Roussel Andante et Scherzo Op 51 for Flute and Piano


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Roussel Andante et Scherzo Op 51 for Flute and Piano

Roussel Andante et Scherzo Op 51 for Flute and Piano


Albert Charles Paul Marie Roussel

Albert Roussel (1869-1937) was a French composer known for his diverse musical styles and remarkable use of lyrical fervour, technical austerity, and harmonic boldness.

At 18, Roussel joined the French Navy and embarked on several voyages to Southeast Asia, which influenced his later orchestral and dramatic works. Later, he became a student of Vincent d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum in Paris after resigning his naval commission at the age of 25. From 1902 to 1914, he taught composition at the Schola Cantorum, with students including Erik Satie and Edgard Varèse. Roussel’s travels to Southeast Asia and India in 1909-10 further inspired his early compositions.

The influence of Impressionism and César Franck’s tutelage at the Schola Cantorum is evident in his early works, like the first symphony, “Le Poème de la forêt” (1904–06). Roussel’s compositions also reflect Eastern themes, as seen in the three Évocations (1912) and the opera-ballet “Padmâvatî” (composed 1914–18; performed 1923).

Roussel later embraced a Neoclassical style and employed modern techniques in works like the Suite in F (1927) and the Sinfonietta for Strings (1934). His mature style blended the modal harmonies of Oriental music with the dissonances of the contemporary idiom, creating a unique reaction against Impressionism and Franck’s chromaticism. Some critics view Roussel as a revivalist of old French formal traditions with a daring harmonic style akin to Igor Stravinsky’s influence. His rich repertoire also includes chamber music, piano works, songs, and notable large-scale choral works like his setting of Psalm 80 in English for chorus and orchestra (1928).

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