THE MUSICAL HERITAGE SOCIETY STEREO MHS 1869
SLEEVE IS IN GOOD CONDITION - LP IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITION
RARE VINTAGE CLASSICAL SYMPHONIC
with Music composed by ALBERT ROUSSEL
Biography by Zoran Minderovic
Though less well known than his contemporaries Ravel and Debussy, Albert Roussel is nevertheless regarded as one of the most important figures in early twentieth century French music. Roussel's music reflects his efforts to explore new possibilities of expression while remaining faithful to traditional musical ideas; evident in his chamber music and works for the stage, this tension between traditionalism and experimentation is particularly successful in his symphonies.
SYMPHONY No. 3 in G Minor, Op. 42
Composition Description by Adrian Corleonis
At every stage of his career, Roussel's best work is masterly finished, engaging, surefire. But for the connoisseur, tracing his stylistic evolution possesses a fascination of its own. If the opera-ballet PadmÃ¥vatÃ® (1914-1918) crowns his second manner, making explicit the preoccupation with instinct and annihilation ironically broached in the ballet Le Festin de l'araignÃ©e (1912), his Symphony No. 2 (1919-1920) encapsulates the period with formal yet disturbing point. The ironic detachment of Le Festin gives way to dark (and harmonically adventurous) foreboding, while the irrepressibly animated episodes are fraught with frenzied feverishness. But by the mid-1920s the skies had cleared, so to speak, and Roussel entered his final, neo-Classical, phase with the orchestral Suite in F (1926) whose three movements â€” two in Baroque dance forms â€” afford a foretaste of the Symphony No. 3 in their effortless combination of energy and serenity. Commissioned by Koussevitzky, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Suite received its premiere by those forces January 21, 1927, continuing a Francophile tradition that had seen Henri Rabaud and Pierre Monteux as chef d'orchestre, and entertained Roussel's teacher and colleague, Vincent d'Indy, in 1905 and 1921.
SYMPHONY No. 4 in A Major, Op. 53
Composition Description by James Leonard
Written by the sick and tired 65-year-old composer in a single three-and-a-half-month period in the fall of 1934, Albert Roussel's Symphony No. 4 was nevertheless one of the most vigorous and optimistic symphonic works of the 1935 season. Written in the traditional four movements and in the conservative harmonic language of la belle Ã©poque expressed in the severe counterpoint of the Schola Cantorium, Roussel's Fourth is still an extremely powerful and affecting work imbued with sincerity, strength, nobility, and a very, very dry wit. After a radiantly glowering Lento introduction, the opening Allegro con brio in sonata form never varies its pulse as it builds to an abrupt coda. The Lento molto may be the most expressive music Roussel ever wrote, solemn but emotionally searing music of uncommon power and sincerity. The Allegro scherzando is a muscular jig with just the slightest trace of irony. The closing Allegro molto is also in sonata form, but a sonata form permeated by a concentrated wit and a joyful counterpoint culminating in a magnificent coda.
performed by the LAMOUREUX ORCHESTRA
conducted by CHARLES MUNCH
Biography by James Reel
A genial conductor with a particular gift for French music, Charles MÃ¼nch extended the Boston Symphony's glory years (begun under the baton of Serge Koussevitzky) into the early '60s. MÃ¼nch was born in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, which at the time (1891) was controlled by Germany and has long hovered between two cultural worlds. MÃ¼nch himself benefited from both French and German musical training, and his first important musical posts were in Germany. Yet he came to be regarded as the quintessential French conductor, and his recordings of French repertory with the Boston Symphony remain standards by which others are judged. MÃ¼nch studied violin at the Strasbourg Conservatory, where his father was a professor, and, from 1912, in Paris with Lucien Capet. As an Alsatian, he was conscripted into the German army at the outbreak of World War I. Gassed and wounded as an artillery sergeant, he nevertheless survived the war through sheer resiliency. In 1919, upon returning to Alsace-Lorraine (now back in French hands), he took French citizenship, and a violin professorship in Strasbourg. Nevertheless, his professional interests soon sent him to Germany; he studied violin with Carl Flesch in Berlin, then moved to Leipzig to take a violin professorship at the conservatory there, and then became concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra from 1926 to 1933, during FurtwÃ¤ngler's tenure.