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By 1926 and the Suite in F Roussel is a fully paid-up neo-classic in the prevailing mode. Not all is gain. While the solemn dignity of the Sarabande is a delight, the rumbustious jig runs a slight risk of recalling Vaughan Williams clod-hopping over the village green.

Listen -- Gigue (Suite in F)
(track 7, 0:00-1:28) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

This is not music of immediate appeal, but here it is in the safest of hands. Clearly Stéphane Denève is a Roussel devotee, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra has already shown its paces in this composer's music with an admirable Symphony No 3. The present symphony is perhaps more of a challenge, but the splendid wind solos over quietly evolving string phrases get to the heart of the matter. And where defiant brass throw down the gauntlet, the response is heady music-making of highest calibre.

Copyright © 18 June 2008 Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt


Roussel: Symphony No 2

8.570529 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 68'43" 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Stéphane Denève, conductor

Albert Roussel (1869-1937): Symphony No 2 (1919-21) (Lent; Modéré; Très Lent); Pour une fête de printemps (1921); Suite in F (1926) (Prélude; Sarabande; Gigue)



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