Author Topic: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin  (Read 10841 times)

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pjme

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2014, 07:12:57 AM »
Hi, afaik, no recent recordings of music by Devreese were made... there's plenty to choose from however. A.o. a 50 min. Goethe symphony with chorus , concerti for piano, violin and cello, orchestral suites, works for brass and percussion etc.

In Hyperion's Violonconcert series however: Joseph Jongen and Sylvio Lazzari. out in january 2015.

The Romantic Violin Concerto

Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)
Violin Concerto; Lazzari: Rapsodie
Philippe Graffin (violin), Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
Show download options 5 January 2015 Release   This album is not yet available for download LISTEN TO ALL EXTRACTS 
1  Fantasia in E major Op 12  [6'18]  English Français Deutsch


 
2  Rapsodie in E minor  [16'52]  Sylvio Lazzari (1857-1944)  English Français Deutsch


 
3  Adagio symphonique in B major Op 20  [11'53]  English Français Deutsch


 
  Violin Concerto in B minor Op 17  English Français Deutsch


 
4  Allegro poco maestoso  [11'55] 
5  Adagio, molto espressivo  [9'15] 
6  Animé  [9'32] 
The Romantic Violin Concerto series reaches Belgium and the music of Joseph Jongen, a composer more celebrated for his organ music now, but who was equally admired in his day for his orchestral and chamber works. Jongen studied at the Liège Conservatoire where he heard the great violinist Eugène Ysaÿe and composer-conductors Vincent d’Indy and Richard Strauss.

In this new album Philippe Graffin (a welcome and familiar presence in this series) collaborates with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and Martyn Brabbins in Jongen’s Violin Concerto, one of the composer’s first substantial works. It was described by his contemporary Florent Schmitt as ‘one of the finest violin concertos’; and he admired the ‘outpouring of warm lyricism’ and ‘lush profusion of themes and rhythms’.

Also included are other works for violin and orchestra, and a Rapsodie for the same forces by Italian Romantic Sylvio Lazzari (1857–1944) who was influenced—as was Jongen—by the music of César Franck.
 

 
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch 
In a biographical pamphlet published by J & W Chester in 1922, Lord Berners described Joseph Jongen as a composer whose music had ‘remarkable lyric charm and dramatic power’. That acute summary of his musical language makes his neglect all the more puzzling. If Jongen is known at all, it is largely through his finely crafted organ music, rather than his substantial output for orchestra or his chamber music (including three fine string quartets). Born in Liège on 14 December 1873, his father was a cabinet-maker and wood-carver who specialized in church furnishings. But he was also a keen amateur musician (he had studied the trombone in his youth), who had encountered the best music Paris had to offer when he spent six months there in 1867. Jongen began to study the piano when he was seven years old, and his teacher (who was organist of Saint-Jacques in Liège) soon encouraged him to take up the organ as well. Jongen continued his studies at the Conservatoire in Liège while still singing in the choirs of several churches. His time at the Liège Conservatoire was formative, with his first chance to hear Eugène Ysaÿe, and visits to the city by composer–conductors such as Vincent d’Indy and Richard Strauss.

Jongen was a brilliant student and had already started to demonstrate his gifts as a composer in his early teens. In 1897 he won the Belgian Prix de Rome, which gave him the chance to study in Italy and to travel. He made the most of this opportunity, setting out first for Berlin in 1898, where the concerts conducted by Arthur Nikisch and Felix Weingartner made a lasting impression, as did performances of Strauss’s Heldenleben (conducted by the composer) and Jongen’s first hearing of Brahms’s Violin Concerto, played by Joseph Joachim. One of his grandest works from this period was a symphony, written under the influence of Strauss’s tone poems. He took it to Strauss and was delighted to be welcomed warmly and taken seriously, recalling later that Strauss’s comments were ‘like beams of light, as if a thick curtain had been lifted from my eyes’.

