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Roussel: Evocations & Resurrection / Plasson, Gedda, Et Al

Release Date: 01/01/2002 
Label:  Emi Classics Special Import Catalog #: 65564   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Albert Roussel
Performer:  Nicolai GeddaNathalie StutzmannJosé van Dam
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole OrchestraToulouse Capitole Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This issue gives collectors an opportunity to get to know two fine works in persuasive performances. Roussel is one of those composers whose names are generally respected but whose music is still only patchily known, and whose stature in consequence remains somewhat in doubt. He was of course French and a contemporary of Ravel, but he did not have a great deal in common with that master (or for that matter Debussy), even if there are occasional points of contact revealed in his brooding moods and rich yet often delicate scoring. In fact the influence most clearly felt is that of Vincent d'tndy, a powerful figure of the non-impressionistic school of French music who was Roussel's chief mentor at the Schola Cantorum, where he enrolled in 1898 Read more (aged nearly 30) and became Professor of Counterpoint in 1902.

The symphonic prelude Resurrection dates from the year after that, but this vivid and exciting piece on a story of passion and remorse by Tolstoy has nothing of the academic about it. Evocations is a later work (1911): the inspiration of this triptych is the East, and more specifically the Indian subcontinent which the composer and his wife visited in 1909. Here he successfully conjures up such scenes as the busy streets of Jaipur and nightfall on the banks of the Ganges; this final movement also calls for vocal soloists and a choir (the baritone, who has the most to do, is the excellent José van Dam), and it is useful to have the text of this section, specially written for the composer by M. D. Calvocoressi, in French and English. It is doubtless true that when compared with Debussy's Iberia or Ravel's Shéhérazade, Roussel's evocation of exotic foreign parts is less magical; but this is none the less solidly valuable music. It is well played and sung and (although climaxes do thicken) the recording is adequate.

-- Gramophone [9/1988]
reviewing this recording previously released as EMI 47887
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Works on This Recording

Evocations, Op. 15 by Albert Roussel
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910-1911; France 
Résurrection, Op. 4 by Albert Roussel
Performer:  Nicolai Gedda (Tenor), Nathalie Stutzmann (Alto), José van Dam (Baritone)
Conductor:  Michel Plasson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Toulouse Capitole Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903; France 

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