Jongenian session in Kraków

In December 2013, Anna Dębowska was given a unique opportunity to present the life and music of Joseph Jongen to a respectable audience of almost twenty professors of the Kraków Acadmy of Music. The Jongen session included a live performance of selected compositions, as recorded on Anna's CD, and a discussion of Jongen's composing accomplishments. 

Joseph Jongen (1873-1953) – a pianist, organist, conductor, teacher, but above all else, a composer – is one of the most inspiring and mysterious individuals in the Belgian musical scene at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century. While perusing musicological sources, however, one may get the impression that Jongen takes a peripheral position in the history of classical music and seems to have undeservedly fallen into oblivion, notwithstanding his rich output which covers nearly all the classical music genres. The character of his music is not homogenous. Some of his compositions could be classified as post-romantic: however some of his other pieces display vivid traces of Impressionism or even Modernism. Being a stylistic hybrid, Jongen appears to be a really prolific and versatile composer whose artistic output includes such genres as miniatures, songs, symphonies and operas. Jongen’s life coincided with dynamic and turbulent times, full of social, cultural, and economic changes. At first perceived as a great talent, or even a genius, Jongen gradually fell into obscurity and is now regarded as a minor figure, known only to a few aficionados and experts.


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