Julius Röntgen (1855-1932, Dutch)

Before I can assess the merits and interest of Dutch composer Julius Röntgen, I’ll have to listen to more of his works than the very Brahmsian and lyrical Fantasy for piano and violin op. 24 of 1882 featured on the 2-CD collection “Aspects of Chamber Music from the Netherlands”, BFO vol. 1 (no barcode), with miscellaneous works of Peter van Anrooy, Henriëte Bosmans, Jan Brandts Buys, Leo Smit, Bernard Wagenaar, Rosy Wertheim and Henri Zagwijn (I’ve reviewed it on Amazon but haven’t yet transferred the review here), his two Ancient Dances from the Netherlands (“Oud-Nederlandse dansen”, op. 46a) Nos 5 & 6 originally recorded by Willem Mengelberg in November 1940 on a Telefunken 78rpm and reissued by Teldec (Willem Mengelberg: Dutch composers (Adrian Valerius, Cornelis Dopper, Julius Röntgen, Hendrik Andriessen, Rudolf Mengelberg, Johan Wagenaar). Teldec 243 723-2 (1988)), which sound like harmonized Renaissance dances or film music that George Auric could have composed in the 1930s or ’40s, or the three a cappella Motets from 1920 and 1929 sung by the Netherlands Chamber Choir on Daniël de Lange: Requiem. Alphons Diepenbrock: Cælestis Urbs Jerusalem. Julius Röntgen: Motetten. Netherlands Chamber Choir, Uwe Gronostay. NM Classics 92039 (1994). They sound like music Max Reger could have composed and aren’t very memorable. On the other hand, the a cappella Requiem of De Lange (1868) which is the disc’s main highlight, is in my opinion an unknown masterpiece.

Comments are welcome