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Julius Röntgen: Symphony No. 3; Suite "Aus Jotunheim" [CD]

Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra , Julius Röntgen , David Porcelijn Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £12.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: David Porcelijn
  • Composer: Julius Röntgen
  • Audio CD (2 Jan 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Cpo
  • ASIN: B000KC83FM
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,503 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 3 in C Minor: I. Allegro molto e passionatoRheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra 9:12Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 3 in C Minor: II. Andante, un poco sostenutoRheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra 7:11£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Symphony No. 3 in C Minor: III. Presto feroceRheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra 5:14£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Symphony No. 3 in C Minor: IV. Largamente - Allegro - LargamenteRheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra11:15Album Only
Listen  5. Aus Jotunheim Suite: I. Lento, ma un poco andanteRheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra 5:35£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Aus Jotunheim Suite: II. Vivo ed energicoRheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra 4:08£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Aus Jotunheim Suite: III. Andante con motoRheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra 2:37£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Aus Jotunheim Suite: IV. Allegro, giocosoRheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra 4:08£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Aus Jotunheim Suite: V. LentoRheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra 8:34Album Only


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
"Röntgen's compositions, published and unpublished, cover the whole range of music in every art form; they all show consummate mastery in every aspect of technique. Even in the most facile there is beauty and wit. Each series of works culminates in something that has the uniqueness of a living masterpiece." -- Sir Donald Francis Tovey

It is a mystery to me why the music of Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) isn't better known and more frequently played. In a lifetime of concert-going I've never heard a single work of his played live. Thank goodness then that the cpo record label is bringing out what appears to be the beginning of a series of recordings of his symphonic music. Röntgen, born in Germany -- his father was concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra -- but long-resident in Holland, wrote perhaps twenty symphonies and a raft of other orchestral music. On the basis of the music recorded here I'd guess there will be an audience for it; certainly David Porcelijn and the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz (based in Ludwigshafen am Rhein) make a convincing case for it.

The Third Symphony in C Minor (1910) is admittedly conservative for its time -- but from the distance of 100 years, what difference should that make? -- and has tints of Brahms, Schumann and even Bruckner but is in Röntgen's unique voice. He is a master orchestrator -- I particularly like his use of woodwinds and subtle brass -- and has a knack for instantly memorable melodies. There is also rhythmic inventiveness. The opening Allegro molto e passionato is Beethovenian in its breadth and urgency. The Andante is serene and lyrical but with an Elgarian tread in the lower strings.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I hesitated a while before I decided to review this disc, the previous reviewer (Scott Morrison) having written, as usual, such an excellent review himself; I felt there wasn't much I could really add but, after becoming more familiar with the CD, I finally decided that the more positive reviews there are of this wonderful music the better. My own responses to the third symphony are I think somewhat similar to the previous reviewer's, though I find less shades of Brahms and other firmly nineteenth century composers in the music than perhaps other commentators have; certainly in its structure and dimensions, it is on the surface a conservative piece for its time, but I think - within a generally Late Romantic frame - Rontgen's sound world is quite modern.

The first movement opens with propulsive energy, and this momentum launches a long and memorable first theme. It is a rugged movement at times and one that has an impressive, almost dogged, persistent quality in its direction. Generally it is dark-hued - in the development section, the tuba produces minatory rasps in the depths of the orchestra - though there is a transitory glimpse of sunlight from around 6'40" in, before the prevailing tone of struggle returns.

The `andante, un poco sostenuto' that follows I find hard to place in its emotional range; certainly there are quixotic elements - the alternations of woodwind and strings in the opening, contrapuntal section display a certain wit but one that doesn't necessarily sound very genial; there are welcome passages of lyrical effulgence - but there is also a latent ominous feeling, something reinforced by the ever-present and sinister tread that carries this movement forward.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All of Röntgen's music is very enjoyable! 14 Oct 2010
Format:Audio CD
If you listen to a CD of Röntgen music (no connection to the X-ray inventor I think) you'll surely get a smile on your face. His music is constantly beautifully crafted, expertly orchestrated, mostly brief and sunny. A symphony from him is not a Mahlerian or Bruckenerian affair but a short sunny experience. Some symphonies go under 10 minutes. It seems he never uses the minor scales (he does by the way) and his models were Mendelssohn and Schumann, but he liked Brahms most. He was very out of fashion the moment he composed his oevre but he didn't care. Who happens to compose a Schumannesque symphony in the 1920s? Röntgen dares! Twelve tone, atonal or dodecaphonic music? Never heard of! Dunno what that is...
His works are never dull because he knows his craft and never stays too long with an idea. On the minus side you could say he never delves deep, stays on the bright side of life, throws ideas in and out, never develops ideas to the bone, and once a work finished never returns to it to rethink it. He reached around 650 opusses and completed 15+ symphonies in the last 2 or 3 years of his life. He was childish and innocent and somehow managed to get his music performed by many Dutch orchestras (source: his biography). He was a craftsman and not a genius. Dutchman Jurjen Vis wrote an excellent biography on Röntgen but I don't know if it's available in English which would be a pity considering the low interest in Röntgen's art in the Netherlands. Again we Dutch need a German classical record label to record works from a Dutch (although he was born in Germany) composer but what the heck, who cares!? Grieg was a personal friend and a great influence on Röntgen and that shows in his songs and the many suites he composed (f.i.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beginning of a Series of Recordings of Röntgen's Orchestral Music? One Hopes So. 27 April 2007
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"Röntgen's compositions, published and unpublished, cover the whole range of music in every art form; they all show consummate mastery in every aspect of technique. Even in the most facile there is beauty and wit. Each series of works culminates in something that has the uniqueness of a living masterpiece." -- Sir Donald Francis Tovey