After a visit to Bayreuth in the summer of 1899, Jongen settled for a few months in Munich. It was here that he wrote the Violin Concerto in B minor, Op 17, for the violinist Émile Chaumont (1878–1942), a lifelong friend from Liège. The following year Jongen was in Paris, where he met Dukas, Vierne and Fauré. Back in Rome at the end of 1901, he met Florent Schmitt (who had just won the Prix de Rome in Paris). The pair of them struck up a friendship during their time as fellow prize-winners at the Villa Medici. While Jongen’s next work—the Cello Concerto, Op 18, from 1900—enjoyed a good deal of success, the Violin Concerto was largely overlooked even in his lifetime. It was published by Durand in 1914—with a dedication not to Chaumont, but to the great Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. Ysaÿe admired Jongen greatly, and was an enthusiastic advocate of his music, but not, it seems, of the Violin Concerto. It had one performance in Paris at the time of publication but the critic in Le Mercure musical (May 1914) noted only that it was ‘excellently interpreted by M. Ch[arles] Herman’. Herman was a Belgian violinist who was leader of the Concerts Lamoureux in Paris for some years, later taking up a teaching post at the Conservatoire in Brussels. Another performance was given in Ostend in 1930, but it was not until October 1938 that it attracted critical attention when it was again heard in Paris. On that occasion it was played by Henry Merckel, a violinist whose impressive solo career (particularly as an advocate of new music) went in parallel with his work as one of the city’s most prominent orchestral leaders, including a thirty-year stint with the orchestra of the Paris Opéra. Merckel’s performance was part of a gala evening celebrating Franco-Belgian friendship. Aptly enough, it was reviewed for Le Temps by Florent Schmitt, Jongen’s old friend from his student years in Rome. Some four decades after its composition, Schmitt’s reaction is as fascinating as it is warm-hearted. He begins by discussing the first two movements:

This concerto, which, they say, dates from the 1900s, wears its age lightly, and if the initial part seems to delight in a slightly stiff dignity, it is the hesitant shyness of a personality that is still looking, however, towards the Andante—more matured, blended with delicious melancholy, an outpouring of warm lyricism.
Schmitt’s comments on the first movement are fair enough: though there is plenty of florid solo writing, the mood is dominated by the rather stern opening figure, descending, then rising on a dotted rhythm, that suggests something of Jongen’s debt to César Franck (he was still in his mid-twenties when he composed this concerto). A contrasting theme in E major shows another Franck characteristic—returning repeatedly to one or two notes around which the whole melody seems to revolve. As Schmitt suggests, it is in the slow movement (not in fact an ‘Andante’ but marked Adagio, molto espressivo) that Jongen appears to be set free with song-like lines for the soloist often seeming to spiral upwards, and orchestration that is delicately coloured for the most part, blossoming into a big tutti just once, near the end.

Schmitt reserves his highest praise for the finale—a movement about which Jongen himself seemed to have had some doubts before publication: the score suggests an optional cut of some ten pages near the beginning, removing the whole of the orchestral introduction except the first two bars (the work is played complete on this recording). But Schmitt evidently had no such worries:

The finale, so penetrating at the start in its rising sixths in the strings, and so bright at the end, when it explodes in a lush profusion of themes and rhythms that verges on extravagance …
Again, the benevolent influence of Franck can be heard in the propulsive rising and falling theme heard in the lower strings at the start, taken up by violins and violas over low pedal notes, and used to drive the music forward before being coloured by spiky woodwind chords. The first solo entry is a dashing counterpoint to the opening theme which continues to rumble away beneath. A second theme is a more tranquil contrast, supported by harmonies that seem effortlessly mobile. As the opening theme is used to urge the music towards an exciting climax, the key changes from B minor to B major and a thrilling coda ensues—presumably the ‘lush profusion’ of Schmitt’s review—ending with a brief flourish of woodwind and brass fanfares to underline the transformation of the theme into the major key. Schmitt was completely won over—although as well as praising Jongen profusely, he couldn’t resist taking a swipe at a rather unlikely target:

This concerto, which I believe was previously unknown in France, may be among the finest violin concertos, advantageously replacing, if necessary, the interesting but hackneyed Mendelssohn, and even more so that of Beethoven which is completely devoid of any actual musical interest.
The Violin Concerto was one of Jongen’s first substantial works. During his stay in Paris in he composed the Adagio symphonique in B major, Op 20, completing it in April 1901 (the manuscript is dated) and dedicating it to his friend Joseph Debroux (1866–1929), with whom he produced some editions of little-known eighteenth-century music. Beginning with a haunting horn figure that comes to dominate much of the work, the violin soloist plays high-lying lyrical lines over quite a rich orchestral texture. Towards the end, the soloist engages in a brief but lovely dialogue with solo oboe and flute before the music turns to harp-drenched chords of B major, with hints of the opening theme beneath.

