Albert Roussel


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(b Tourcoing, 1869; d Royan, 1937).

Fr. composer. Despite showing mus. tendencies as a child, began career as naval officer, his service in Indo‐China leaving profound impression. Resigned commission 1894 to study mus. Worked with Gigout and from 1898 to 1909 at Schola Cantorum under d'Indy. Prof. of counterpoint, Schola Cantorum, 1902–14, pupils incl. Satie and Varèse. Served in Fr. army 1914–18, thereafter devoting himself to comp. and living secluded life because of ill‐health. Once free of d'Indy influence, Roussel developed a neo‐classical style in which strong Stravinskyan rhythms and daring harmonies were blended with a rich, sometimes orientally exotic, orch. palette and expressive melodies. His 3rd and 4th syms. represent him at his most individual, but his ballet Bacchus et Ariane is his best‐known work. Prin. comps.:


La naissance de la lyre


Le Testament de la tante Caroline






Le Festin de l'araignée


Bacchus et Ariane




incidental music:

Le Marchand de Sable qui passe



Le Poème de la forêt

syms: No.1 () (1904–6), No.2 in B♭ (1919–21), No.3 in G minor (1930), No.4 in A (1934);

Prelude to Tolstoy's Resurrection


Pour une fête de printempsBacchus et Ariane

(1920); 2 suites from (1930);

Suite in F

(1926); pf. conc. (1927);

Petite Suite



, str. (1934);

Rapsodie flamande

(1936); vc. concertino (1936).

voice(s) & orch.:

La Ménace


Madrigal aux muses


Psalm 80

, ten., ch., orch. (1928).

chamber music:

pf. trio (1902);


, pf., 5 wind (1906); vn. sonata No.1 (1907–8), No.2 (1924);


, fl., hp., str. trio (1925);

Joueurs de flûte

, fl., pf. (1924); Trio, fl., va., vc. (1929); str. qt. (1932);

Andante and Scherzo

, fl., pf. (1934); str. trio (1937).





(1909–10); Sonatina (1912);

3 Pieces



Poèmes d'Henri de RégnierPoèmes d'Henri de Régnier

4 (1903); 4 (1907);

FlammesSongs from the Chinese

(1908); 2 (1907–8);

2 SongsLight, Farewell

() (1918);

2 SongsLe Bachalier de Salamanque, Sarabande

() (1919);

Jazz dans la nuit


Subjects: Music.

Reference entries

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