It is a mystery to me why the music of Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) isn't better known and more frequently played. In a lifetime of concert-going I've never heard a single work of his played live. Thank goodness then that the cpo record label is bringing out what appears to be the beginning of a series of recordings of his symphonic music. Röntgen, born in Germany -- his father was concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra -- but long-resident in Holland, wrote perhaps twenty symphonies and a raft of other orchestral music. On the basis of the music recorded here I'd guess there will be an audience for it; certainly David Porcelijn and the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz (based in Ludwigshafen am Rhein) make a convincing case for it.

The Third Symphony in C Minor (1910) is admittedly conservative for its time -- but from the distance of 100 years, what difference should that make? -- and has tints of Brahms, Schumann and even Bruckner but is in Röntgen's unique voice. He is a master orchestrator -- I particularly like his use of woodwinds and subtle brass -- and has a knack for instantly memorable melodies. There is also rhythmic inventiveness. The opening Allegro molto e passionato is Beethovenian in its breadth and urgency. The Andante is serene and lyrical but with an Elgarian tread in the lower strings. The Scherzo, marked Presto feroce, has the rhythmic insistence of a Bruckner scherzo but does not, like Bruckner, wear out its welcome or convey false bonhomie; it is indeed 'feroce'. The minor-key finale, marked 'Largamente - Allegro - Largamente' has a lengthy, portentous, even hieratic, opening succeeded by an agitated allegro with swirling strings and winds over a chorale-like main theme and with subdued but urgent brass interjections. The symphony ends with a majestic peroration that conveys a sense of hard-won but thorough triumph.

Röntgen and his first wife Amanda were fast friends of Edvard and Nina Grieg and the two couples visited back and forth frequently. Röntgen became fascinated with Norwegian folk music and folk tales. His suite 'Aus Jotúnheim' came out of that fascination. (Jotúnheim, in Norse mythology, was the home of the giants.) Written originally as a violin-piano duo as a present for the Griegs on their twenty-fifth anniversary, it was played for the Griegs by the Röntgens (Amanda was a fine violinist). That same year Röntgen orchestrated the suite. The movements do not have descriptive titles but one hears throughout a Norwegian-ness that does indeed remind one of Grieg's music. The second movement, vivo e energico, has folkdance-like verve. The fourth movement reminds one of the Hardanger fiddle music that infuses much of Grieg's (and Tveitt's) music. The fifth and last movement features a lament for violin (played lusciously here by the orchestra's unnamed Konzertmeister and later echoed by the plangent tones of the English horn) and a quiet, solemn and ineffably beautiful brass chorale. Norway's ethos is present throughout this delightful (and memorable) suite.

Recommended for lovers of late Romantic orchestral music looking for new corners of that genre to investigate.

Scott Morrison
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passes the Robustness Test 8 Oct 2008
By Jeff Dunn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Do you have trouble finding places to put your CDs? I do, and the reason is that I buy many based on good reviews, enjoy listening to them once or twice, but then file them away where they gather dust because they don't generate that magical hankering to hear them over and over.

Not so this Roentgen symphony! I'm really hooked on the first movement, with it's striking principal theme that I've sung in the shower till I'm hoarse. And the second movement: so mysterious!

Roentgen is not original, sounding from time to time like Brahms, Reger, Dvorak, even Tchaikovsky here and there. No matter--nothing is stolen from these gentlemen except style, the music is all new, of the best quality, and written masterfully. Don't you wish they'd discover a new, great symphony of Brahms or Dvorak? No need to hope, just buy this CD. It won't gather dust on your shelves: it's so "robust," that is, continues to provide pleasure hearing after hearing, that you'll wonder why you bought so many of those other one-hearing-wonder CDs.

