Author Topic: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)  (Read 529 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline schnittkease

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Portland, OR
Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« on: July 09, 2017, 03:22:23 PM »
No thread for (arguably) the best Belgian composer since Franck?



Joseph Jongen almost entirely owes his fame to releases of "his extravagantly scored and generously melodic Symphonie Concertante for organ and orchestra (1926). Little do most suspect that Jongen was a prolific and able composer in many genres, particularly but not exclusively in the field of organ music.

At age 7, Jongen entered the Liège Conservatory; it wasn't until he was 19 that he joined a locally important organ class, but within four years he was winning the highest honors for his playing. Simultaneously, he was making a name for himself as a composer; a string quartet of his won first prize in the 1894 Royal Academy of Belgium competition, and his cantata Comala brought him the Prix de Rome in 1897.

During the 1890s Jongen served as organist at churches in Liège, but at the turn of the century he also found time to embark on a four-year tour of Europe. During this period he took composition lessons from Richard Strauss, and met Gabriel Fauré and Vincent d'Indy, becoming thoroughly familiar with the Schola Cantorum's educational setup in Paris.

Jongen settled in Brussels in 1905, teaching at the Scola Musicae, the Belgian equivalent of the Schola Cantorum, while commuting to the Liège Conservatory. The Great War drove Jongen and his family to the safety of England, where he formed the Belgian (Piano) Quartet. The end of hostilities allowed Jongen to return to Belgium, where he began teaching at the Brussels Conservatory and in 1925 became its director. He simultaneously directed two concert series in Brussels and tutored Princess Marie-José in harmony. After his retirement in 1939 he devoted himself to composing and designing an organ for Belgian Radio.

Jongen's musical style is difficult to classify. It is richly romantic, though Jongen drew inspiration as much from such early figures as Mendelssohn and Chopin as from such later stalwarts as Wagner and Franck. He was a superb colorist, especially in his chamber music, showing more than a little influence of Debussy's Impressionism. Ultimately, despite the late, mild influence of Stravinsky, he seemed most aligned with the aesthetics of Fauré, although Jongen was fonder than his predecessor of the grand gesture. His works, in addition to the Symphonie Concertante, include several large organ compositions, most notably the Sonata Eroica, as well as a great deal of chamber music, concertos, and songs."


I recently picked up a Pavane disk of Jongen's string quartets (Vol. II). The 3rd String Quartet, op. 67, is clearly a masterpiece. Wonderfully melodic, yet not overly anachronic. He clearly learned a lot from impressionism but managed to sound original and engaging nevertheless. Even the filler pieces are great - this CD already has an important place in my collection.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 08:46:33 AM by schnittkease »
“We were of course very impressed by Cage when we were in Darmstadt, but he has his house and I have mine.” — Henning Christiansen

Offline pjme

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 867
  • Location: Belgium
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 09:48:25 AM »
These are fairly recent recordings:









« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 11:23:49 PM by pjme »

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1999
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 08:14:11 PM »
1880 - enrolled at the Liège Conservatoire
1892 - studied under Danneels
1894 - won first prize for the String Quartet Op.3
1896 - gilt medal with highest honours
various organ posts, until 1898 when he was on a tour of Europe for four years, meeting Strauss and Bruch, and discovered the music of Brahms
1900 - visited Munich and wrote the Violin Concerto
travelled to Paris (and met Faure and d'Indy) and to Rome (and met Schmitt)
1905 - resident of Brussels, various teaching posts
1909 - married
1911 - professorship at Liège Conservatoire
1914 - escaped to England when World War I broke out
1920 - returned to Brussels to more teaching posts and much composing
1939 - retired, but continued to compose and was appointed to various posts
              most online biographies don't cover the years of WW2,
              but a biography from 20 years ago covers that time:



1946-1953 - continued composing until circa 1950,  died in 1953

a respectable output:

