Composer of 'J'



Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)

A representative composer in modern Belgium, Marie-Alphonse Nicholas Joseph Jongen was born in Liège on 14th of December in 1873. He entered Liège Conservatory when he was 7 years old and studied under Sylvain Dupuis and Théodore Radoux and obtained the first prize in harmony, fugue, piano and organ classes. In 1894, he obtained the grand prix in Royal Amademy of Belgique Prize with his first string quartet. He also obtained the first prize of the Prix de Rome in 1897 with his cantata 'Comala'. By using the prize money, he traveled through Europe from 1898 and devoted himself to French modern music. After his return, he was appointed as the professor of composing and counterpoint classes in Liège Conservatory in 1911. Moreover, he was also appointed as a visiting professor of fugue class in Brussel Coservatory in 1920, department chair of the department from 1925 (to 1939) and has brought up many pupils. He is also one of the most renowned composers in modern Belgium for his strongly-built neo-classical construction in form with resplendentfully colorful impresssionistic harmonization. He is also a prolific composer and had written 241 works in his life although he abandoned many of them (except 137 works) in his laterlife because he faced unparatable truth that musical scenes were gradually being dominated by contemporary (progressive) composers. He died at Sart-Lez-Spa on 12th of July in 1953. There is one thing should be noted about the pronouncing of his name. According to J.S. Whiteley's book of Jongen (1997), his name should be pronounced as 'Jo-n-gen' rathar than 'Yo-n-gen'. (2003©K.S. : Related Source : JONGEN, Joseph: in CeDeM site (works list) / Les Amis de Joseph Jongen)