The Fantasia in E major, Op 12, is the earliest work on this recording, completed in October 1898, just before Jongen began his European travels. A short piece, it begins slowly before becoming more animated. The most memorable moment comes near the end, where the soloist plays a version of the main theme notable for its uncomplicated lyricism, Jongen’s confident handling of the orchestra, and his gift for telling harmonies.

Sylvio Lazzari (1857–1944) was born in Italy. A pupil of Gounod at the Paris Conservatoire, he was encouraged by Franck and Chausson and his music owes a considerable debt to them, as well as to Wagner. He is probably best known for the opera La tour de feu (The lighthouse), given its premiere at the Paris Opéra in 1928. It was one of the first operas to make use of cinema effects (the final scene was performed in front of a projected film of a stormy sea). The Rapsodie in E minor for violin and orchestra was composed six years earlier (the manuscript is dated ‘Suresnes, 16 April 1922, Easter Sunday’). The fluid harmonies and lyrical lines of this work reveal a composer of great skill, while the solemn chromatic brass chords that introduce the closing section suggest a flair for moments of post-Wagnerian nobility. Cast in a single movement, the Rapsodie has an appropriately free structure—and one that is marked throughout by music of singular beauty and poise, deftly orchestrated.

Nigel Simeone © 2015

 
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 07:34:41 AM by pjme »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2014, 10:12:32 AM »
Many thanks for the interesting response.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2016, 03:15:59 AM »
Am greatly enjoying Arthur Meulemans's (1884-1966) Symphony 3 (1933). It has a rather magical opening and is a very poetic and imaginative work of under 20 minutes. The same Marco Polo CD features 'Pliny's Fountain' which is Meulemans's best known or least unknown score. It a haunting and poetic score which gives much pleasure:


Here is some info.on the composer:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Oct02/Meulemans_Culot.htm
I've just noticed the CD available for under 3$ at the Amazon US site.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2016, 03:36:11 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2019, 11:38:44 PM »
I hadn't realised how good Jef Maes's Second Symphony is. Quite Baxian in a way and definitely for admirers of late-Romantic music but with a distinctive, engaging musical personality. It has a wonderfully dark but paradoxically uplifting conclusion.
No doubt I'll reply to myself in three year's time.  8)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 11:41:30 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2019, 02:54:03 PM »
I have heard nothing by that composer so far. Your description makes the music appear appealing. It will go to my list of recommendations.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2019, 10:51:10 PM »
I have heard nothing by that composer so far. Your description makes the music appear appealing. It will go to my list of recommendations.
Thanks for responding Cesar.  :)
In places it also reminded me of Korngold's Symphony. My surmise is that you would enjoy it. I enjoyed the whole CD and not just the Symphony No.2.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2019, 03:43:48 PM »
Thanks for responding Cesar.  :)
In places it also reminded me of Korngold's Symphony. My surmise is that you would enjoy it. I enjoyed the whole CD and not just the Symphony No.2.

Much better, Jeffrey! Thanks!

Offline kyjo

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2019, 05:24:54 AM »
Thanks for responding Cesar.  :)
In places it also reminded me of Korngold's Symphony. My surmise is that you would enjoy it. I enjoyed the whole CD and not just the Symphony No.2.

I must hear anything that is reminiscent of the great Korngold Symphony! Thanks for the recommendation, Jeffrey.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2019, 06:20:42 AM »
I must hear anything that is reminiscent of the great Korngold Symphony! Thanks for the recommendation, Jeffrey.
It was only a momentary impression Kyle but I suspect that it would be of interest to you.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline pjme

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2019, 09:02:42 AM »
The website of the Queen Elisabeth Competition offers some unusual recordings - live - most of them in good sound.
https://queenelisabethcompetition.be/en/competitions/
https://queenelisabethcompetition.be/en/watch-listen/

A list of all concerto's written for the competition can be consulted  here:
http://perso.unamur.be/~jmlamber/re/re_imposes.php

Peter
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 12:05:02 AM by pjme »

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2020, 10:49:19 AM »


These days I came across this fantastic CD. I already knew Boeck's Symphony in G major, considering it quite good and memorable. Now, the works on the CD are other real finds. The Piano Concerto is such a sparkling, witty and fresh work. It has a bit of the elegance and fluency of Saint-Saëns's works in the genre. Overture to Théroigne de Méricourt is five minutes of sheer sophistication and beauty, a splendid miniature. Perhaps the most impressive work is the Suite from the opera Francesca. This is incandescent stuff, unabashedly full-blooded, something to wallow in. Really wonderful in my view. A winning CD in all regards.
«Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.»

