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Roussel: Symphony No. 4
Following a period of soul-searching during the mid-1920s, and as his music gained success outside France during the 1930s, Albert Roussel took the rhythmic dynamism, thematic integration and formal lucidity of his Third Symphony (8.570245) to new heights with his less well-known Fourth, notable for its intensely wrought slow movement.
The pungent Sinfonietta, the Flemish Rhapsody, which draws on popular songs of the Belgian provinces, the picturesque Petite Suite and the exquisite Concerto for small orchestra showcase the composer’s colourful orchestration and fastidious craftsmanship.
Roussel’s Symphony No. 2 (8570529) gained The Gramophone Editor’s Choice.
“The mysterious central Andante, recalling Roussel's early period, is utterly magical in Denève's hands...there is beautiful playing from the RSNO, especially in the opening of the final movement, and some marvellous moments, such as the first climax of the Lento molto.” BBC Music Magazine, June 2010 ***
“an excellent disc, splendidly and idiomatically performed and a superb advertisement for composer, conductor and orchestra. Highly recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2010
“The most recent digital set on Naxos is, on balance, perhaps the best [Roussel cycle], and is certainly well on its way to being the most comprehensive...This final CD is especially valuable for including many rarities: a delightful Flemish Rhapsody with an especially imposing beginning and three three-movement works.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition
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Hahn and Roussel
The first half of this release features music by the enigmatic and largely understated Venezuelan composer, Reynaldo Hahn performed by pianist Alexandre Tharaud and string quartet Quatuor Parisii. CD2 features music by one of the most prominent French composers of the inter-war period, Albert Roussel performed by soloists Alexandre Tharaud (piano) / Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello), accompanied by Ensemble Orchestral de Paris under the direction of David Stern. The pieces presented on this recording have not dated in the slightest: unaffected by the ephemeral trends of fashion, they show an inimitable combination of originality and universality, the very essence of classicism.
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Roussel: The Complete Symphonies
and other orchestral works
Bacchus et Ariane, Op. 43 (complete ballet)
Symphony No. 3 in G minor, Op. 42
Symphony No. 2, Op. 23
Pour une fête de printemps, Op. 22
Suite in F major, Op. 33
Symphony No. 1 'Le Poème de la forêt'
Résurrection – Symphonic Prelude
Le Marchand de sable qui passe, Op. 13
Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 53
Rapsodie flamande (Flemish Rhapsody), Op. 56
Petite Suite Op. 39
Concert pour petit orchestre, Op. 34
Sinfonietta for string orchestra, Op. 52
Naxos - 8504017
(CD - 4 discs)
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