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Sang Woo Kang
American Record Guide, July 2016

Armengaud does a good job with this musical material. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2016

It is just over two years ago since I welcomed the first of the three volumes that will contain all of the modest output of piano music by the French-born Albert Roussel. That is made rather strange as Roussel started out his musical education in the world of the piano, though he was twenty-five before he seriously started his music studies. From therein he became a prolific composer, best known today for his orchestral scores, including the four symphonies. This new release contains his largest keyboard score, the Suite in F sharp minor, though even here the complexity of texture senses a work awaiting its orchestral garb. He stopped short of calling it a Sonata, though its four movements have aspirations to that format, the outer movements—Prelude and Ronde—being particularly demanding for the soloist. His earliest orchestral score, Resurrection, was a symphonic prelude-based on Tolstoy’s harrowing novel, Roussel at the same time preparing a piano reduction score that requires the performer to encompass the full spectrum of the orchestra. Rustiques are three graphic pictures, the shimmering days of Impressionism here becoming scenes of substance, though the general idea remains the same, its finale, Retour de fete (The fair’s return), being a proactive picture of a country fair. Two works dating from 1898, while still in his student days, begins with a rather labourious exercise in a three part Fugue, and his first opus, Des heures passent (Hours go by), brings together four short descriptive pieces in the pleasing world of Ravel and Debussy. As a doyen among French pianists, you feel that Jean-Pierre Armengaud has long been immersed in this music. He does not hide or minimise the difficulties of the Suite, but is an outstanding Roussel advocate. Good sound, Resurrection, recorded at a totally different time, having a very differing ambiance. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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