Main Works

Stage Works Felyane (1907) {vos, choir, orch}
Choral
Religious
Song of Saints Anges in Cantata Form cantique aux Saints Anges (1890) {choir, p}
Ave maria (1891) {bass, vln, org}
ecce panis (1891) {btn, choir, org (orch)}
kyrie et gloria (1892) {choir, org, 2vln, vla, vc}
alma redemptoris mater (1895) {4vo, org}
callirhoe (1895) {vos, choir, orch}
Gradual for a Easter Day graduel pour le jour de pâques (1895) {8vo}
haec dies.. (1895) {choir, org}
Ave maria (1896) {2vo, org}
angelis suis (1897) {choir, orch}
comala (1897) {vos, choir, orch}
lady Macbeth (1897) {vos, choir, orch}
Muse la meuse (1902) {m-choir}
ave maria (1905/1906) {choir, org (4m-vo)}
Pastoral Song chanson pastoral (1913) {f-choir, orch/f-choir, p}
Song of Marie des Anges la chanson de Marie des Anges (1919) {5vo}
A Dance of Dragonflies la danse des libellules (1919) {4vo, p (orch)}
A Legend of Saint Nicholas la légende de Saint Nicolas (1933) {child-choir (f-choir), orch (p)}
Hymn for Muse hymn à la meuse (1938) {choir, p (org/orch)}
A Cocada and an Ant la cigale et la fourmi (1941) {child-choir, p (2p/orch)}
Mass mass (1945) {vo, choir, org, (brass)}
He is a Shepherd il était un' bergère (1947) {child-choir, p (orch)}
lacrymosa (1947) {2vo, org}
Fugues for a well-tuned Cembalo fugues du clavecin bien tempéré (-) {choir}
Orchestral Divertismento Divertissement (1896)
Fantasy fantaisie (1902) {orch/2p}
Moonlight clair de lune (1908)
Two Symphonic Pieces deux pièces symphoniques (1917)
Passacaglia and Gigue passacaille et gigue (1929)
Trilogy tryptyque (1936)
ouverture, fanfare (1939)
in memoriam (1947) {orch/p/harmonium}
ballade (1949)
Concerto fantasia (1898) {vln, orch (p)}
Cortège March marche cortège (1898) {org, orch (2vln, vla, vc)}
Violin Concerto in B Minor concerto en si mineur (1899) {vln, p/vln, orch}
Cello Concerto concerto pour violoncelle et orchestre (1900) {vc, orch}
adagio symphonique (1901) {vln, orch/vln, p}
Wedding Song and Scherzo epithalame et scherzo (1907) {3vln, orch (p/org)}
concertino (1913) {tp, orch/tp, p}
Suite for Orchestra and First Viola suite pour orchestre et alto principal (1915) {vla, orch}
Concerto in Five Instruments concerto à 5 (1923) {fl, vln, vla, vc, hrp}
Rhapsodic Fantasy fantaisie rapsodique (1924) {vc, p (orch)}
Hymn hymne (1924/1926) {org, orch/harmonium, p}
allegro appationato (1925) {vla, orch}
symphonie concertante (1926) {org, orch}
humoresque (1930) {vc, orch (org)}
Introduction and Dance introduction et danse (1935) {vla, p (orch)}
Hallelujarh for Organ and Orchestra alleluja pour orgue et orchestre (1940) {org, orch}
concerto (1943) {fl, ob, cl, hrn, bssn (2p/p, orch)}
Harp Concerto concerto pour harpe (1944) {hrp, orch (p, org)}
Piano Concerto concerto pour piano (1945) {p, orch}
Brass fanfare (1945) {brass}
Heroic Fanfare fanfare héroïque (-) {3tp, 4hrn, 3tb, tba, bass-tba, cymbal, ds}
Chamber An Album Leaflet feuille d'album (1892) {vc, p}
String Quartet No.1 in C Minor quatour en ut mineur (1894) {2vln, vla, vc}
fugue (1895) {2vln, vla, vc}
habanera (1895) {vc, p/b, p}
Song lied (1899) {hrn, p}
andante espressivo (1900) {vla, p}
adagio (1901) {vln, vla}
Piano Quartet quatuor pour piano et trio à cordes (1902) {p, vln, vla, vc}
Silent Time heure calme (1902) {vln, p}
Violin Sonata No.1 sonate en ré majeur pour violon et piano (1903) {vln, p}
Trio for Piano, Violin and Viola trio pour piano, violon et alto (1907) {vln, vla, p}
Violin Sonata No.2 sonate en mi majeur pour violon et piano (1909) {vln, p}
Cello Sonata sonate pour violoncelle et piano (1912) {vc, p}
caprice impromptu (1916) {vc, p}
String Quartet No.2 in A Major quatour en la majeur (1916) {2vln, vla, vc}
Sweetness of Pines dans la douceur des pins (1916) {vc, p/vc, orch}
Two Pastels deux aquarelles กส1917กห {vln, p}
Two Serenades deux sérénades (1918) {2vln, vla, vc}
aria (1921) {vc, p}
Sonata for Flute and Piano sonate pour flûte et piano (1924) {fl, p}
Slow Dance danse lente (1924) {fl, hrp}
Two Pieces in Trio Format deux pièces en trio (1925) {fl, vc, hrp/vln, vc, p}
Two Pieces deux pièces (1929) {4vc}
Two Pieces in Trio Format deux pièces en trio (1931) {vln, vc, p}
Harp harpe (1932) {2vln, vla, vc, hrp}
Two Sketches deux esquisses (1933) {2vln, vla, vc}
Two Pieces deux pièces (1933) {fl, ob, cl, hrn, bssn}
Intimate Song chanson intime (1936) {vln, p}
Lullaby berceuse (1936) {vln, p}
concertino (1940) {vla, p}
2 Paraphrases by Christmans Songs in Wallon Region deux paraphrases sur des noëls wallons (1941) {4fl}
Elegy elégie (1941) {4fl}
ballade (1943) {hrp}
Aria and Polonaise aria et polonaise (1944) {tb, p}
concertino (1947) {cl, p}
String Trio trio à cordes (1948) {vln, vla, vc}
trois cadences (-) {fl, hrp}
Largo in the Name of Bach largo sur le nom de Bach (-) {vln} ...Found after his death, in 1956.
(translation unclear) hoûte on pau..(-) {4fl}
Organ Elegy elégie (1891)
Elevation elévation (1891)
Piece for Grand Organ pièce pour grand orgue (1892)
andante cantabile (1895)
Five Organ Pieces cinq pièces d'orgues (1893-1896)
Fugue in the Style of J.S. Bach fugue dans le style de J.S.Bach (1897)
Sarabande in the Ancient Style sarabande dans le style ancien (1902)
Pastoral : Piece in A pastorale : pièce en la (1906)
Cantilena cantilène (1908)
Four Pieces quatre pièces (1910-1911)
Two Pieces for Organ deux pièces pour orgue (1911)
larghetto (1911)
Offering by Alma Redemptoris Mater offertoire sur l'Alma Redemptoris Mater (1911)
Religious March marche religieuse (1911)
Two Pieces for Organ deux pièces pour orgue (1914-1915)
le see-saw! (1917)
le bon chîval (1918)
Legend légende (1930) ... incomplete
Heroic Sonata sonata eroïca (1930)
toccata (1935)
A Small Piece petite pièce (1936)
Small Prelude petit prélude (1937)
Schezetto and Pray scherzetto et prière (1938)
improvisation-pastorale (1941)
Prelude and Fugue prélude et fugue (1941/1943)
Choral of Gabriel Faure chorals de Gabriel Fauré (1944)
Gaudeamus: verset pour la Fête de l'assomption (1944)
Autumn Remembrance pensée d'automne (-)
