Roussel: The Spider’s Banquet

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Roussel: The Spider’s Banquet



Catalogue No:




Release date:

3rd Jan 2012




54 minutes


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Roussel: The Spider’s Banquet


Le Festin de l'Araignée, Op. 17 (complete ballet)

Padmâvatî: Ballet Suites



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One of Roussel’s most performed orchestral works, The Spider’s Banquet was composed during his earlier impressionistic period, and depicts the beauty and violence of insect life in a garden. Roussel’s experiences as a lieutenant in the French Navy first introduced him to Eastern influences, and the ‘opera-ballet’ Padmâvatî was inspired by his later visit to the ancient city of Chittor in Rajasthan state of western India. It uses aspects of Indian music to evoke this city’s legendary siege by the Mongols. This is the fifth and final volume in Stéphane Denève and the RSNO’s acclaimed survey of Roussel’s orchestral works.

Albert Roussel: Le festin de l'araignee (The Spider's Banquet), Op. 17

Part 1: Prelude - Un Jardin (A Garden)

Part 1: Tres anime - Entree des Fourmis (Entrance of the Ants)

Part 1: Modere - Entree des Bousiers (Entrance of the Dung-Beetles). Danse du Papillon (Dance of the Butterfly)

Part 1: Lent - Joie de l'Araignee (The Spider rejoices). Danse de l'Araignee (Dance of the Spider)

Part 1: Assez lent - Entree des Vers de fruit (Entrance of the Fruit Worms)

Part 1: Solennel - Entree guerriere de deux Mantes religieuses (Warlike entrance of two praying Mantises)

Part 1: Assez vif - Ronde des Fourmis (Round-dance of the Ants)

Part 2: Assez lent - Eclosion de l'Ephemere (Hatching of the Mayfly)

Part 2: Anime - Danse de l'Ephemere (Dance of the Mayfly)

Part 2: Tres modere - L'Ephemere s'arrete, epuise (The Mayfly stops, exhausted)

Part 2: Tres lent - Mort de l'Ephemere (Death of the Mayfly)

Part 2: Moderement lent - Funerailles de l'Ephemere (Funeral of the Mayfly)

Albert Roussel: Padmavati Suite No. 1

I. Prelude

II. Danse guerriere (War Dance)

III. Danse des femmes esclaves (Dance of the Female Slaves)

Albert Roussel: Padmavati Suite No. 2

I. Prelude

II. Danse et Pantomime

The Times

7th January 2012


“This disc completes [the RSNO's] invaluable five-album survey of Albert Roussel, a contemporary of Debussy and Ravel...Another rehearsal or two might have benefited the strings, but overall these are idiomatic, genial performances of attractive and unfairly neglected early 20th-century repertoire.”

The Observer

15th January 2012

“as can be heard from this gorgeous disc [Roussel's] contribution was highly individual. Stéphane Denève's sprightly RSNO matches Roussel's sophisticated inventiveness.”

The Telegraph

13th January 2012

“Both [works] are given vibrant life by the RSNO and Denève, with plenty of graphic detail deriving from Roussel’s skilful musical depiction of everyday war and peace in the insect world.”

The Guardian

12th January 2012


“Denève handles [The Spider's Banquet] with great subtlety and refinement, the woodwind detail crisply defined against the veils of strings...In performance, [Padmâvatî] is problematic, but the dance interludes are arguably its best moments, and Denève and his orchestra present them very convincingly.”

BBC Music Magazine

February 2012


“This is a nicely crafted account from Deneve, with plenty of detail in the characterisation of the various bugs and insects depicted by the score...And it has a considerable bonus in being partnered on this disc by the two rarely heard Suites from Roussel's Indian-inspired opera Padmavati...It is wonderful to hear the Suites in such stylish performances.”

Gramophone Magazine

March 2012

“The music [of The Spider's Feast], which is couched in Roussel's own brand of impressionism, is radiantly orchestrated and, through its descriptive powers, holds its own without the visual elements that a staged performance would provide.”

International Record Review

February 2012

“Roussel is masterly at creating an entomological world...Certainly this finely judged, beautifully played performance - blessed with clear and immediate sound - is the bee's knees (apologies!), which demonstrates much painstaiking work on the musicians' part to bring expressive meaning and clarity of scoring to such charming, imaginative and skilled music.”

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