/05/1869 - 8/23/1937)

Albert Roussel, born at Tourcoing on 5 April 1869, touched on almost all the styles of his era on the way to a personal idiom. A gifted student, he was sent to Paris in 1884 and studied at the Collège Stanislas. His early career was in the French Navy, where he rose to lieutenant and visited the Near East and China. Resigning in 1894, he settled in Paris to study music in earnest.

Entering the Schola Cantorum to study with Vincent d’Indy in 1898, he took over the counterpoint class four years later and taught a generation of composers including Eric Satie, Edgard Varèse and Bohuslav Martinů. Roussel’s output falls into three main periods. From 1902–13 he absorbed the Impressionistic tendencies of such composers as Debussy and Ravel, evident in his First Symphony and choral work Evocations, arriving at an idiom of great refinement and subtlety in his ballet Le festin d’araignée.



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