Funeral March marche funèbre (-)
Piano Symphonic Concerto concerto symphonique (1892) {2p}
Etude étude en fa dièse majeur (1892)
Etude for Octave Notes études en octaves (1892)
Wedding March marche nuptiale (1893) {2p/orch}
improvisation (1900)
barcarolle (1901)
(translation unclear)
lalla roukh (1904) {2p/orch}
Two Pieces deux pièces (1908)
Two Rondes of Wallon Region deux rondes wallonnes (1912)
In Form of Waltz en forme de valse (1913)
Impressions of Ardenne
impressions d'Ardenne (1913) {2p/orch}
Crepuscule of Lac Ogwen crépuscule au lac ogwen (1916)
Adagio of 2'nd Quartet (adagio for the 2'nd of the accompanists?) adagio du 2e quatuor (1916) {2p}
Sad Sarabande sarabande triste (1918)
Suite in Form of Sonata suite en forme de sonate (1918)
Children's Room la nursery (1918)
Etude for Concert No.1 étude de concert No.1 en si mineur (1920)
Etude for Concert No.2 étude de concert No.2 en fa dièse mineur (1920)
Etude for Concert No.3 étude de concert No.3 (1920)
30 Preludes treize preludes pour piano (1922)
Impromptu No.1 1e impromptu (1928)
Play of Nymph jeux de nymphe (1929) {p/orch}
sonatine (1929)
allegretto (1929)
cantabile (1931)
10 Pieces dix pièces (1932) {p/small-orch}
Impromptu No.2 2e impromptu (1933)
Improvisation improvisation (1935)
Ballade No.1 ballade No.1 (1936)
Ballade No.2 ballade No.2 (1941)
Play of Infants jeux d'enfants (1941) {2p}
Dance in Ancient Form bourrée dans le style ancien (1942) {p/orch/2p}
Impromptu No.3 3e impromptu (1943)
Laughableness: March, Small Lullaby and Divertismento cocass: marsch, petite berceuse et divertissement (1945) {2p}
Divertissement (1950) {2p}
intermezzo-piccolo (1950) {2p}
Songs chanson (1891) {vo, p}
In April en avril (1892) {sop, p}
Venetian Barcarol barcarolle venitienne (1893) {sop, p}
Anytime with Love j'eus toujours de l'amour (1893) {sop, p}
Good Evening bonsoir (1893) {sop, p}
Exrasy l'extase (1893) {sop, p}
An Evening on a Field le soir sur la steppe (1893) {tnr, orch (p)}
Lullabies les berceaux (1893) {vo, p}
(translation unclear) hostias et preces.. (1898) {sop, p}
(translation unclear) les mâlhureux (1900) {sop, p}
Roumanian Chanson chanson roumaine (1902) {vo, p /vo, orch}
After the Dream après un rêve (1902) {sop, orch /sop, p}
Dance of Flowers bal de fleurs (1902) {sop, p}
Lilies lys: chrysanthèmes (1902) {sop, p}
From the Precious Stones dans son écrin (1909) {btn, p}
Two Chansons deux chansons (1907) {msp, p}
deus Abraham (1909) {btn, org, strings/tnr, vln (vc), org}
Script Boards les cadrans (1914) {vo, p (orch) /sop, 2vln, vla, vc, p}
Calm of the Quiet Banks calmes, aux quais déserts (1917) {sop, p/sop, p, 2vln, vla, vc}
Exiles' Epiphany epiphanie des exilés (1917) {vo, p /sop, orch}
Carnival in the Trenches le carnaval des tranchées (1917) {sop, orch (p)}
The Red Festivals les fêtes rouges (1917) {sop, p}
The Languages of Fire les langues de feu (1917) {sop, p (orch)}
Unhappy Peoples les pauvres (1919) {vo, p /sop, p, 2vln, vla, vc}
Two chants without Words deux chants sans paroles (1923) {sop, p}
Entering Visions entrevisions (1926) {vo, p}
A Music la musique (1948) {vo, p /sop, 2vln, vla, vc, p}
Exam. /
Education
Pieces
fugues (1890)
fugue (1894)
fugue (1897)
Competiton Piece in 1926 concour de 1926 (1926)
Competiton Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1926)
Lecture Piece in 1926 for Horn Solo lecture pour cor, 1926 (1926) {hrn}
Lecture Piece in 1926 for Clarinet Solo lecture pour clarinette, 1926 (1926) {cl}
Lecture Piece in 1926 for Oboe Solo lecture pour haubois, 1926 (1926) {ob}
Lecture Piece in 1926 for Piano Solo lecture pour piano, 1926 (1926) {p}
Lecture Piece in 1926 for Trombone Solo lecture pour trombone, 1926 (1926) {tb}
Lecture Piece in 1926 for Trumpet Solo lecture pour trompette, 1926 (1926) {tp}
Lecture Piece in 1926, 28, 29 for Horn Solo lecture pour violoncelle, 1926, 1928, 1929 (1926) {vc}
Competiton Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1927)
Lecture Piece in 1927 for Clarinet Solo lecture pour clarinette, 1927 (1927) {cl}
Lecture Piece for Doublebass and Viola in 1927 lecture pour contrebasse et alto, 1927 (1927) {vla, b}
Lecture Piece in 1927 for Piano Solo lecture pour piano, 1927 (1927) {p}
Lecture Piece for Trombone and Fagot in 1927 lecture pour trombone ou basson, 1927 (1927) {tb, bssn}
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1928)
Lecture Piece for Doublebass lecture pour contrebasse (1928) {b}
Lecture Piece for Horn Solo in 1928 lecture pour cor, 1928 (1928) {hrn}
Lecture Piece for Trombone in 1928 lecture pour trombone, 1928 (1928) {tb}
Lecture Piece for Trumpet in 1928 lecture pour trompette, 1928 (1928) {tp}
Competiton Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1929)
Lecture Piece for Violin Solo in 1929 lecture pour violon, 1929 (1929) {vln}
Competition Piece of Piano Class concour de piano (1929)
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1930)
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1931)
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1932)
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1933)
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1934)
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1935)
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1936)
Lecture Piece for Organ in 1936 lecture pour orgue, 1936 (1936) {org} ...two identical pieces exist
Lecture Piece for Piano in 1936 lecture pour piano, 1936 (1936) {p}
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1937)
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1938)
Competition Piece of Solfege Class concour de solfège (1939)
Practice Piece for Harmony Class devoir d'harmonie (1942)
Lecture Piece for Cello in 1943 lecture pour violoncelle, 1943 (1943) {vc}
Practice Piece for Harmony Class cour d'harmonie (-)
Etude Manuscript document d'étude (-)
Twelve Lessons of Solfege Class douze leçons de solfège (-)
Piece for Counterpoint with Notes over Octaves du contrepoint double à l'octave (-)