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2021, 07:42:46 AM »
Enjoying the works of Paul Gilson and Godfried Devreese. Picturesque and somehow three-dimensional music.

Offline pjme

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2021, 08:18:47 AM »
That Devreese cd has some strange words...:
the ballet is titled Tombelène, not Tomblene ( after a Celtic legend / a small island/rock, close to the Mont Saint Michel is named Tombelaine).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombelaine
The cellist is Viviane Spanoghe (not Vivaiane), Guido de Neve is soloist in the violinconcerto. Frederic Devreese conducts.
 I hope that sooner or later we can hear the original and unusual orchestration by Godfried Devreese: 15 winds, celeste, harp, six five-string double basses and variously tuned side drums. Frederik Devreese re-orchestrated the concertino in 1992, for a more practical, small orchestra, without percussion.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 12:06:34 AM by pjme »

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2021, 05:44:23 AM »
Enjoying the orchestral works of Flor Alpaerts. I don’t know anything about him, but the music is unique and elegant, with innovative and lush orchestration.

Offline pjme

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2021, 05:49:56 AM »
The SVM ( Study Center for Flemish Music) in Antwerp has a biography:

https://www.svm.be/content/alpaerts-flor?display=biography&language=en



Some years ago I solisti del vento recorded Alpaerts' Avondmuziek - Evening music for winds

« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 05:55:17 AM by pjme »

Offline André

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2021, 07:03:32 AM »
This disc of music by the pianist composer Arthur De Greef is very well done. It is one of Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s earliest recordings, from 2005. I never fail to find it utterly fetching even if it’s not exactly pathbreaking stuff.




https://www.allmusic.com/album/arthur-de-greef-orchestral-works-mw0001393629

Offline pjme

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2021, 08:14:07 AM »


https://www.svm.be/content/de-greef-arthur?display=biography&language=en

That is indeed a lovely disc...to be savoured in small doses.

His Suite for orchestra is another well written, melodious romp ''Ín the olden style'.

https://youtu.be/I7zZvr6bgYU

Musicians of the LSO gave De Greef a nickname in 1915, when touring northern Britain (Elgar conducting) : the dancing flamingo. Apparently De Greef had a curious way of moving his whole body to the rythm of the music and throwing up his hands at the end of a phrase.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 08:20:52 AM by pjme »

Offline André

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2021, 09:04:25 AM »
Thanks, Peter.

I yet have to unseal the Fuga Libera box of music by André Laporte (b. 1931, Flemish despite his French-sounding name). I fell under the spell of his music based on this disc:



Have you heard his music ?

Offline pjme

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2021, 02:11:11 AM »
For a couple of years Laporte was 'big name'. He worked for the BRT/BRTN/VRT and was able to influence artistic choices.
Today he is almost forgotten and his Darmstadt/Boulez/Berio/Stockhausen education makes him very difficult 'to sell'....

I clearly remember several works and the premiere of his oratorio La vita non e sogno and the opera Das Schloss. Brillant events , now forgotten.

Still, I think that he is a very accomplished artist and I definitely would buy tickets to hear  and see his music.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Laporte
« Last Edit: March 20, 2021, 02:12:56 AM by pjme »

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Late Romantic music from Belgium / Ning Kam violin
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2021, 05:50:51 PM »
The SVM ( Study Center for Flemish Music) in Antwerp has a biography:

https://www.svm.be/content/alpaerts-flor?display=biography&language=en



Some years ago I solisti del vento recorded Alpaerts' Avondmuziek - Evening music for winds



Thanks a lot. Very informative site! Also I like the disc you suggested, including the work of Strauss.
I am enjoying the colorful music of August de Boeck today. Wonderful disc.