  Chamber music
======================================

4 or more insts:
 String qts: Op.2, 1893
 Op.3, 1894
 Op.50, 1916
 Op.67, 1921
 Op.95, 1931
 Sonata, violin, Op.22 no.2, 1901
 piano Qt, Op.23, 1901–2
 Epithalame, 3 violins, organ, Op.32, 1907, rev. as Epithalame et scherzo, 3 violin,piano, Op.49, 1916
 2 sérénades, string qt, Op.61, 1918
 Rhapsodie, piano, wind quintet, Op.70, 1922
 Concert à cinq, violin,viola, cello, flute, harp, Op.71, 1923
 2 pièces, 4 cello, Op.89 no.1, 1929
 2 esquisses, string qt, Op.97, 1932–3
 2 pièces, wind quintet, Op.98, 1933
 Prélude et chaconne, string qt, Op.101, 1934
 Elégie et deux paraphrases sur des noëls wallons, 4 fl, Op.114, 1940–1
 Saxophone Qt, Op.122, 1942
 Conc., wind quintet, Op.124, 1942
2–3 insts:
 piano Trio, Op.10, 1897
 Adagio, Op.22 no.1, violin, viola, 1900–1
 Heure calme, Op.23c, violin, piano, 1902
 Sonata no.1, Op.27, violin, piano, 1903
 piano Trio, Op.30, 1906–7
 Sonata no.2, Op.34, violin, piano, 1909
 Sonata, Op.39, cello, piano, 1911–12
 Concertino, Op.41, trumpet, piano, 1913
 2 pieces, Op.51, cello, piano, 1916
 Danse lente, flute, harp, Op.56  1918
 2 aquarelles, Op.59, violin, piano, 1917
 Aria et moto perpetuo, Op.68, cello, piano, 1921
 Hymne, Op.76, harmonium, piano, 1924
 Sonata, Op.77, flute, piano, 1924
 2 pièces en trio, flute, harp, cello, Op.80, 1925
 Habañera, Op.86, cello, piano, 1928
 Humoresque, cello, organ, Op.92, 1930
 2 pièces en trio, Op.95, violin,cello, piano, 1931
 Introduction et danse, Op.102, viola, piano, 1935
 Prélude, habañera et allegro, Op.106, db, piano, 1937
 Sonate-Duo, violin, viola, Op.109, 1938
 Concertino, viola, piano, Op.111, 1940
 Recitativo et airs de ballet, Op.115, clarinet, piano, 1941
 Aria et polonaise, Op.128, trombone, piano, 1944
 Concertino, Op.132, clarinet, piano, 1947
 String Trio, Op.135, 1948
 Violin Sonata, Op.22 no.2, 1901

   Orchestral
=======================================

With solo inst: Piano concerto, Op.1, 1892
 Fantasia, Op.12, violin,orch, 1898
 Marche-cortège, organ, orch, Op.13, 1898
 Premier poème, cello, orch, Op.16, 1899
 Cello concerto, Op.18, 1899–1900
 violin concerto, Op.17, 1900
 Adagio symphonique, Op.20, violin,orch, 1901
 Méditation, Op.21, eng horn, chbr orch, 1901
 Valse, cello, orch, 1908
 Deuxième poème, Op.46, cello, orch, 1914
 Suite, viola, orch, Op.48, 1915
 Poème héroïque, Op.62, violin,orch, 1919
 Fantaisie rhapsodique, Op.74, cello, chbr orch, 1924
 Allegro appassionato, viola, chbr orch, Op.79, 1925
 Symphonie concertante, organ, orch, Op.81, 1926–7
 Pièce symphonique, Op.84, pf, orch, 1928
 Alléluia, Op.112, org, orch, 1940
 Piano concerto, Op.127, 1943
 Harp concerto, Op.129, 1944
Other: Marche solennelle, Op.4, 1894
 Sym, Op.15, 1898–9
 Pastorale, chbr orch, 1901
 Fantaisie sur deux noëls populaires wallons, Op.24, 1902
 Lalla-Roukh, tableau symphonique, Op.28, 1904
 Prélude et danse, Op.31, 1907
 Impressions d'Ardennes, Op.44, 1913
 Tableaux pittoresques, chbr orch, Op.56, 1917
 Prélude élégiaque et scherzo, Op.66, 1920
 Passacaille et gigue, Op.90, 1930
 Triosième suite dans le style ancien, Op.93, 1930
 Triptyque, Op.103, 1937
 Ouverture fanfare, ww, Op.110, 1939
 Ouverture de fête, Op.117, 1941
 In memoriam, Op.133, chbr orch, 1947
 Ballade, Op.136, 1949
 3 mouvements symphoniques, Op.137, 1951

    Organ
===================================

 20 préludes et versets, c.1890
 Elégie, 1891
 Elévation, 1891
 Pièce pour grand orgue, 1892
 5 pièces, Op.5, 1893–6
 Fugue dans le style de J.S. Bach, 1897
 Pastorale, 1906
 Cantilène, 1908
 4 pièces, Op.37, 1910–11
 2 pièces, Op.38 nos.1–2, 1911
 Prélude funèbre, 1914, rev. as Prélude élégiaque, Op.47 no.1, 1951
 Pensée d'automne, Op.47 no.2, 1915
 Chant de May, Menuet-scherzo, Op.53, 1917
 Sonata eroïca, Op.94, 1930
 Toccata, Op.104, 1935
 Petite pièce, Petit prélude, 1936–7
 Scherzetto, Prière, Op.108, 1938
 Improvisation-pastorale, 1941
 Prélude et fugue, Op.121, 1941–3
 Gaudeamus, 1944

