Hemmerle Plays Roger-ducasse

Album cover art for upc 3770004972326
Catalog: MLSCD013


When a composer seems to have faded so completely out of our musical life, the assumption, true in some cases, is that history makes its choice and that if a composer has fallen out of favor this simply means his music wasn’t meant to last. But history does occasionally make mistakes: the case of Bach, eclipsed by his own sons after his death and known for some decades to only a handful of musicians until he was reinstated by Mendelssohn, is probably the most famous. Mahler was neglected until he was gradually rediscovered and is now a pillar of our musical tradition. There are other composers like Frank Martin or Zemlinsky who, it seems, are only gradually beginning to receive the recognition they deserve, and many other fine composers are still struggling to be heard today. In the case of Jean Roger-Ducasse, although most of his music is available on album one never hears him in concert halls and his name is unknown to the vast majority of musicians. Jean Roger-Ducasse studied at the Paris Conservatoire and was the star pupil and close friend of Gabriel Fauré. He succeeded Fauré as professor of composition, and in 1935 he succeeded Paul Dukas as professor of orchestration. His personal style was firmly rooted in the French school of orchestration, in an unbroken tradition from Berlioz through Saint-Saëns. Roger-Ducasse wrote music in nearly all classical forms and was particularly known for his operatic stage works and orchestral compositions.