Composer of 'R'

Samuel Rousseau (1853-1904)

A french organist and composer. Born in Neuve-Maison, Aisne on 11th of June, 1853. His formal name is Samuel-Alexandre Rousseau. His father was an woodworker-turned harmonium builder who had immigrated from north France to Paris. In the light of his father's countenance, Samuel got familiar with playing organ from his childhood and developed his musical gift. In 1877, he entered the Paris Conservatory and studied organ under C.Franck. With whom, he obtained second prize for the instrument in 1876, and got the first prize in the next year. He also studied harmony under François Bazin there. Under the guidance of him, he applied Prix de Rome and obtained the 2nd prize with his cantata 'Judith' in 1876 as well as he won the first prize with his cantata 'La Fille de Jephté' in 1878. He was appinted as a chorusmaster of the famous St.Clotilde Church in Paris where he also ordained into the organist. Beside writing many operatic compositions, he was active as a professor of harmony (from 1898?) in Paris Concervatory, the musical critic on a journal 'L'éclair', and the conductor of Paris-Opera Theatre Orchestra (in 1892). He was awarded Paris Citizen Prize in 1891, Région-d'honour Prize in 1890. He died in Paris on 1st of October, 1904. His compositional diction belongs to post-Franckist idiom with hints of modernism with more sophisticated use of chromatic notes. He is sometimes confused with his son, Marcel Samuel-Rousseau (1882-1955) who also won the second Prix de Rome. (2004©K.S.)

Main Works

Stage Opera 'Merowing Family' Mérowig (1892)
Opera 'The Bells of Rhine' la cloche de Rhin (1898)
Comic Opera 'Milia' Milia (1904)
Cantata Judith Judith (1876)
The Daughter of Jephte la fille de Jephté (1878)
Religious Libera Me Domine libera me domine (1885)
Requiem requiem (-)
Magnificat magnificat (-)
Chamber Gavotte gavotte (1897)
Cello Sonata in A sonate pour violoncelle et piano en la mineur (1902)
Piece for Cello and Piano pièce pour violoncelle et piano (1903)
Elegy for Cello and Piano élégie pour violoncelle et piano (1903)
Piece Concertante pièce concertante (-)
Rondes and Blancs rondes et blanches (-)
Organ Fantasy fantaisie (1894)
Echo echo (1894)
Double Varified Themes double thème varié (1898)
Wedding Celebration Tune entrée nupitale (-)
Verset in Canon Form verset en forme de canon (-)
Lament lamento (-)
Scherzo scherzo (-)
Berceuse berceuse (-)
Melody and Canon mélodie et canon (-)
Offertory offertoire (-)
Prayer prière (-)
Verset of Procession verset de procession (-)
Melody in A mélodie en la (-)

Rousseau Disc Review

"Entrée Nupitale / Verset en Forme de Canon / Double Thème Varié / Lamento / Scherzo / Echo / Berceuse / Mélodie et Canon / Offertoire / Prière / Verset de Procession / Mélodie en La / Fantaisie" (Aeolus : AE-10311)
Kurt Lueders (organ)

Sometimes along checking up on the educational records of many composers, I have encounterd this name. Sch experiences have made me be to have curious of how the his works taste like. It seems like he has been largely forgotten until recently because his son set up the composer's first name. It is pityful situation. He was a prodigy of organ and being embraced as one of Franck's first pupils. Although he is known mostly as a famous church organist nowadays, he also showed his brilliant ability as a composer. This CD shed the lights on this aspect. As you can easily imagine the composer's diction by simply checking the names of his master, Rousseau's style of writting composition resembles Franck considerably. However, if you carefully give the ears to the tunes, you can also find the pupil's original (and more advanced) musical language. From normal Franckist, he shifts in his axis of cooperation toward the further unconfined application of chromatic notes, expantion of the forms with careful construction of counterpoints,and wealthy infusion of sophisticated harmonies. Maybe you can imagine his by reminding Jongen or H. Mulet's ones. The performer, Kurt Lueders, is an organ professor in Sorbonne Univ. He graduated Yale University in 1972 and has studied organ under M. Durufle and M. Fleury. Although some may be nurvous of this little bit dimmy outlined and less-modulated performance (seems to be bacause of some misread of rubato and sustain-pedals), the performance is good enough to know this seriously unknown composer.

(2004. 10. 18)