Jongen Disc Review


"Symphonie Concertante (Jongen) / Fantasie en La : Pastorale (Franck)" (Telarc : CD-80096)
Michael Murray (org) Edo De Waart (org) San Francisco Symphony
In case you do not cling to the disc with full of Jongen's works, this should be the most recommendable Jongen CD. His Symphony Concertante is seemed the most representative and excellent work of Jongen and in fact many recordings have produced CDs for the work. Although it has neo classicism-based construction in form, this organ concerto also encloses full of impressionistic colorful harmonization. In addition, this work is one of the most challenging piece for organists. Hence this work can be interpretated whether as a contemporary pop classical music like John Williams's cinema soundtrack or as a dignified (but somewhat obstinate) neo-classical tune. Some recordings chose the latter and failed to enlighten his advanced orchestration skills. This recording wisely selected the former, and succeeded to push up his brilliant and coloful harmonic content with clear prospect to the forms. Above all, the orchestral supplement by the tact of De Waart is especially notable. If the organ was recorded in better sonority, it would be the ideal recordings!! After the first publication in 1984, this recording has kept in press for twenty years. The fact clearly demonstrates the quality of performance.

"Symphonie Concertante (Jongen) Symphonie No.3 (Saint Saëns)" (Dorian : DOR-90200)
Eduardo Mata (cond) Jean Guillou (org) Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Hence Symphonie Concertante is the representative work of Jongen, we have more than 6 alternative recordings although other compositions are hardly to be purchased. The tight construction enables the work to escapethe shadow of earthiness although the harmony sounds clear and colorful like John Williams's movie tunes. Such well-balanced sense of composition should enjoys the preferance. Therefore, where to set the fulcrum to ballance classical solidity and popular floridness is one of the most enssential point of performing Jongen's orchestral works. De Waart with San Fransisco have shown an ideal interpretation in terms of that ballance. Such ballance deviation can explain the characteristics of this performance. Above all, they played 4th movement in 5:09. Even though favor can be depended on listeners' subjective views in some extent, the duration is definitely too fast no matter how ones look at. Because of the tempo, composer's solid construction in form was restlessly planed away. Needless to say, the fast tempo affects the working-out of details. They tended to be knocked up and sound monotonous. It can be described a flashy performance anyway, some people can confuse that the other performances are somber. But I can not find any agreeable reason to select the tempo despite of having the disarray between the solist and orchestra.

"Deux Mélodies op.25 / Deux Mélodies op.45 / Cinq Mélodies / Triptyque pour Orchestre" (Cypres : CYP1635)
Mariette Kemmer (sop) Pierre Bartholomée (cond) Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo
A Belgian label Cypres previously provided almost of all oppotunity to listen Jongen's orchestral works. In 2003, in concert with the composer's birth and death anniversaries, this label finally started to press ahead with a series of newly recorded jongen CDs. As one of the series, this CD consists of Jongen's melodies with orchestra. The conductor, who recently switched sides to Monte-carlo Philharmonic from Liege Philharmonic seemly because of interpersonal trouble, adrressed the heroic attempt after the completion of Lekeu recordings. Because the three songs enclosed here had written in the composer's relatively earlier days, their orchestration is romantic rather than neo-classical and impressionistic. Especially for the Two Melodies (the earliest work), it is striking to listen and recognize that the sound resembles Duparc considerably. Such second generation's works let us to recognize the fact again that Franck (the chieftain of Paris Conservatory in the era) had come from Belgium. Triptyque build the climax of this CD as had expected. His skillful full-color orchestration with neo-classical construction technique create a huge sound cathedral. Everyone can easily notice his brilliance by simply listenning this three pieces. Although it is easy to guess the performance of orchestra is excellent, it is a true fortune that solist also sings beautifully. Strongly recommended.

"Concerto pour Piano / Concerto pour Harpe / Passacaille et Gigue" (Cyprès-Musique en Wallonie : CYP 3610)
Fernand Quinet (cond) Eduardo Del Pueyo (p) Mireille Flour (hrp) Orchestre de Liège : Orchestre National de Belgigue
Although he once had occupied the largest position in modern Bergian music school, he has been forgotten until quite recently. However, composer's anniversaries of birth and death in 2003 have motivated a Belgian label Cypres. Cypres used the anniversal as the trriger to start publishing a series of Jongen works. Thanks to the label, we come to have many options to start enjoying most brilliant category of Jongen's works: orchestral. Before the anniversal year, however, only this CD (compiled 3 historical recordings) could provide few oppotunities to appreciate his orchestral music. Since they unaccountably recorded with monaural equipments of 1960s (I can not find any reason why they had not tried to record them in stereo format), we can not praise the sound quality. However, the members are quite gorgeous. The conductor Quinet was also a composer who frequently had interacted with Group of Six. Hence he had actively introduced the composers of the same age as one of the most famous conductors (we can interpret him as a Belgian Pierné). In addition, the soloists are all go-getters. Before I encountered this CD, I had never thought that I could have the oppotunity of listenning Jongen with the underrated genious, Del Pueyo!! It can be easily imagined that they were planned to create the monumental recordings by assembling Belgian musical world of that era.

"Concert à Cinq / Sonate-duo pour Violon et Violoncelle / Danse Lente / Adagio pour Violon et Alto / Deux Pieces en Trio" (Cyprès : CYP1632)
Ensemble Arpæ
Finally, thanks to the appearance of this recording, the chamber music genre of Jongen came to be prehensible with beautiful performance. The ensemble was formed in 1994, consisting of a harp, a flute, and string trio. All of the members have brilliant skills such that they were graduates of Royal Conservatory in Brussel (the fact also indicates they are all junior fellow of the composer!!). They also came through a high degree such that the flutist was a pupil of Peter Lukas Graf, whereas the harpist was a pupil of Marie-Claire Jamet. As you can easily imagine, the performance goes incomparably better than competing Talent disc. They seemed to try to perform in fresh-faced and dry manner with selecting the faster tempo (than Talent and Naxos ones). In this manner, such way of performance are likely to be next door neighbors of boorish interpretation. The reason that they could avoid from falling crude performance, is simply the ensemble could maintain the sense of belongings around the highest level. Consequently the ensemble could create the dry and refreshing sound like a pleasant afternoon breeze. If you intend to purchase a chamber works of Jongen, this should be recommended as one of the first choices.

