Posted by: rbbadger | January 27, 2009

Joseph Jongen, Symphonie Concertante

When one thinks of works for orchestra and organ, the work that most often springs to mind is Charles Camille Saint-Saëns’ magnificent Symphony No. 3, Op. 78.  Commonly known as the “Organ Symphony”, it is an impressive work and one of my favourites.  However, it is not really a solo work for organ with orchestral accompaniament. 

In my opinion, the finest musical work for organ and orchestra is not the Saint-Saëns Symphony, but rather the Symphonie Concertante by the Belgian composer Joseph Jongen (1873-1953).  It is more of a solo work than the above named symphony.  And it is fiendishly difficult, too.

Here is Virgil Fox performing Joseph Jongen’s magnum opus, the Symphonie Concertante for Organ and Orchestra with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, Japan.  I don’t think that Michael Murray, another great organist, takes this, the final movement quite this fast.  Jean Guillou and Eduardo Mata take it a bit quicker than this. 

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Responses

  1. WHEW! Man that was a workout!!! He enjoys it, you can tell! He must have practiced that piece a LOT to be able to do that! Are you working on it?


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