       Piano
=========================================

 Sérénade, Op.19, 1900
 Sarabande dans le style ancien, Op.23a, 1902
 Clair de lune, Soleil à midi, Op.33, 1908
 2 rondes wallonnes, Op.40, 1912
 En forme de valse, Op.43, 1913
 Crépuscule au lac Ogwen (N. Wales), Op.52, 1916
 Sarabande triste, Op.58, 1918
 Suite en forme de sonate, Op.60, 1918
 3 études de concert, Op.65, 1920 and 1928
 13 préludes, Op.69, 1922
 Mazurka, Napolitania, Op.76, 1924
 Petite suite, Op.75, 1924
 Pensée élégiaque, Op.82, 1926
 Impromptu, Op.87, 1928
 Sonatine, Op.88, 1929
 Toccata, Jeux de nymphe, Op.91, 1929
 10 pièces, Op.96, 1932
 Impromptu, Op.99, 1933
 Ballade, Op.105, 1936
 3 danses faciles, 1936
 24 petite préludes dans tous les tons, Op.116, 1940–1
 Ballade, Op.119, 1941
 Bourrée dans le style ancien, Op.123, 1942
 Impromptu, Mazurka, Op.126 no.2, 1943
 Piano 4 hands: Pages intimes, Op.55, 1918
 Jeux d'enfants, Op.120, 1941
 Intermezzo-Piccolo, 1950

Also a ballet and an unfinished opera.

direct link for the file above:  https://s1.postimg.org/3gkxav3kjz/Jongen_during_WW2.jpg
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 02:27:49 AM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 41108
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells during Magic Nights
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 06:35:41 PM »
I’m surprised there wasn’t already a thread for this composer? Anyway....I’ve liked what I’ve heard so far, which doesn’t amount to much. These recordings:



I’ll have to dip a bit into my collection to see what else I own, but I believe this is about it.
"Music must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline kyjo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 484
  • Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
  • Location: United States
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 07:13:31 PM »


That's an absolutely spectacular recording! The finale of the Symphonie Concertante is one of the most thrilling movements I know.

I must confess I don't know much else of Jongen's music, a situation which I must rectify soon. I've heard part of his Cello Sonata which sounded very nice.

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 41108
  • Bohuslav Martinů (1890 - 1959)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    The Opening of the Wells during Magic Nights
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 07:18:46 PM »
That's an absolutely spectacular recording! The finale of the Symphonie Concertante is one of the most thrilling movements I know.

I must confess I don't know much else of Jongen's music, a situation which I must rectify soon. I've heard part of his Cello Sonata which sounded very nice.

Yeah, I’ve owned this recording years and it is, indeed, a good one. For whatever reason, I haven’t been interested enough in Jongen to do any further exploring than the afore mentioned recordings. I should rectify that soon.
"Music must be beautiful, or it wouldn’t be worth the effort” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline kyjo

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 484
  • Kurt Atterberg (1887-1974)
  • Location: United States
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 07:34:52 PM »
Read the OP for my Jongen chamber music recommendation.  (I still stand by those words.)

Thanks for the recommendation :)

Offline André

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3460
  • Location: Laval, QC
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2017, 05:16:09 PM »
Personally I consider Eugène Ysaÿe a composer just as interesting as Jongen (not more, but not less) and infinitely more influential - but that adds nothing to his talent or genius as a composer. Franck, Lekeu, Jongen, Chausson, Saint-Saens and Debussy among others dedicated works to Ysaÿe - the violin sonata in Jongen’s case: it will be found in a fascinating 4cd set of violin sonatas dedicated to Ysaÿe.

That being said, if I may be forgiven for plugging yet again the Liège 50 big box, some very interesting Jongen works are to be found within: Passacaille et gigue for orchestra, the harp concerto, an orchestral suite ‘In the Old Style’, the Prix de Rome cantata ‘Comala’,  2 versions of the Symphonie concertante and an orchestral reworking of his Clair de lune.

The Musique en Wallonie disc (Pages intimes) is a beauty, and should be heard. I’m curious about the other discs presented in this thread. Thanks for that !

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10762
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2017, 05:56:46 PM »
Read the OP for my Jongen chamber music recommendation.  (I still stand by those words.)
[/quot


well, SQ3 is $80 on Amazon, lol, and not on YT...

All I have is (what some may call a lame performance of) the Concert a'cinq (Atlanta Sinfonietta/Koch), and yea, it seemeth slightly old timey to me... I might prefer koechlin here?

