Joseph Jongen

Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)

Nationality: Belgian
Born: December 14, 1873, Liège Died: July 12, 1953, Sart-lez-Spa (age 79)

Deux pièces en trio, Op. 80

(for flute, harp and cello)
7:27 I. Assez lent
7:20 II. Allegreto moderato - Très modéré - Vif
Duration: 15 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1925 (age 51-52)
3 recordings, 5 videos
autoopen autoplay
Grauwels, Hallynck, Hallynck
I. Assez lent
II. Allegreto moderato - Très modéré - Vif
Ensemble Apræ
I. Assez lent
Ensemble Apræ
II. Allegreto moderato - Très modéré - Vif
From Kai Christiansen

Joseph Jongen (1873-1953)

Deux Pièces en trio for harp, flute and cello, Op. 80

Joseph JongenJoseph Jongen was a musical leading light in early 20th century Belgium. While he is remembered today primarily for his organ music (Sonata eroïca and Symphonie concertante), Jongen was a composer, teacher, organist and pianist who produced a sizeable collection of beautiful chamber works that appear to be unjustly neglected. Awarded numerous prizes for piano, organ and composition, Jongen was an active chamber musician founding the Belgian Piano Quartet with whom he performed throughout Europe. Between his first string quartet of 1892 (when Jongen was 19) and the String Trio of 1948 (when he was 75) lay some forty or more chamber works including, around the middle of the timeline, his two pieces for harp, flute and cello, Op. 80. Jongen wrote them in 1925 for the Quintette Instrumental de Paris.

The two pieces form a pair of contrasts in tempo and mood, the first, slow and atmospheric, the second, fast and vivacious. An Impressionistic style vividly revealing the influence of both Debussy and Ravel pervades both movements particularly though the colors and textures of its novel ensemble for harp, flute and cello. The delicacy of the harp along with the distinctive range and sonority of flute versus the cello creates a rich, transparent texture that is intimate as well as atmospheric and expansive. The first piece fairly hovers with a recurrent, undulating theme mysterious with its modal flavor eluding clear resolution. The second piece moves swiftly with a nimbly galloping perpetual motion sparkling with Spanish dance until encountering a central section of languorous repose featuring the cello. Melodies played in unison by cello and flute create an especially French "silvery" sonority as the pace regains momentum towards a brilliant splash of color and energetic motion at the conclusion.

© Kai Christiansen Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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