"Quatuor avec Piano / Trio" (Cyprès : CYP1638)
Ensemble Joseph Jongen: Diane Anderson (p) Eliot Lawson (vln) Jacques Dupriez (vla) Mark Drobinsky (vc)
This recording was performed by Jongen Ensemble seemingly initiated by Diane Anderson (central figure of Les Amis de J. Jongen) and her colleagues. But, in reality, She and Mr. Drobinsky are familiar names such that they have recorded together the works of Adolphe Biarent to the same label. Both of the two works included in this CD are written in relatively earlier of the composer's life. Since we know his violin sonatas revealed thhat the composer was still in his fledgling era, it is reasonable if you anxious about the quality of the pieces in this CD. Quartet totally resembles that of Faure in terms of the basic romantistic construction. The decorative arpeggios by piano in intraposition to passionate unisons with highly expanded tonality generate spark (or anime) like fishes swim smoothly near the water surface. This is common characteristic between the two quartets. Of course it was a transitional opus. But it can be described as a fruit of his travel to France (from 1898). In fact, his brilliant harmonization can be found in around of it. We can immediately notice his progression especially in modal context by listenning Piano Trio, which was written in several years later. It can be said the trio wrapped up his transitional era. Violinist was a pupil of Kantlov and Oitslav and Viola is a teacher in Brussel Conservatory. Except Drobinsky on cello, all members are Belgian. Their performance has traditional elegant Franco-Belgian atmosphere.

"Impressions d'Ardennes / Concerto pour Violoncelle et Orchestre / Fantaisie sur Deux Noëls Populaires Wallons" (Cyprès : CYP1634)
Marie Hallynck (vc) Roman Kofman (cond) Orchestre National de Belgique
Thanks to a Belgian label Cypres, now we come to have a large amount of recordings of Jongen's works for large ensemble. This disc provides another alternate. The charming solist, Ms. Hallynck is a core member of Arpae Ensemble who is enthusiastic to enlighten Jongen. As we can say the same thing for other Cypres recordings, the works included in this CD have composed in the composer's relatively younger era. Even for the latest, it is 'Impressions D'Ardennnes' which was written in 1913. The fact well explains the characteristics of the works.Cello concerto is written in strongly traditional latter-romantic manner. Although the masterful orchestration is highly breathtaking, it sounds like D'indy rather than Jongen as neo-classical and impressionistic composer. If your favor do not meet such an German-centric sound, you should try the Impressions at first. Even though the form is still latter-romantic rather than neo-classical, you can easily recognize to see the distant view of Debussy through the facing features of D'indy and Ropartz, especially in harmmonic landscape of this composition. Like other Cypres discs, this recording is also well performed.

"Danse Lente / Trio / Sonate / Elégie / Deux Paraphrases sur des Noëls Wallons pour Trois Flûtes et une Flûte Alto" (Naxos : 8.557111)
Marc Grauwels (fl) Marie Hallynck (vc) Sophie Hallynck (hrp) Dalia Ouziel (p) Quatuor de Flûtes du Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles
Because 2003 was the anniversal year of the composer, he got the momentum of re-evaluation. This disc provided a good example of riding the strengh of it to be issued. Since two previously published Talent discs made a little mess of the account because of the performance, we can say this CD provides a precious alternate for the composer's least stocked genre. The flutist was appointed by National Orchestra in Belgium as a principal solist in 1978. His performance is passionate. This is no wonder, since we come to know that fact that this CD had once published from Syrinx: a regular price label. Hence you do not have to anxious about the quality of performance because its price is cheap. As for the compositions, they can be described by the word 'elegant'. Quasi-classical archaism with modern harmonic coloration live in peace. If I have to quote any, I should mumble complaints about the paper strap of Japanese edition of the disc. Since he was born in Franco-Belgium circumstance, his name should be pronounced 'Jo-N-Gen' rather than 'Yo-N-Gen'. Probably, Naxos parties refered to the Japanese edition of 'New Grove Dictionary'. Tragically, his name was typed in Yongen letter although the dictionary is assumed to be the most reliable source to detact the composers biographies.

"Quatuor à Cordes No.1 en ut Mineur / Quatuor à Cordes No.2 en La Majeur" (Pavane : ADW 7483)
Quatuor Gong : Hanxiang Gong, Yinlai Chen (vln) Jean-Christophe Michallek (vla) Martin Hesselbein (vc)
This CD is a welcomed one since there has extremely slim chances to appreciate Jongen's string quartets. The CD consist of the first two out of three Jongen's string quartets. The first one, written in 1894, is the winning piece of the annual composition competition held by Royal Belgian Academy, Fine Arts section. Then, he was still a student of Liege Conservatory. By winning it, he obtained 1000 francs (about 4000 euros) and chance to travel France for studying under his musical heroes (Franck, Dindy or Debussy). The number of opus is only '3' indicating the compositional diction clearly. The quartet was still deeply rooted in Franck like latter romantic idiom. Harmonic content is conservative. However, the well-expanded themes and skillfully arranged rhythmic content strongly imply his attained greatness in later period. As for the second quartet, dedicated to Theo Ysaye (youngest brother and a pianist of famous Eugene Ysaye) was written in 1916. Since Jongen had already entering his mature period, this quartet was composed in far modern manner. Key-changes is more frequent, forms are more strict (reflecting his favor had shifted into neo-classical idiom). Above all, the harmonic content, by heavy application of tremoro by plural strings, is far colorful and impressive. If the performance was nice, the disc shoud had been rated 5-sar...!! The quartet was formed in 1986 by the members of Liege Philharmonic. While their feminin tone control and expression are impressive, their sensory in pitch is loose. I cannot help thinking that 'after all, orchestra members will be just a orchestral member'. Further recordings are strongly required.

"Trio à Cordes (Jongen) Trio 'Le Chimay' (Ysaÿe) Strijktrio (De Meester)" (Pavane : ADW 7502)
Goeyvaerts Strijktrio: Kristien Roels (vln) Kris Matthynssens (vla) Pieter Stas (vc)
The present disc issued in 2006 includes 3 trios by Belgian modern composers of different background. (As you can see above) this label has another CD of Jongen's quartets, performed by Liege Orchestra members. On the contrary to their regrettable performance and compositions of their fairly old fashioned Franckistic idiom, the string trio is a surprise of preasure, although Jongen track occupies one out of three, the work was written in 1948... in his later life. Around the first minute, for the first motif, it sounds just baroque-like old fashioned. However, it drastically changed then after, into the colorful harmonies and skillful counterpoint of latter Jongen's diction. Truly a masterpiece! Although the coupling Ysaÿe's are not very well-written in terms of its poorer sound effect despite of its rich application of modernist way of compositional diction (reflecting his background that he was not a composer but a player), for me this recording is worth enough just because it introduces us the Jongen's nice trio. The last work is written by 20th century born Meester. His educational background is almost nothing. Self taught except few counterpoint lessons from J.Absil when he was 33. At that time, his compositional diction had fixed with deep influence of jazz. Later he became a member of Brussel broadcast and devoted to avant-garde electric music. His trio reflects the history. In the beginning resembles Japanese traditional music Gagaku. Then it turns into the world of hysteric leaping notes and diluted tonality. The aesthetic can be compared a russian avant-garde composer Lourié. As for the ensemble, they formed in 1997 as a trio specializes only 20 or 21 century composers' works. Their performance trying to curve the feature in dynamic way with full of rich and powerful syncopations is largely favorable. Surely we can believe they just received 'Fuga Award 2003' from belgian Composers Union, although their sensory in pitch become loose in a few moments while they play, and their tone sounds a little bit stinging and rough.

"Concerto à Cinq / Deux Pièces en Trio / Introduction et Danse / Danse Lente / Valse" (Classic Talent : DOM 2910 74)
Eric Melon (vln) Etienne Plasman (fl) Didier Poskin (vc) Pierre-Henri Xuereb (vla) Rachel Talitman (hrp)
This is the second recording from Talent devoting Jongen's chamber works by Eric Melon with his colleagues. This time they entitle the CD as the complete recordings of Jongen's chamber works with use of harp. Since the solist, Eric Melon, already recorded jongen's violin sonatas for the same label, it can be easily supeculated that he took a leadership role in realization of this recording. Although the performance is not well sophisticated in terms of feeling of oneness in the sound texture (it may be because the performers' carriers are domestic rather than international), the composers ability far outweighs such an small defect. Impressionistic nuance is completely digested in the works with neo-classical beauty in form. They probide exalted dignity to his compositions and demonstrate he was a great national asset. Composers normally indicate their strong and weak points in accordance with genre of musical instruments. Jongen was a real master because he could demonstrate high density in quality of composition for every genre. It is totally misfortune for all classical music fans in nowadays who do not have a chance to know this composer with fanatical ability.

"Symphonie Concertante / Suite / Allegro Appassionato" (Koch Schwann : CD 315 012 GI)
Hubert SchoonBroodt (org) Rene Defossez (cond) Orchetre Symphonique de Liège -symphonie concertante / Therese Marie-Gilissen (vla) Brian Priestman (cond) Orchestre Symphonique de la R.T.B.F. -Suite : Allegro Appassionato
Beside of Cypres's historical Jongen recording, this disc provides a sparse example of how his compositions were interpreted and performed. Since we come to have enough oppotinuties to purchase Jongen's most blissed work Symphony Concertante, it is hard to recommend this recording in case you would like to try the Concertante. The reasons can be found on the poor sound quality with bigoted interpretation and less-sophisticated orchestra. If you intend to drive vintage cars on ordinary roads in your country without tuning it any, you will be immediately arrested by the police because of violating laws of emission control. To listen this without enough understanding of listenning historical recordings will precipitate the same problems to you. For most of listeners, this disc should be purchased just for listenning other two lesser-known orchestral works.

"The Organ Works of Joseph Jongen vol-2 :
Offertoire / Cantabile / Improvisation-Caprice / Prière / Choral / Scherzetto / Gaudeamus / Légende / Improvisation-Pastorale / Marche Religieuse / Larghuetto / Sarabande / Sonata Eroïca" (Priory : PRCD 382)

John Scott Whiteley (organ)
As you can easily imagine, by referring to the fact that his most famous works were written for organ and orchestra, organ music was Jongen's favorite subject. This CD, entitled the volume two of Jongen's complete organ solo works, follows almost all of Jongen's works for grand organ solo (namely, these CDs seem not completing all works). Here I examplified the second one. The performer, John-Scott Whiteley is a graduate of Royal Colledge of Music in England. Since he won the England organ competition in 1976, he regulary performed throughout England as a church organist. He seems to have a detailed knowledge of Jongen such that he published a book of Jongen in 1997. Although the quality of the recordings is hardly to be praised because of exhaust sound of the organ, these 2 discs provide a precious oppotunity to fill up the catalog of Jongen's organ works.

"Complete Piano Works Volume 1" (Pavane : ADW 7475/6)
Diane Anderson (piano)
As the volume one of them, this disc declares the first time ever to complete Jongen's piano works. It should be one of the most striking fruits of Jongen's anniversal year in 2003. We should notice that the project is heroic attempt because we previously could listen Jongen's piano pieces only by purchasing the excerpted works (which is from Klavier). Luckily, the ability of the performer is confident as well. She has a gentle touch and well-controlled technique of hitting keys equally despite of few small mistakes. Normally, we know the formula that the works by ralatively underrated composers are tend to be performed by relative minor-performers. Then, they are tend to be recorded miserably. Therefore, it is fortune to appreciate Jongen's piano works with this quality in performance. As for the compositions, you can find some effect of impressionism in terms of the usage of whole tones and parallel notes. But the basic flow of tonality won't get out of their shape. Rather than selecting the Debussian manner of deconstructing the tonality, Jongen applied passing notes to 'expand' it. It can be said that his favor was latter romantic rather than impressionistic. In addition, his composition can be characterised regarding the more reliance of hitting chodes (rather than arpeggios) and grace notes to clarify the distinct outlines of every tunes. It seems interesting to find the similarity between the piano works of Jongen and Howard hanson in terms of this tendency.The compositional diction of Hanson' orchestral works resembles Jongen for a considerable extent. His orchestral works are neo-classical and very much colorful in harmony. By now we come to know that there are two manners to enrich the harmony. The former (such as Jongen) intended to overlay chodes like oil paintings, whereas the latter (such as Debussy) tried to mingle least colors together to deepen the nuances like water paintings.

"Piano Music :
Clair de Lune / Soleil a Midi / Sarabande Triste / Angoisse / Giovenzza / Papillons Noirs / Nostalgique / Appassionata / poir Danser / Airs de Fetes / Sonatine / La Neige sur La / Menuet Danse / Rondeau" (Klavier : KCD 11032)

Gary Stegall (piano)
Before the complete piano works project has started (as indicated above) in 2003, this disc provided almost of all oppotunity to listen Jongen's piano works (as far as I know, there was no other CDs devoting only for Jongen's piano works). The performer Mr.Gary Stegall was a professor of Blinn Maoh Conservatory in Pennsilvania. Although his detailed biography cannot be found, he seems to perform organ as well as piano. It can explain some of his initial motivation of planning this recording. Like Le Flem and Maurice Emmanuel in France, modern composers who were good at orchestral works are likely to have written piano works in simple manner. Jongen (who is good at orchestral paintings in full color) is no exception. This disc indicating the characteristics of his piano works are more likely to be described romantic rather than impressionistic. If you love Jongen's gorgeous coloration which can be found in his orchestral works, you may be disappointed in this CD. In other words, this can be accepted wider range of listeners who love Chopin, Faure and so on.

"Sonata in C Minor (Jongen) Poème (Tournemire) Sonata in B Minor (Vierne)" (Talent : DOM 2910 35)
Viviane Spanoghe (vc) André De Groote (p)
Although the present CD published in 1996, entitled French Cello Sonatas, Jongen is strictly a Belgium. Assumingly, the real aim of the selection is 'an modern organist-composers omnibus'. The Jongen's one has opus number 39 and written in 1912. Since we know the fact that he was still in juvenilia period when he had written his second violin sonata in 1909, it is natural for us to hold some imaginary fears toward the quality. However, as the very first theme hit my ears, I immediately come to know that is groundless. Sweet and passionate latter romantistic melodies colored by beautiful impressionistic harmonies demonstrate aloud his maturity with showing something in common with his Deux Pieces, his latter masterpiece, in many ways. This recording is further faborable in terms of the coupling works. Since the work has written in 1908, it seems be the reason why Tournemire's one sounds traditional Franckistic although it also contains little hints of Ravelian coloration and Mussorgskian rhythm. Likewise, it was a little surprise that Vierne's sonata indicate his maturity as a Franckistic-chromatist despite of written date (in 1910) that is a bit earlier days. The selection seems thoughtful, because all of the ones has written in around 1910, and indicate many similarities despite of their organ works sound different. It further gives the unity (feeling of stableness) on an omnibus disc. One more things to be praised is the delightful performance. Although the cello does not holds many prestigous international competition record, her sensory in pitch is tight as well as her tone and emotion is beautiful, although the dynamics seems a little bit weak. The name of the pianist can be seen as the second piano on the composer's Complete piano works recording published from Pavane label in 2006. His adequate accompaniment firmly demonstrates his rich competition records such that he won the Munich, Tchaikovsky, and Elisabeth international piano contests.

"Sonate en Ré Majeur / Sonate en Mi Majeur" (Classic Talent : DOM 2910 57)
Eric Melon (vln) Jean Schils (p)
This CD includes two violin sonatas written in the composer's earlier days. The first sonata was written in 1903 and the latter one was in 1909. The written dates indicate the content in a considerable extent. Needless to say that the neo-classically (sometimes latter-romantistically) rooted tight forms and fully-colored harmonization, are the composer's style of composition in his mature days. Such an determined virtue is rarely be found in these sonatas. Rather than that, these two works can be characterized as typical Belgian romantistic (fairly be Franckistic) sonatas like Ysaye and Lekeu, without hints of modal impressionistic idiom. Therefore, in general, they may taste too bland for many of Jongen-lovers (especially for the person who loves the later years of the composer). In fact the former sonata was dedicated to Ysaye. The performers are colleagues since their student life in Liege Conservatory. Violinist once won a prize on Vieuxtemps competition whereas the pianist won the first prize on J.S. Bach competition. Their performance is better than their international name recognition although the sound tastes fragile for some extent.

"Mass (Jongen) / Prière (Franck) / Two Motets from Cantica ad Laudes Vespertinas (Nuffel) / Entrata Festiva (Peeters)" (Pavane - ETBF : ADW 7242)
Tom Cunningham (cond) Janet Hughes (org) The Brussels Choral Society : Ensemble de Cuivre Luc Capouillez
This CD is precious because it includes Jongen's Missa for the first time in 1990 (until now in early 2004, there is not other recordings of this work, as far as I know). Although Jongen is known for his tight construction in form with colorful orchestration, his missa seemed to choke down such virtues to be devotionalistic so that cantus is emphasized. In consequence, this missa sounds like incondite Faure or Ropartz. This way of composing demonstrates that Jongen may take a page from Franck's (Franck is also included in disc). For many of Jongen fans, this work must sound somberly. Unfortunately, the perofrmers are also hard to be praised without annotating anything in terms of the unity in pitch control. In addition, even if you are trying to listen two extra-minor composers such as Nuffel and Peeters, I have to inform their composition are just rare. In sum, it should be concluded that this CD is just for dilettantes.

"Symphonie en sol mineur (Widor) : Alleluja / Hymne (Jongen) : Concerto (Parker)" (Guild : GMCD 7182)
Franz Hauk (org) Alfredo Ibarra (cond) Philharmonic Ingolstadt
Even though Cypres has published a number of Jongen's orchestral works, this Guild CD still has some value to be specially quoted. Most of all reasons why this disc should be taken some notice are, simply this CD includes two orchestral pieces of Jongen and they have never been recorded in other CDs. In addition, the composition (especially Alleluja) is a masterfully colorated piece. If you are serious fan of Jongen's orchestral works, especially for his skills of harmonic content, you can feel worthy enough to purchase this CD. However, once you take out the scarcity, most of all virture of this CD is gone. It is truly regretable to note the performance fell far short of acceptable quality. It is hard to find any adequate reason why they should be recorded by such an nameless (moreover german-centric) orchestra.

"Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments (Stravinsky) Pièce Symphonique (Jongen) Triptyque Dramatique (De Taeye)" (René Gailly : CD87 066)
Norbert Nozy (cond) Evgueny Moguilevsky (p) Symphonic Band of the Belgian Guides
This disc, performed by an Belgian Monte-Christ, Norbert Nozy and his colleagues consists of rare works of minor modern composers. Very rare Jongen's brass band tune make a climax of this CD. There is a certain reason why they come to think of recording such a rare piece. This work was initially written for piano and orchestra in 1928. Later on, The composer came to be known to the conductor of this symphonic band around the era (his name is Arthur Prevost). Then Jongen asked him to arrange his concerto to brass band symphony. In other words, this is namely an arranged piece . Hence is was composed in 1928, this concerto is different from the one enclosed in Cypres disc (op. 127, performed by Del Pueyo). This pieces can be described as a midiated piece of neo-classisism and impressionism. On the basis of tight nationalistic form (sounds like Tchaikovsky's piano concerto), fully-colored harmonies are served generously. It clearly demostrates this was written in composer's massive era. Other two pieces includes Stravinsky's concerto (sounds like Milhaud's piano concerto representing it is of composer's neo-classical era) and a Trilogy by De Taeye. De Taeye was born in 1898 in Brussel. He was the person who won the Roman Prize in 1927 and was appointed as a professor of harmony in Brussel Conservatory later on. As such biographical background indicates, his work resembles Jongen with effects from eastern european composers such as Martinu or Szymanovski. Performance is sure.

"Deux Pièces en Trio (Jongen) / Trio C-Moll (Lekeu)" (Signum : SIG X54-00)
Clara Wieck Trio : Rumiko Matsuda (p) Claudia Noltensmeyer (vln) Gisela Reith (vc)
This CD enclosed the piano trios of Jongen and, a Belgian ill-starred composer, Lekeu. The performance of this recording should be specially mentioned. It is very much impassioned. As you can easily imagine by the selection of composers, this CD sheds the light on Jongen's romantistic aspect although of hints of impressionism. Assumably, the object of production was to couple and make a contrast with these two Belgian composers. Both of them won the prestigeous Roman Prize (although Lekeu was placed the 2nd), their later life went on to be dramatically different. Jongen remained his home country. The choice enabled him to estate a professor position and made him to establish his influence in musical scene of modern Belgium. On the contrary, Lekeu migrated to France for studying under Franck. The choice had adverse effect on his health. He died too young to establish himself as a famous composer. Moreover, Jongen's compositional diction was changed into neo-classical and impressionistic one, although their starting point seems to be the same. This disc could draw a clear distinction between the two by performing these trios.

(English Trans. 2004 3. 4)