I did then listen now to the Two Pieces for flute, harp, and cello, and this was mouch more to my liking, but the Flute Sonata's 1st didn't do much for me, and the String Trio was ok but not my cup of tea, and the Duo for violin and cello was also not for me. Currently listening to the finale of the Symphonie Concertante, which is alsonot for me.



I keep hearing this great stuff about SQ3 and stuff,... I always want to hear the THIRD SQ after Debussy and Ravel (and it's not the Faure per se).



wanttolikeJongen, not finding THE works of the most Impressionisticthat I need...




sorry, my typing on this new computer is atrocious, I don't quite know what is happening as my text pops up anywhere on the page and such...
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10762
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 05:58:44 PM »
I didn't see that much variety in the 26 Page Discography :(
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10762
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2017, 06:00:00 PM »
Danse Lente is nice...ish
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline schnittkease

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2017, 10:16:10 AM »
well, SQ3 is $80 on Amazon, lol, and not on YT...

It's 12.40EUR from Pavane's website:
https://www.laboiteamusique.eu/jongen-joseph-string-quartets-gong-quartet-p-8637.html?osCsid=p4vejdc01mj5rponep26j2bnh1

...And here's YouTube (from the Various Artists - Topic" channel):

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-j3Ci4l-1k
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzpZlfqyKnY (my personal favorite Jongen movement)
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF6GfkIPq4M
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1228_WSklHQ

btw... there's always Schmitt's String Quartet if Jongen's isn't "the third".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzTBrH19VsY&t=25s


The Symphonie Concertante (not to your liking) and Sonata Eroica are considered his masterpieces.


« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 10:22:10 AM by schnittkease »
“We were of course very impressed by Cage when we were in Darmstadt, but he has his house and I have mine.” — Henning Christiansen

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10762
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2017, 07:49:39 AM »
It's 12.40EUR from Pavane's website:
https://www.laboiteamusique.eu/jongen-joseph-string-quartets-gong-quartet-p-8637.html?osCsid=p4vejdc01mj5rponep26j2bnh1

...And here's YouTube (from the Various Artists - Topic" channel):

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-j3Ci4l-1k
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzpZlfqyKnY (my personal favorite Jongen movement)
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF6GfkIPq4M
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1228_WSklHQ

btw... there's always Schmitt's String Quartet if Jongen's isn't "the third".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzTBrH19VsY&t=25se


The Symphonie Concertante (not to your liking) and Sonata Eroica are considered his masterpieces.

I'm listening to the Scherzo now,... lol, too pleasant!! No, it's very delicate and yet lush. I've been a'scouring the French landscape looking for "something"... I think as far as this here goes, I'd prefer Koechlin's SQs...

BUT, as for the Schmitt, which I was attempting to come to grips with a few weeks ago, that Schmitt would be the "3rd" if we were counting it as FAURE- ROGER-DUCASSE No.2- SCHMITT in G... Loewenguth Central...

Faure in Eminor
Roger-Ducasse No.2 in DMajor
Schmitt in GMajor

I don't know if any of Ropartz's 5 belong here...


As far as the "3rd" for Debussy/Ravel... mostly on record it has been the Dutilleux, which I approve of. Otherwise, either Koechlin or one of Milhaud's would probably be more appropriate?


I AM HAVING DIFFICULTY FINDING JONGEN... exciting...mm....embarrassed... I'm just hearing a younger Pierne/Schmitt??...




This Scherzo is so pleasant and non-offending... had you toldme it was Saint-Saens I might be more impressed



I'm trying here!!!!!! :laugh:

Then again, I'm currently finding Francaix'sPiano Music chirpy fun... ::)...
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline schnittkease

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2017, 07:25:09 PM »
Don't sweat it!
“We were of course very impressed by Cage when we were in Darmstadt, but he has his house and I have mine.” — Henning Christiansen

Offline snyprrr

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 10762
  • SQs, PQs, PQTs, PTs, VSs, Berlioz-Xenakis/Aperghis
  • Currently Listening to:
    Things that are crisp and spritely vs. things that are thick and creamy
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2017, 08:02:06 AM »
Don't sweat it!

"Hello. 911? Well, this may sound strange, but..."
Rat Poison is 99% Good Food, so Follow the Money

Haydn-Sikh

Offline schnittkease

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2017, 09:02:13 AM »
"Hello. 911? Well, this may sound strange, but..."

:laugh:
“We were of course very impressed by Cage when we were in Darmstadt, but he has his house and I have mine.” — Henning Christiansen

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 941
  • Back. Hello!
    • Surprised by Beauty
  • Currently Listening to:
    anything from Monteverdi to Widmann and well beyond in either direction and everything in the middle!
Re: Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2017, 03:26:39 AM »
Love Jongen. Checking into that thread.

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK