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Albert Roussel: The Spider's Banquet; Padmavati, suite / Royal Scottish Nat'l Orch.

Audio Samples

>Roussel, Albert : Le Festin de l'araignee, ballet, Op. 17
>Roussel, Albert : Padmavati - Opera-Ballet in Two Acts
>     Suite no 1 (from Act 1) Prélude
>     Suite no 1 (from Act 1) Danse guerrière (War Dance)
>     Suite no 1 (from Act 1) Dans des femmes esclaves (Dance of th
>     Suite no 2 (from Act 2) Prélude
>     Suite no 2 (from Act 2) Danse et Pantomime

Album Summary

>Roussel, Albert : Le Festin de l'araignee, ballet, Op. 17
>Roussel, Albert : Padmavati - Opera-Ballet in Two Acts
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

One of Roussel's most performed orchestral works, The Spider's Web was composed during his earlier impressionistic period, and depicts the beauty and violence of insect life in a garden. Roussel's experiences as a lieutenant in the French Navy first introduced him to Eastern influences, and the 'operaballet' 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. This is the fifth and final volume in Stéphane Denève and the RSNO's acclaimed survey of Roussel's orchestral works. "An excellent disc, splendidly and idiomatically performed and a superb advertisement for composer, conductor and orchestra. Highly recommended." (Gramophone on Vol. 4 / 8.572135)

"This disc completes [the RSNO's] invaluable five-album survey of Albert Roussel, a contemporary of Debussy and Ravel...Another rehearsal or two might have benefited the strings, but overall these are idiomatic, genial performances of attractive and unfairly neglected early 20th-century repertoire." -The Times

"As can be heard from this gorgeous disc [Roussel's] contribution was highly individual. Stéphane Denève's sprightly RSNO matches Roussel's sophisticated inventiveness." -The Observer

"Both [works] 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." -The Telegraph

"Denève handles [The Spider's Banquet] with great subtlety and refinement, the woodwind detail crisply defined against the veils of strings...In performance, [Padmâvatî] is problematic, but the dance interludes are arguably its best moments, and Denève and his orchestra present them very convincingly." -The Guardian

"This is a nicely crafted account from Deneve, with plenty of detail in the characterisation of the various bugs and insects depicted by the score...And it has a considerable bonus in being partnered on this disc by the two rarely heard Suites from Roussel's Indian-inspired opera Padmavati...It is wonderful to hear the Suites in such stylish performances." -BBC Music Magazine

Classical Music Sentinel
The evocative opening pages in particular, imprinted with Roussel's flair for imagery, immediately set the scene of a halcyonic morning in a beautiful garden, ensued by the daily struggles for survival of various insects, while the closing moments return to the idyllic and peaceful nature of the garden from the start of the work. This is more than likely the score that has kept Roussel's name active within the musical vernacular... this version of his most famous ballet is like the icing on the cake. The interpretation is fresh, the playing commited, and the recorded sound detailed and natural. If you are not familiar with the music of Albert Roussel, start here. If you already know and appreciate his symphonies, then this wonderful ballet should be a piece of cake. Pun intended!

Otago Daily News
The orchestra under Stephane Deneve performs these stage works in its Naxos series of Roussel discs. It charms with the vibrancy of a light-hearted insect world and more exotic sounds of the quasi-oriental opera... the CD confirms the composer as a great impressionist of the French school, delicately weaving melodies and harmony.

Gramophone
Roussel's balletic exposT of seething life in the insect world receives a vibrant performance from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under StTphane DenFve... The music, which is couched in Roussel's own brand of impressionism, is radiantly orchestrated and, through its descriptive powers, holds its own without the visual elements that a staged performance would provide.

Allmusic.com
DenFve and the Naxos engineering team, working in Henry Wood Hall in Glasgow, keep the textures open and clear, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra delivering precise playing throughout. Le festin de l'araignTe... deserves to be better known, and this strong performance will bring that goal closer.

ResMusica.com
Culture is the chief stylistic immediately fly in episodes of the Feast of the spider treated with a natural sense of color and instrumental balances. The beauty of the orchestration and melodic inventiveness shine in this battered Roussel, accurate, and feline but not overly heavy or colorist.

Infodad.com
... played by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the knowing and sensitive StTphane DenFve. Le festin de l'araignTe is a series of miniatures, each carefully constructed and each distinctive. The colors of the orchestra are beautifully displayed here. As for Padm?vate, it incorporates elements of Indian music into Roussel's typically haunting use of carefully chosen orchestral sections... Again, DenFve brings out the coloristic effects while shaping the music well and keeping it moving smartly ahead, producing a highly effective reading of a work that never achieved significant popularity but that, in the context of this excellent overview of Roussel's orchestral music, fits the composer's oeuvre well and certainly deserves more-frequent performance.

ClassicsToday.com
This final installment provides a worthy and memorable conclusion to the series. In the first place, the two suites from Roussel's magnificent opera-ballet PGdmavate are all but unknown, either in concert or on disc. They are wonderful, not least because the obligatory touches of Eastern exoticism are fully integrated into Roussel's personal idiom. All of his music, even the lightest or the most purely tactile and voluptuous, has substance.

DenFve has an unerring feel for Roussel's idiom, for that combination of rhythmic drive, precision of accent, and elegant phrasing that somehow seems both personal to this composer as well as quintessentially French. Beyond that, he gets excellent, truly refined playing from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and he's expertly recorded. Essential.

Sunday Herald
Clever interweaving of scenes from this colorfully scored garden give the music a filmic feel, which Deneve gently brings out with exquisite poise and delicacy of touch.

ClassicalCDReview.com
DenFve and the Scottish Orchestra play very well, and the sound is excellent.

BBC Music Magazine
Another alluring instalment in StTphane DenFve's survey of Roussel's orchestral works with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra... The flute solos are especially beguiling, while the orchestra marvellously evokes the passions of battle, lust and love in the oppressive heat

The Northern Echo
The work depicts the beauty and violence of insect life in a garden... Compelling listening.

The Scotsman
This coupling of works by Roussel is surely the most lustrous and colourful in the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's recorded survey of the French composer's orchestral works... The Spider's Banquet is a sparkling cocktail of entomological sketches, ebulliently brought to life in this ballet score. The Indian-inspired PadmGvate suites are every bit as flamboyant, but with a defining whiff of exoticism.

The Observer
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 entrTe for dung beetles. StTphane DenFve's sprightly RSNO matches Roussel's sophisticated inventiveness.

The Telegraph
The Spider's Banquet, is laced with exotic inflections in the five pieces from his opera-ballet, PadmGvate... Both are given vibrant life by the RSNO and DenFve, with plenty of graphic detail deriving from Roussel's skilful musical depiction of everyday war and peace in the insect world.

The Guardian
A two-part depiction of a garden's insect life... DenFve handles it with great subtlety and refinement... the dance interlude are arguably best moments, and DenFve and his orchestra present them very convincingly.

The Times
these are idiomatic, genial performances of attractive... repertoire.

The New Recordings, Cliff Classics
both works are performed with an expert touch and deep feel for impressionistic musical fare. The recorded sound is simply stunning!

David's Review Corner
The playing is superbly detailed in both pieces, the solo passages showing players of real quality, and, as in his previous Roussel recordings, StTphane DenFve, shows himself as an ideal advocate. Sadly he will move on from Scotland next year, but I hope Naxos will continue his French music recordings as they are outstanding. The engineering is first rate.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, UK (10/04/2010-10/05/2010).



Reviews

Roussel's "Spider's Banquet" provides an aural feast
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.
Submitted on 02/14/12 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>Roussel, Albert : Le Festin de l'araignée, ballet, Op. 17
  • Conductor: Stéphane Denève
  • Ensemble: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, UK (10/04/2010-10/05/2010)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1912-1913

>Roussel, Albert : Padmâvatî - Opera-Ballet in Two Acts :: Suite no 1 (from Act 1) Prélude
  • Conductor: Stéphane Denève
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, UK (10/04/2010-10/05/2010)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 11/28/1918

>Roussel, Albert : Padmâvatî - Opera-Ballet in Two Acts :: Suite no 1 (from Act 1) Danse guerrière (War Dance)
  • Conductor: Stéphane Denève
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, UK (10/04/2010-10/05/2010)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 11/28/1918

>Roussel, Albert : Padmâvatî - Opera-Ballet in Two Acts :: Suite no 1 (from Act 1) Dans des femmes esclaves (Dance of th
  • Conductor: Stéphane Denève
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, UK (10/04/2010-10/05/2010)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 11/28/1918

>Roussel, Albert : Padmâvatî - Opera-Ballet in Two Acts :: Suite no 2 (from Act 2) Prélude
  • Conductor: Stéphane Denève
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, UK (10/04/2010-10/05/2010)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 11/28/1918

>Roussel, Albert : Padmâvatî - Opera-Ballet in Two Acts :: Suite no 2 (from Act 2) Danse et Pantomime
  • Conductor: Stéphane Denève
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow, UK (10/04/2010-10/05/2010)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 11/28/1918