Roussel : EvocacionesParis, 1986 (Audio)
Director: Michel Plasson
Archivos para descarga:
Coro Orfeon Donostiarra
1 Les Dieux dans l'ombre des cavernes
2 La ville rose
3 Aux bords du fleuve sacré
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 (aged nearly 30) and became Professor of Counterpoint in 1902.
Evocations data from 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.
Jose van Dam