> Joseph Jongen - Chamber Music [RB]: Classical CD Reviews- Nov 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Joseph JONGEN (1873-1953)
Concert à Cinq Op. 71 (1923) [22.14]
Sonate-Duo for violin and cello Op. 109 (1938) [13.25]
Danse Lente for flute and harp Op. 56 (1924) [3.26]
Adagio for violin and viola Op. 22 No.1 (1901) [6.25]
Deux Pièces en Trio for f'lute, cello and harp Op. 80 (1925) [14.33]
Ensemble Arpæ
rec March 2002, sint-truiden, academiezal, DDD
CYPRÈS CYP1632 [60.52]



Jongen's music does not represent rough-going. The three movement Quintet is for flute, harp, violin, viola and cello. It shares its sound-world with Ravel's Introduction and Allegro with soloistic roles for harp and flute. The music is unfailingly well turned and melodies tumble out with gracious and meticulously balanced abandon. The outer movements are elysian. The elegiac the central movement is very affecting. Indeed the dewy impressionistic spell and fey playfulness carry over into the Deux Pièces. The Elysian idyll continues with the lovely serenading and filigree of the Danse Lente. Baxians will love this music too and shades of the Nonet, Elegiac Trio, Harp Quintet and First String Quartet are easily heard. The Sonata-Duo is the work of a restive spirit with its language slimmed down from the delights of the 1920s - economical but always tuneful. The Adagio is from Jongenís early years and its preoccupations are with Mozartian models notably K364.

Cyprès provide the usual robust documentation. The disc cover uses a 1921 oil painting: André Hallet's Berthe au bord de la Dyle.

The disc is lovingly recorded by Cyprès and the performances seem polished and pliant. This is music of distilled quintessential light and warmth.

Rob Barnett

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