Friday, March 24, 2017

Röntgen, Julius. (1855-1932) Orchestral Works. Symphony No. 8 & 15.

From my collection.
Bought in 2009.
First listen: 30-7-2009.
Second listen: 23-11-2009.
Third listen: 24-3-2017.
Label: CPO.
Recording dates: March/October 2006.
Recording venue: Großer Sendesaal des Landesfunkhausen, Niedersachsen, Germany.
Recording engineer: Björn Brigsne.
Running time: 69:29.
Classical relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:
Symphony No 8 in C sharp minor.
No 15 in F sharp minor.
Variationen über eine Norwegische Volksweise.

Performed by:
NDR Radiophilharmonie, David Porcelijn.
Carmen Fuggiss, soprano.

Julius Röntgen is without a doubt my number 1 composer from Dutch soil. Whatever this man is composing, it's always worthwhile. Of all the CD'S I have with his music, not one of them disappoints. The richness with which he writes is couched in a warm romantic idiom, without getting overly sentimental. The sweetness is just a tinge on the tongue, just right to get a good taste. As a orchestrator he might be seen as one of the very best, and if it comes to catchy tunes, and satisfying melodies, he is your man. He can go deep, and comes up as quickly, just to show that on the surface there are also gems to be got. A brilliant composer who shows his genius immediately in the 8th symphony. It is in one movement and fluently written, encompassing all moods and emotions. He uses a soprano in this work, and she sings without words, and little vibrato. Well integrated into the framework of this symphony, she adds a welcome addition to the faery like moments in the Lento. She is perfectly woven into this work, thank God I would say. One of Röntgen's best works.
The 15th symphony is a bit more earthbound, but not so much as to say it's robust. Again all the means he commands out of his creative mind is given in the service of projecting a well balanced work so characteristically in his oeuvre. It's a colourful trip through what is possible in the hands of a master. A great work. The variations are unashamedly romantic in character, and the sweetness is as nourishing as honey. Pastoral in many places, but not without one or two wake up calls. Is a well balanced work, expertly written. 
The sound is almost State of the Art, and the performance is certainly a reference one.



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