Also recommended if you can find it: Roentgen's 1930 Symphony.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant music, without a great deal of depth. 26 Mar 2011
By pohjola - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Symphony No 3 on this recording is clearly the more weighty work and is certainly well crafted. It is full of attractive melodies, skillfully managed harmonies, and particularly brilliant bits of orchestration. Probably the most interesting movement for me was the second, slow movement, in which Rontgen maintains a continuous sense of motion and tension as his melody continuously unfolds. If inspiration fails, I would say it is in the central section of the finale, where the perpetual motion seems to become somewhat wooden and mechanical, before the slow, more grand conclusions brings the piece to a dramatic conclusion.

Perhaps it is hard to believe that this music was written in 1910, it sounds as though it could have come from a contemporary of Mendelssohn, except for certain moments of complex harmony or brilliant orchestration. My only disappointment with this music is that it is perhaps too clear and explicit in its form. For example, when listening to a work by Sibelius, I find myself feeling that I am only partially grasping the structure and thematic relationships at the heart of the music. I feel that listening again, I will discover new things that I failed to appreciate the first time. Listening to this music, I have the impression that, yes, "I get it." The sense of depth, of layers of meaning, that I get from really extraordinary music doesn't seem to be there.

Still, a bracing bit of music, and worth hearing. I liked it enough that I am considering other recordings from the series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Rewarding Rontgen 20 Dec 2012
By J. R. Trtek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The reviewer of 04/27/07 summed up this disc in detail far better than I could ever hope to. Let me then largely second his notions and add a couple impressions of my own. The Third Symphony begins with propulsive, swirling music that is nicely orchestrated, that latter quality being one of Rontgen's real talents, along with his ability to compose stirring melodies that actually go somewhere. All those aspects carry this symphony energetically to the very end. The Aus Jotunheim Suite, meanwhile, is an amiable five-movement work -- the reviewer previously mentioned can provide you with all the back story you need. A tuneful journey that I suppose is reminiscent of Grieg, it's a worthy partner to the symphony. So far I've listened to most of the Rontgen releases on CPO, and I'd put this one among my top two, along with the disc that contains the Symphony No. 18 and three other works. Considering dates of composition, Rontgen's output is largely a throwback to an earlier time, but I don't know that that's a bad thing in itself. Certainly, in the case of this composer, the act of looking back turns out to be a very successful enterprise indeed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling start to an important series 16 Dec 2011
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is the inaugural installment in another seminal series from CPO. They have already released several discs, which reveal a composer of unusual skill and fluency as well as a strong melodic gift - and there is plenty left to cover. Röntgen was a staggeringly prolific composer; the output comprises more than 20 symphonies, several of them choral, though some of them are rather short (there is an apparently bitonal symphony among them as well), seven piano concertos, at least three violin and three cello concertos, a double concerto (violin and viola), concertos for string trio and string quartet and orchestra, several other concertante works and many orchestral works (some ten suites, for instance), operas, an almost endless list of choral and vocal works, some nine violin sonatas, three viola sonatas, fourteen cello sonatas, two oboe sonatas, a bassoon sonata (and plenty of other works for solo instrument and piano), at least twelve piano trios, a clarinet trio, two piano quartets, three piano quintets, one quintet for piano and winds, sonatas and suites for solo string instruments and duos, 15 string trios, 18 string quartets, several other chamber works, as well as a huge amount of piano and organ music.

Perhaps the sheer amount of music may have scared off some performers, but it is at least in serious need of reappraisal. It is eminently well-crafted, often memorable, and it has a personal touch to it even if Röntgen doesn't exactly count as a great original. He seems to have aligned himself with the tradition from Mendelssohn and Schumann, but was a friend Grieg, and much (well, at least some) of the music sounds a little like Brahms with a certain folksy harmonic twist to it. The third symphony is a case in point; it is certainly formally traditional, but it is full of great, memorable themes and does indeed sound both fresh and personal. The structures are clear (as is the scoring), and it is a concentrated work that never threatens to meander. Yes, you have heard music resembling it before, but if you have an interest in romantic symphonic music this is certainly a compelling if not life-altering discovery.

Aus Jotunheim is an imaginatively scored suite based on Norwegian folk themes, resembling Grieg in certain respects though admittedly without Grieg's harmonic inventiveness. It is catchy and enjoyable, though for Norwegians the experience may actually be a little hampered by the fact that the tunes are so familiar, and what Röntgen is up to is to a large extent to present them as clearly as possible to an audience that was presumably unfamiliar with them. The performances are colorful and vivid, and the occasional imprecision of ensemble is easily forgiven. The sound quality is good, and this is overall a very compelling first installment in what has and will become a truly important series.
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