Magazine article Gramophone

Jongen * Lazzari: 'The Romantic Violin Concerto, Vol 18'

Magazine article Gramophone

Jongen * Lazzari: 'The Romantic Violin Concerto, Vol 18'

Article excerpt

Jongen * Lazzari

'The Romantic Violin Concerto, Vol 18'

Jongen Violin Concerto, Op 17. Adagio symphonique, Op 20. Fantasia, Op 12

Lazzari Rapsodie

Philippe Graffin vn Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra / Martyn Brabbins

Hyperion [F] CDA68005 (66' * DDD)

To those of us who know the Belgian composer Joseph Jongen (1873-1953) chiefly though his organ music (the Sonata eroica and the magnificent Symphonie concertante), these three violin works written in his twenties will come as surprises. Strongly tonal and lyrical, Jongen's chief influences seem to be Richard Strauss and Cesar Franck (even if I kept thinking 'Chausson: Poeme' for much of the time; certainly if you like that you'll like the Jongen pieces).

Philippe Graffin begins with the earliest work here, the Fantasia in E major from 1898. It has a gorgeous honeyed melody as its main subject. A better title might have given it wider currency. The more amorphous Adagio symphonique from three years later comes from the same stable, with the soloist flying high over a rich orchestral texture. …

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