Roussel: Le festin de l’araignée; Suite in F; Bacchus et Ariane; Aeneas; Sinfonietta; Petite suite

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COMPOSERS: Roussel
LABELS: Erato
WORKS: Le festin de l’araignée; Suite in F; Bacchus et Ariane; Aeneas; Sinfonietta; Petite suite
PERFORMER: Orchestre de Paris/Charles Dutoit, ORTF National Orchestra/Jean Martinon, Jean-François Paillard CO/Jean-François Paillard
CATALOGUE NO: 3984-24240-2 ADD/DDD Reissue (1969-88)
Roussel (1869-1937) had much success as a writer of ballet music: The Spider’s Banquet is a series of tableaux vividly depicting insect life in a garden. In his Suite (1926) he makes a bittersweet exploration of the French Baroque, while his Petite suite takes the opposite route to polytonality. The transitional Pour une fête de printemps is most successful in his search for his own style. Most discs have focused on his greatest ballet, Bacchus et Ariane, or his four symphonies, with Dutoit in the forefront. These lesser-known works make a welcome addition in getting to know the music of Roussel. The best is Martinon’s evocative conducting of Fête on a highly satisfying transfer from a 1969 Radio France recording. Christopher Fifield

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