ALBERT ROUSSEL (1869-1937): Suite in F, Op. 33, Pour une fête de printemps, Op. 22, Symphony No. 2, Op. 23.
Catalogue Number: 05J056
Description: None of these three works are well-represented on record since they all predate Roussel's mature period of the last two symphonies and Bacchus et Ariane. The symphony is his longest (42 minutes here, which is almost six minutes longer than Charles Dutoit's 80s recording on Erato), densely intricate in its orchestration and elusive in its range of expression. Pour une fête comes from the same year the symphony was finished (1921) and is a shorter example of how Roussel could combine Debussian Impressionism with his own questing harmonic complexity and not sound like any other composer. The suite (1926) is a mature work, its abrasive harmonies, motoric rhythms, pungent humor and short, concise movements loosely related to the then-prevalent European neo-classicism. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Stéphane Denève.