Roussel: Symphony No. 4; Rapsodie Flamande; Petite Suite; Sinfonietta

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
This fourth and presumably final volume in Stéphane Denève and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's survey of Albert Roussel's symphonies is quite satisfactory. Denève, a talented and capable conductor, clearly knows and may even love Roussel's music, and his account of the composer's "Fourth Symphony" is full of energy and strength as well as feeling and sensitivity. The power of the outer Allegros, the unstoppable force of the Scherzo, and the emotional depths of the central Lento molto are all convincingly rendered and are all testimony to Denève's enthusiasm for the French modernist's music. The remaining works on the disc -- the "Flemish Rhapsody, Op. 56"; the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
This fourth and presumably final volume in Stéphane Denève and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's survey of Albert Roussel's symphonies is quite satisfactory. Denève, a talented and capable conductor, clearly knows and may even love Roussel's music, and his account of the composer's "Fourth Symphony" is full of energy and strength as well as feeling and sensitivity. The power of the outer Allegros, the unstoppable force of the Scherzo, and the emotional depths of the central Lento molto are all convincingly rendered and are all testimony to Denève's enthusiasm for the French modernist's music. The remaining works on the disc -- the "Flemish Rhapsody, Op. 56"; the "Petite suite, Op. 39"; the "Concerto pour petit orchestre, Op. 34"; and the "Sinfonietta, Op. 52" -- are also as persuasively directed, without overloading these lighter works with too much meaning. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which could hardly have known this music beforehand, plays with polished professionalism and sometimes with surprising passion. Though the composer's fans may already have their favorite performances of the "Fourth Symphony," anyone trying Roussel for the first time could do much worse than to start here. Naxos' digital sound is neither as clear nor as clean as it should be; too often the sound obscures the music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/30/2010
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313213573
  • Catalog Number: 8572135
  • Sales rank: 319,956

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 53 - Albert Roussel & Royal Scottish National Orchestra (23:20)
  2. 2 Rapsodie flamande, symphonic poem, Op. 56 - Albert Roussel & Royal Scottish National Orchestra (9:59)
  3. 6–8 Petite suite, for orchestra, Op. 39 - Albert Roussel & Royal Scottish National Orchestra (12:59)
  4. 9–11 Concerto for Small Orchestra, Op. 34 - Albert Roussel & Royal Scottish National Orchestra (13:10)
  5. 12–14 Sinfonietta for strings, Op. 52 - Albert Roussel & Royal Scottish National Orchestra (9:30)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Stéphane Denève Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Albert Roussel: Symphony No 4 and other Orchestra works

    When I studied with Nadia Boulanger at the Conservatoire de Fontainebleau, she was about 86 years old and told the most wonderful stories about composers then dead. Albert Roussel figured large in her lexicon, his 3rd and 4th symphonies being considered by her as neoclassical masterpieces.

    Although his symphonic music has been fairly represented on record and CD over the years, I cannot recall coming across a concert with his music on the program in the USA. Pity. His music is very good and the last two symphonies certainly deserve to be in the orchestral repertoire. But it is not easy being a French composer and a contemporary of Ravel and Debussy.

    This CD is a continuation of the excellent NAXOS Roussel series with Stéphane Denève conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. On it are Roussel's often dark and brooding Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 53 and his relatively brief Sinfonietta, Op 52, both excellent works from his late maturity.

    The earlier Petite Suite, Op. 39 and Concert for Small Orchestra, Op. 34 are delightful and spirited works, beautifully orchestrated, with dreamy slow movements somewhat reminiscent of Debussy, Ravel and Fauré.

    The Rhapsodie Flamande, Op. 56 is the only work that I find less than wonderful, but it is interesting enough and in the company of his great fourth Symphony and the other pieces on the disc serves to round out the view of his

    The performances are first rate.

    It is interesting to note that Bohuslav Martinu was a pupil of Roussel's in Paris. In listening to this music, one can recognize elements of the master's style that appear in the younger man's music.

    This is a modestly priced CD that is worth every penny.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews