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Orchestral Skill

Music by
Julius Röntgen,
recommended by

cpo    cpo 777 308-2

Julius Röntgen: Symphonietta humoristica. © 2008 cpo

I was unaware of how prolific Julius Röntgen was, but after hearing this excellent CD, I am keen on investigating more of his music. These four works are all imbued with some fine melodious music but there are also some excellent structural developments of thematic ideas which are quite reminiscent of Reger.

The short tenth symphony is good to start off with; it has quite an arresting opening motif which develops into fragments that are very high on energy. I particularly enjoyed the central section which is quite arresting in its unusual form.

Listen -- Julius Röntgen: Walzersymphonie
(track 1, 4:57-5:45) © 2008 cpo

The Symphonietta humoristica is also quite arresting with a number of key motifs which are given fine orchestral treatment. The Third Movement of this quasi-symphony is also very upbeat in manner and shows Röntgen's orchestral skill.

Listen -- Julius Röntgen: Allegro non troppo e marcato (Symphonietta humoristica)
(track 4, 1:00-2:18) © 2008 cpo

The Three Preludes and Fugues are reminiscent of Bach's ample works in this genre with Röntgen looking back at the hallowed German tradition. The 2nd Fugue is quite intriguing.

Listen -- Julius Röntgen: Fugue 2 -- Vivace leggiero (Three Preludes and Fugues)
(track 9, 2:00-2:51) © 2008 cpo

Finally, we have Röntgen's treatment of his adopted country in the colorful suite dedicated to 'Oud Nederland'. Here, the composer's love for the country is well described in a number of descriptive orchestral motifs which culminate in a cacophony of boisterous sound. The final movement is a typical case study.

Listen -- Julius Röntgen: Heer Halewijn zong een Liedekijn (Oud-Nederland)
(track 15, 4:33-6:04) © 2008 cpo

CPO provides detailed and eminently readable notes and the recording is exemplary. Those who have been collecting this Röntgen edition will obviously want this CD but newcomers to the genre are also urged to acquire this new recording.

Copyright © 10 November 2008 Gerald Fenech, Gzira, Malta




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