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Roussel: The Spider's Banquet / Padmavati Ballet Suites CD


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Roussel: The Spider's Banquet / Padmavati Ballet Suites + Roussel: The Complete Symphonies and Other Orchestral Works
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Product details

  • Conductor: Stéphane Denève
  • Composer: Roussel
  • Audio CD (3 Jan. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B006BBVLVO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,940 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Complete Ballet - Royal Scottish National Orchestra
2. Padmavati Ballet Suites - Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Product Description

Product Description

Le festin de l'araignée - Padmâvatî / Royal Scottish National Orchestra - Stéphane Denève, direction

Review

During Stéphane Denève s almost completed reign as music director, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra has become a persuasive advocate of French Romantic music. This disc completes its invaluable five-album survey of Albert Roussel, a contemporary of Debussy and Ravel. You can hear that as well as exotic Eastern influences in his ballet-pantomime,The Spider's Banquet, and two suites from Padmavati, his opera-ballet. These are idiomatic, genial performances of attractive and unfairly neglected early 20th-century repertoire. *** --Sunday Times,08/01/12

Roussel's personal perspective on Impressionism, which colours what is perhaps his most familiar work, The Spider's Banquet, is laced with exotic inflections in the five pieces from his opera-ballet, Padmâvatî, based on Hindu legend and inspired by Roussel's sojourn in India and south-east Asia. Both 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. **** --Telegraph,13/01/12

One of the great colourists of the 20th-century French school, Albert Roussel (1869-1937) was thought old-fashioned because he followed in the path of Debussy and Ravel. But as can be heard from this gorgeous disc his contribution was highly individual. The opera Padmâvatî is famed more for its music than its drama, and the two suites are nicely exotic. The real find here is Roussel's 1913 ballet-pantomime The Spider's Banquet, which used to be heard quite often. It captures the insect life of a garden: ants, butterflies, spiders, buzzing mayflies, cheerful ants; there's even an entrée for dung beetles. Stéphane Denève's sprightly RSNO matches Roussel's sophisticated inventiveness. --Observer,15/01/12

It is wonderful to hear the Suites in such stylish performances. Performance **** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,Feb'12

One of the great colourists of the 20th-century French school, Albert Roussel (1869-1937) was thought old-fashioned because he followed in the path of Debussy and Ravel. But as can be heard from this gorgeous disc his contribution was highly individual. The opera Padmâvatî is famed more for its music than its drama, and the two suites are nicely exotic. The real find here is Roussel's 1913 ballet-pantomime The Spider's Banquet, which used to be heard quite often. It captures the insect life of a garden: ants, butterflies, spiders, buzzing mayflies, cheerful ants; there's even an entrée for dung beetles. Stéphane Denève's sprightly RSNO matches Roussel's sophisticated inventiveness. --Observer,15/01/12

Roussel's balletic expose of seething life in the insect world receives a vibrant performance from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Stephane Deneve, completing their five volume survey of Roussel's orchestral music...syncopated rhythms, exotic melody and the stark gestures apt to a tale of savagery and sacrifice, graphically defined in this performance. --Gramophone,Mar'12

One of the great colourists of the 20th-century French school, Albert Roussel (1869-1937) was thought old-fashioned because he followed in the path of Debussy and Ravel. But as can be heard from this gorgeous disc his contribution was highly individual. The opera Padmâvatî is famed more for its music than its drama, and the two suites are nicely exotic. The real find here is Roussel's 1913 ballet-pantomime The Spider's Banquet, which used to be heard quite often. It captures the insect life of a garden: ants, butterflies, spiders, buzzing mayflies, cheerful ants; there's even an entrée for dung beetles. Stéphane Denève's sprightly RSNO matches Roussel's sophisticated inventiveness. --Observer,15/01/12

This finely judged ,beautifully played performance-blessed with clear and immediate sound-is the bee's knees, which demonstrates much painstaking work on the musician's part to bring expressive meaning and clarity of scoring to such charming, imaginative and skilled music. This is a first-class issue. --IRR,Feb'12

