Jongen: Fêtes rouges (The Complete Mélodies, Vol. 2) / Defrise, White

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Joseph Jongen is universally considered one of the major Belgian composers of the 20th century. The 150th anniversary of his birth, celebrated in 2023, is...

Joseph Jongen is universally considered one of the major Belgian composers of the 20th century. The 150th anniversary of his birth, celebrated in 2023, is the occasion for the rediscovery of an oeuvre that remains, for the most part, oddly underrated. Following on Entrevisions (Musique en Wallonie, MEW 1993, 2019), this CD of Fêtes rouges now concludes the first complete recording of his mélodies (art songs) for voice and piano. The mélodie genre occupies a special place within the chamber music repertoire. Numerous composers contemporary with Jongen, both male and female, tried their hand at it, but few succeeded in raising it to emblematic status to stand comparison with Fauré, Debussy or indeed Ravel. In his letters and notebooks Jongen mentions his vocal works only briefly. But listening to the complete corpus of these works, and the stylistic evolution that becomes evident, reveals the enjoyment and obvious care which Jongen brought to each of these miniatures. Carrying on from Entrevisions, the double album of Fêtes rouges offers a musical overview of the composer’s various “periods”: French romanticism, post-Wagnerism and Debussy-ism, and a Jongenian synthesis. Each CD focuses on one of his three great song cycles: opus 25 (Entrevisions, MEW 1993, 2019), here we have opus 29 and opus 57.



Product Description:


  • Release Date: October 06, 2023


  • UPC: 5425008323060


  • Catalog Number: MEW2306


  • Label: Musique en Wallonie


  • Number of Discs: 2


  • Period: 20th Century


  • Composer: Joseph Jongen


  • Performer: Sarah Defrise, Craig White