Röntgen: Orchestral Works

Album cover art for upc 761203712021
Label: CPO
Catalog: 777120-2
Format: CD

Porcelijn, David; Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt

This release continues cpo’s extensive and successful Röntgen edition continues with a new symphonic production – and with works once again demonstrating that Röntgen was the most highly imaginative composer in Holland during the second half of the nineteenth century. During the last year of his life the arch-romanticist Röntgen experimented with tonality and composed his “bitonal” Symphony No. 9, which was not published during his lifetime. It remains open to debate whether the symphony is really bitonal, but at least we can say that it plays with bitonality. In the first episode (“Lento e mesto”) the keys are only remotely related. Nowhere do they permit their contributions to be heard simultaneously. Sometimes the bitonality melts like snow in the sun. With every gesture a tonal center is in evidence. Now and again various instrumental groups carefully send on their chords, which have no intention of coming together or getting too close. In his bitonal masterpiece Röntgen has his own, honest, “unmodern” language triumph over what in the end is a somewhat insubstantial play with bitonality. An absolutely rewarding listening experience! The release also includes his Symphony No. 21, a work based on a chromatic, arpeggiated, mainly descending melody of three 6 / 4 measures, and a Serenade performed on only one occasion but praised by the critics above all because of its masterful orchestration.

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