One of the great colourists of the 20th-century French school, Albert Roussel (1869-1937) was thought old-fashioned because he followed in the path of Debussy and Ravel. But as can be heard from this gorgeous disc his contribution was highly individual. The opera Padmâvatî is famed more for its music than its drama, and the two suites are nicely exotic. The real find here is Roussel's 1913 ballet-pantomime The Spider's Banquet, which used to be heard quite often. It captures the insect life of a garden: ants, butterflies, spiders, buzzing mayflies, cheerful ants; there's even an entrée for dung beetles. Stéphane Denève's sprightly RSNO matches Roussel's sophisticated inventiveness. --Observer,15/01/12

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By BRAVONIUM on 10 Jan. 2012
Format: Audio CD
I heard an excerpt from this recording on C D Review on Radio 3 last Saturday and knew immediately that I had to have it !!! This brand-new CD duly arrived with me a few days ago and I can honestly say that this is going to be my record of the year. I doubt very much if anything could displace it in the months to come. I have listened to excerpts of all the other recorded works by Albert Roussel on iTunes since I ordered this disk, and "The Spider's Feast" does seem to be quite by far the most approachable of Roussel's works, with a most delightful scenario - and above all it contains some truly ravishing music right from the very beginning. The whole thing is utterly magical. Stéphane Denève is on stunning and sparkling form and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra plays absolutely beautifully. But perhaps the greatest accolade ought to go to the the producer and recording engineer Tim Handley. The sound is ravishing - and the dynamic range is astonishing and brilliant. I would rate the recorded sound as quite the best in my entire record collection to date - it is that good !!! The Padmâvatî Suites are a good coupling but the Composer does not equal the extraordinary degree of inspired writing which he achieved in "The Spider's Banquet". It is good to have them none-the-less. I ordered this marvellous CD from Amazon.com ( UK ) for £4.68 ( post free ) - which I must rate as my bargain of the Century so far !!! I recommend this recording to you unreservedly - I am sure you will be as amazed and thrilled as I certainly am !!! Bravo to all concerned !!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lance Edwards on 29 Dec. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Heard the Spiders Banquet on the radio and had to buy it. This recent performance is superb in all respects and excellently recorded. Don't hesitate!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Essential for fans of 20th Century French music 11 Feb. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
What a find! There have been a few blast-from-the past recordings of "The Spider's Feast", most notably a Supraphon one with Serge Baudo leading the Czech Philharmonic (I have no idea of its current status). But this one surpasses any that I've heard previously in every respect. The conducting and playing are thoroughly idiomatic for Roussel's interesting combination of French delicacy - much in the manner of Debussy or Ravel - and Stravinsky-like, neoclassical rhythmic 'chugging'. As David Hurwitz points out in his review for Classicstoday.com, Roussel gets an astonishing range of colors out of a relatively small orchestra.

What puts this release over the top for me is the inclusion of an equally interesting suite from Rossel's pseudo/quasi-oriental opera "Padmavati". You won't hear any gamelan music as in Benjamin Britten's "Prince of the Pagodas", but there are some slight hints of eastern exoticism. In a sense, it's almost like hearing another "Spider's Feast", but completely different from a thematic (melodic) standpoint. Anyone who gets the slightest enjoyment out of Debussy, Ravel, Chabrier, Dukas, Massenet, etc. (not to mention Roussel's own 3rd symphony), should add this disc to their collection. There's nothing in this release not to like.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Roussel's "Spider's Banquet" provides an aural feast 14 Feb. 2012
By Digital Chips - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Stéphane Denève and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conclude their survey of Roussel's orchestral music with two important stage works: La festin de l'araignée, and the suites from the opera Padmâvatî. The previous four volumes from Naxos each focused on a Roussel symphony, filling in with shorter orchestral works.

This time the centerpiece is his most popular ballet score, La festin de l'araignée (The Spider's Banquet). This 1912 ballet-pantomime depicts insect life in a garden (especially those trapped in the spider's web). Its impressionistic score reminds me somewhat of Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, only in sharper focus.

