How many minor late Romantic symphonies are there? Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands? And do they all merit recordings? More specifically, does the Symphony No. 3 in C minor from 1910 by German-born Dutch composer Julius Röntgen deserve a recording? Who can say? Are its rhetorical gestures, its monumental scoring, its pounding rhythms, and its muscular counterpoint worth reviving? Does Röntgen have the talent to invent striking themes and cogent harmonies plus the skill to hold together a half-hour long, four movement orchestral work through thematic transformation and harmonic modulations? These are questions that can only be answered by listening. Certainly, David Porcelijn and the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz give Röntgen's Third every chance for success with a strong and confident performance. Surely, coupling the Third with Röntgen's lighter, slighter, and altogether more lyrical five-movement Suite Aus Jotunheim from 1892 presents the work with a truly charming discmate. And absolutely producer Günter Appenheimer grants Röntgen, Porcelijn, and the Staatsphilharmonie big, deep, and clear sound. Whether the result deserves a place on the shelf is up to the listener.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Symphony No. 3 in C minor|
|Aus Jotunheim, suite for orchestra|