Roussel, Albert

Roussel, Albert

(älbĕr` ro͞osĕl`), 1869–1937, French composer, studied with Vincent D'Indy. His early works show the influence of impressionism. With the symphonic poem Pour une fête de printemps (1920) and his Second Symphony (1919–21) he achieved a highly personal style marked by subtlety of melodic inflection, sharp dissonance, and contrapuntal agility. He wrote operas, ballets, four symphonies, chamber and vocal works, and music for piano. Best known are the suites from his ballets The Spider's Feast (1913) and Bacchus and Ariadne (1931).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Roussel, Albert


Born Apr. 5, 1869, in Tourcoing, Nord Department; died Aug. 23, 1937, in Royan, Charante-Maritime Department. French composer, teacher, and public figure in the world of music.

Having received his musical training under the guidance of V. d’Indy at the Schola Cantorum, Roussel began teaching there in 1902 and became a professor in 1913. His students included E. Satie and B. Martinů. In 1936 he became president of the National Music Federation.

Roussel wrote several operas and ballets, including the opera-ballet Padmâvatî (1918, staged 1923). Other works included symphonic, chamber-instrumental, and vocal compositions. At the beginning of his artistic career, Roussel showed an appreciation of impressionism, while his later works reveal the influence of neoclassicism.


Savoir choisir. Paris, 1936.
Réflexions sur la musique d’aujourd’hui. Paris, 1948.


Landormy, P., and R. Chalupt. A. Roussel. Paris, 1938.
Deane, B. A. Roussel. London [1961].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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