The performance features the complete score, and the 32-minute work moves along briskly. Denève and RSNO dig into the lush harmonies and sparkling orchestration with gusto. It's easy to understand the popularity of the work based on their performance.

The remainder of the album is devoted to two orchestral suites Roussel extracted from his opera-ballet Padmâvatî. Based on a tragic Indian legend, the score is full of exotic color and melodies. As might be expected, the music is much more serious and dramatic than the lighthearted Spider's Banquet. The orchestral suites are full of appealing music, though it sometimes sounded to me like Mussorgsky with a French accent.

If you've been following Denève's Roussel cycle, you'll be happy to know this release makes a fine conclusion to the series. The ensemble and conductor turn in some fine performances that match the quality of those in the previous volumes.

If you're not familiar with Roussel, this disc might be a good place to start. The Spider's Banquet just may entice you into Roussel's charming musical web.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Atmospheric, Arachnid-inspired Appariton 5 Jun. 2013
By Phil in Mågnoliá - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Roussel's "The Spider's Banquet" is the first Arachnid-inspired composition that I have experienced (knowingly, that is). I am sure that there are many others within the classical repertoire, just give me some time to research that.

To begin with, Roussel himself is a composer that I am just beginning to explore, and so far I have found his music to be very enjoyable, regardless of whether or not it is arthropod-based.

This disc includes two major works of Roussel - the first being Le festin de l'araignée (The Spider's Banquet), Op. 17, a "ballet-pantomime" and possibly his most well-known work. The essay included with the disc says "it depicts insect life in a garden, their relationships tacitly through insistently likened to that of the human domain". This recording is of the complete ballet, not the orchestral suite version that has also been recorded. The story begins with insect life in a garden (with flute solo at the beginning), progressing to express insects being trapped in the spiders web, the spider then beginning his feast but interrupted by the praying mantis, which kills the spider, and concludes with the funeral procession of the mayfly. The music has been regarding for its "inventive counterpoints, bounding scherzos, gay and uneven rhythms, and personal instrumentation, both caressing and vigorous" (from Wikipedia, citing Cinquante Ans de Musique Française de 1874 à 1925. Les Éditions Musicales de la Librairie de France, Paris, 1925 for this statement).

The music is atmospheric, as I've stated in the title of the review. It is actually quite enjoyable to listen to.

The second work included on this disc is a selection of four tracks from Padmâvatî, Roussel's opera-ballet. From the liner notes: "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."

I don't detect many Eastern notes in the work, but it is also very good and I have enjoyed listening to it.

I simply have to list here the movements of Le festin de l'araignée, because, well, as you can see for yourself they are quite uniquely named:

I - Prélude, Un Jardin (A Garden)
II - Tres anime, Entree des Fourmis (Entrance of the Ants)
III - Modere, Entree des Bousiers (Entrance of the Dung-Beetles). Danse du Papillon (Dance of the Butterfly)
IV - Lent, Joie de l'Araignee (The Spider rejoices). Danse de l'Araignee (Dance of the Spider)
V - Assez lent, Entree des Vers de fruit (Entrance of the Fruit Worms)
VI - Solennel, Entree guerriere de deux Mantes religieuses (Warlike entrance of two praying Mantises)
VII - Assez vif, Ronde des Fourmis (Round-dance of the Ants)
VIII - Assez lent, Eclosion de l'Ephemere (Hatching of the Mayfly)
IX - Anime, Danse de l'Ephemere (Dance of the Mayfly)
X - Tres modere, L'Ephemere s'arrete, epuise (The Mayfly stops, exhausted)
XI - Tres lent, Mort de l'Ephemere (Death of the Mayfly)
XII - Moderement lent, Funerailles de l'Ephemere (Funeral of the Mayfly)

So, what else is there to say? I don't necessarily get the spider references (not to mention the dung-beetles, ants or preying mantises), even though I have been a big fan of Peter Parker and Stan Lee since long before they were Hollywood favorites. But the music is excellent, and that is what is important here.

Well, if you play this music for someone without telling them that it has anything to do with spiders, they will never know.
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