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Jean Decroos, Danièle Dechenne - Julius Rontgen: Cello Sonatas (2006)

Posted By: tirexiss
Jean Decroos, Danièle Dechenne - Julius Rontgen: Cello Sonatas (2006)

Jean Decroos, Danièle Dechenne - Julius Rontgen: Cello Sonatas (2006)
EAC | FLAC (image+.cue, log) | Covers Included | 52:13 | 254 MB
Genre: Classical | Label: Ars | Catalog: ARS 38439

Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) stands apart from the legions of Brahms imitators and conservative late Romantics for one thing: melody. It seeps from every theme and cadence. Everything I've heard from his pen is overflowing with inventive tunefulness. It is no wonder he enjoyed a close friendship with another great melodist of his day, Edvard Grieg. Röntgen's enormous output includes 14 cello sonatas, many of which were dedicated to and performed by Pablo Casals. These sonatas are a hidden treasure trove of the cello literature, as vital and important as Herzogenberg’s three.
The Cello Sonata No. 10 in C minor (1927) is one of Röntgen’s best: compact, inspired, and deeply moving. Röntgen’s economy of means is astonishing. Each movement is roughly 4 minutes in length, but he packs so much into them. The first movement is lush and expressive with achingly beautiful cello writing and gorgeous climaxes. In the slow movement, Röntgen matches Beethoven’s nobility and expressive depth. The finale has one of the most fetching tunes of Röntgen’s output, answered by the cello with a charming pizzicato melody. Passionate outbursts lead up to a climactic coda worth hearing again.
The Cello Sonata No. 7 in F-sharp minor (1917) is another jewel, brimming with intensity and emotional interest. The first movement features dark-hued cello lines, neo-Baroque melodic construction, constant momentum, and many spurts of drama. His themes are rich and memorable; the tense development section exquisite. In the middle movement, Röntgen goes for a wild and feverish virtuoso piece with rapid flurries, rhythmic snap, and explosive crushing piano chords. By contrast, the finale is warm and sweet, nodding to the cellistic rhetoric and piano writing of Beethoven.
Yet even more exciting and penetrating, the Cello Sonata No. 2 in A minor (1901) looks to Beethoven, sometimes quite literally. Brahms hovers over the first movement, which is heated and turbulent with smoky dark colors and expressive cello lines. In the solemn and ruminating "Adagio," the piano drives the harmonic direction with its progression of chords while the cello supports with counter melodies. Where Röntgen literally borrows from Beethoven is in the spirited finale. The theme is lifted straight from the rondo of Beethoven's Tempest sonata. I have no complaints. Rontgen knows how to craft strong thematic material and he employs the arsenal of an expert melodist, using memorable sequences.
In the previous volume of this series, the sound quality was wholly inadequate. I wondered what was to blame: subpar recording equipment, insufficient mics, or recording the performances in an acoustically-dry concert hall of the Röntgen estate. Regardless, these issues have been redressed in this volume. The recorded sound is balanced and close. None of the poor sound engineering of the previous volume haunts this one. As for the performances, I have only enthusiasm for Jean Decroos and Danièle Dechenne. They are an impressive duo, technically adroit and so impassioned in their playing.
Bottom line: Röntgen’s cello sonatas are minor masterpieces of lush Germanic girth and full-blooded emotional power. If you like Brahms, you’ll wish you had discovered Röntgen sooner. I consider him on the same level as Herzogenberg and in a league above Gernsheim and Jadassohn. Check out his stupendous piano trios, as well.

Jean Decroos, Danièle Dechenne - Julius Rontgen: Cello Sonatas (2006)

Track List:

[01]-[03] Cello Sonata No. 10 in C minor (1927)
[04]-[06] Cello Sonata No. 7 in F sharp minor (1917)
[07]-[10] Cello Sonata No. 2 in A minor, Op. 41 (1901)

Performers:
Jean Decroos (cello)
Danièle Dechenne (piano)

Exact Audio Copy V0.99 prebeta 5 from 4. May 2009

EAC extraction logfile from 20. February 2010, 22:06

Julius Roentgen (1855 - 1932) / Julius Roentgen - Cello Sonatas Vol. 2

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Thanks to the Original ripper (unknown)!

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