Hyperion Records

Joseph Jongen

born: 14 December 1873
died: 12 July 1953
country: Belgium

Jongen was born in Liège. On the strength of an amazing precocity for music, he was admitted to the Liège Conservatoire at the extraordinarily young age of seven, and there he spent the next sixteen years. The admission board was not disappointed. Jongen won a First Prize for Fugue in 1891, an honors diploma in piano the next year, and another for organ in 1896. In 1897, he won the prestigious Grande Prix de Rome which allowed him to travel to Italy, Germany and France.

He began composing at the age of 13 and immediately exhibited exceptional talent in that field too. By the time he published his Opus 1, he already had dozens of works to his credit. His monumental and massive First String Quartet was composed in 1894 and was submitted for the annual competition for fine arts held by the Royal Academy of Belgium, where it was awarded the top prize by the jury.

In 1902, he returned to his native land, and in the following year he was named a professor of harmony and counterpoint at his old Liège college. With the outbreak of World War I, he and his family moved to England where he founded a piano quartet. When peace returned, he came back to Belgium and was named professor of fugue at the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels. From 1925 until 1929, he served as director of that institution; a quarter of a century after leaving the directorship, he died at Sart-lez-Spa, Belgium.

From his teens to his seventies he composed a great deal, including symphonies, concertos, chamber music (notably a late string trio and three string quartets), and songs, some with piano, others with orchestra. (His list of opus numbers eventually reached 241, but he destroyed a good many pieces.) Today, the only part of his oeuvre performed with any regularity is his output for organ, much of it solo, some of it in combination with other instruments. His Symphonie Concertante of 1926 is a tour de force, considered by many to be among the greatest works ever written for organ and orchestra.

Albums
'Jongen & Peeters: Choral Music' (CDA67603)
Jongen & Peeters: Choral Music
'Concert Pieces for Organ' (CDA66265)
Concert Pieces for Organ
MP3 £3.50FLAC £3.50ALAC £3.50Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66265  Archive Service   Download currently discounted
'Organ Fireworks, Vol. 11' (CDA67577)
Organ Fireworks, Vol. 11
'Peeters & Jongen: Choral Music' (CDA67603)
Peeters & Jongen: Choral Music
'Smörgasbord' (CDA67184)
Smörgasbord
Complete works available for download
Deus Abraham, W150 Peter Morton (tenor), Thomas Gould (violin), Paul Provost (organ)
Habanera, Op 86 Mats Lidström (cello), Bengt Forsberg (piano)
Improvisation-Caprice, Op 37 No 2 Nicolas Kynaston (organ)
Messe en l'honeur du Saint-Sacrement, Op 130 St John's College Choir Cambridge, London City Brass, Paul Provost (organ), David Hill (conductor)
Sonata eroïca, Op 94 Christopher Herrick (organ)
Toccata pour grand orgue in D flat, Op 104 Nicolas Kynaston (organ)
Valse Mats Lidström (cello), Bengt Forsberg (piano)
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
Deus Abraham, W150 (Jongen)
Deux Motets, W71 (Jongen)
Habanera, Op 86 (Jongen)
Improvisation-Caprice, Op 37 No 2 (Jongen)
Messe en l'honeur du Saint-Sacrement, Op 130 (Jongen)
Pie Jesu  No 1 of Deux Motets, W71 (Jongen)
Quid sum miser?  No 1 of Trois Motets, W99 (Jongen)
Sonata eroïca, Op 94 (Jongen)
Toccata pour grand orgue in D flat, Op 104 (Jongen)
Trois Motets, W99 (Jongen)
Valse (Jongen)
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