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Roussel: Symphonies Nos. 1-4
 
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Roussel: Symphonies Nos. 1-4

27 Dec. 1995 | Format: MP3

£9.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
5:23
30
2
7:04
30
3
8:12
30
4
13:02
30
5
5:45
30
6
9:23
30
7
2:55
30
8
5:42
Disc 2
30
1
16:18
30
2
8:11
30
3
14:22
30
4
6:27
30
5
8:41
30
6
2:50
30
7
3:50
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 27 Dec. 1995
  • Release Date: 27 Dec. 1995
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: RCA Red Seal
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:58:05
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001MYV7NC
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 288,998 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x96837db0) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9686f564) out of 5 stars Perfect Performances 27 April 2007
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There has been some interest in recording the symphonies of Albert Roussel in recent months, particularly by Christoph Eschenbach. This set by Marek Janowski was issued in 1996 and remains among the top recordings of Roussel's symphonies.

The First Symphony (Le poeme de-la foret) was composed in 1906 and is a sublime evocation of nature, reminding one of the later Spider's Feast. The symphony is in four movements and depicts a forest in each season beginning with winter. The longest movement is the fourth where Roussel calls upon his interest in Classics by depicting a dance of fauns and dryads. Roussel was 40 when his first symphony was performed and he was not to write another for 10 years.

The Second Symphony (1921) is worlds apart from his First. In the time between the symphonies, Roussel married and made an extended visit to India. He was inspired to write his opera-ballet Padmavati and his music takes on a mystical influence. The first movement (of three) opens with mysterious sounding chords, the music slowly, quietly shaped. Eventually, the tempo become faster, like a whirling dance and the music is picked up by the full orchestra. The middle movement is lighter and pastoral with a lively melody that slowly becomes more mysterious and agitated. The third movement opens as the first with a mysterious and craggy theme which gives way to faster tempi. The Second symphony has an experimental feel as if Roussel was searching for a new musical language that was not truly resolved in this work; the transformation was complete by the time of his next symphony.

The Third Symphony (1930 - for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony) is the best known and exuberant, written in the same neoclassical style as Bacchus et Ariade. The music exudes vitality and while the music may sound abrasive it is mere dissonant not atonal. The Third Symphony beings with a five note motto theme that is used throughout the symphony. The first movement is characterized by daring rhythms and the music has a restless motion. The second movement is quiet and reflective with a trio section with a playful melody passed of between sections of the orchestra. The third movement brings a lively dance-like melody beautifully orchestrated and the finale brings the symphony to a triumphant close restating the transformed motto theme and a whirlwind of melodies that make me want more.

The Forth Symphony (1934) advanced Roussel's ideas by eliminating the cyclical themes and wrote the movements with more flexible tempos rather than the three sections. The symphony begins with a short, brooding introduction and then takes off with lively dance-like melody that is developed and ends abruptly. The second movement is a reflective and brooding Lento molto that builds to a triumphant passage for brass and strings. The Scherzo that follows is charming and jubilant, and also comes to an abrupt stop. The Finale is one of Roussel's best achievements where his initial theme is built on and transformed; the music is brought to a brilliant conclusion.

The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France plays the symphonies beautifully and the recordings are clear and well-balanced.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x968739a8) out of 5 stars brilliance 25 May 2007
By rousselaholic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This cycle, which came out in 1996, is the first modern stereo cycle of Roussel's complete symphonies. Marek Janowski brings such warmth, decision, and color to these diverse works. Now that these symphonies are being somewhat implemented in the standard repertoire, a new interest is coming out, notably Christoph Eschenbach's recordings with the Orchestre d'Paris on the Ondine label. As excited as I was with Eschenbach's efforts, I believe that Janowski's cycle remains unparallelled, especially as far as flow and overall shape is concerned. In these recordings, there is a true brilliance of sound, color, vivacity and warmth, but also each work maintains real flow and identity, which I feel is lost in Eschenbach's. In my opinion, these are the hallmark recordings.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96873a20) out of 5 stars Janowski leads a fine Roussel cycle 7 Oct. 2010
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I only recently discovered these early 20th century symphonies when I learned that Martinu, the great Czech composer, had studied with Roussel (1869-1937). These are fine little-known works, written between 1904 and 1934. Marek Janowski leads the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in this excellent Roussel symphonic cycle recorded in 1993/4. While not quite as vivid and dynamic as the earlier cyle with Charles Dutoit leading the Orchestre de France, recorded in 1985, this Janowski cycle excels in the slow, quiet movements, with a lovely, limpid sound. (It has been reissued by Newton Classics in 2012.)

Symphony No. 1 (Le Poeme de la foret) is a lovely Impressionist piece in four movements of 35 minutes length, clearly influenced by Debussy as well as Roussel's teacher Vincent d'Indy. A portrait of the forest's moods through winter, spring, summer and fall, it utilizes classical forms -- sonata form for the second movement, a ternary adagio for the third movement, and a rondo finale. Symphony No. 2 was written in 1919 and is darker in tone, reflecting Roussel's wartime experience. Roussel served voluntarily, despite his age. I find this to be a most impressive work, but it was not a success and is rarely heard. In three movements of 37 minutes duration, it is the longest, most complex and difficult of Roussel's symphonies. It was considered too gloomy and austere by a public eager to move on from the Great War, but I think it is revealed today to be at least the equal of Roussel's Fourth, and I would argue closer in quality to his symphonic masterpiece, the Third.

Symphony No. 3 was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra by its legendary conductor Serge Koussevitzky, and he led its triumphant premiere in Boston on October 24th, 1930. It is a tremendously vivacious piece, leading off with a five-note motif in a distinctive dance/march rhythm that seems to have been in Martinu's head when he composed his similarly energetic 4th Symphony in 1945. The Third Symphony moves irresistably across four movements of 24 minutes length. Surely Roussel's best known work, it is more than deserving of its popularity. Its reception bolstered Roussel, who wrote one more symphony a few years later in 1934. Symphony No. 4 was written easily and quickly in only five months from August to December. Another four-movement work, it is is 21 minutes long, and similar to the Third in its classical and impressively balanced form.

Known for his work in opera, notably an acclaimed recording of Wagner's Ring cycle, Janowski now leads the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB), which was an East German orchestra before reunification, and is in the process of recording all of Hans Werner Henze's symphonies.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Cdcollector - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
At last a complete cycle of these utterly attractive works. Janowski creates a very french flavour to the symphonic masterpieces by Roussel. The playing is alert and comitted and the interpretations very convincing. A clear first choice for me.
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