JULIUS ROENTGEN (1855-1932): Symphonies No. 9 “The Bitonal”, and No. 21 in A Minor, Serenade in E.
Catalogue Number: 04S001
Reference: 777 120-2
Description: Regardless of what their numbers may seem to indicate, these two symphonies were written only 13 months apart in 1930-31 (Roentgen was nothing if not prolific toward the end of his life). Both are single-movement in form, around the same length (17 and 19 minutes) but the Bitonal is episodic in form, only actually bitonal in a couple of places (the title may be tongue-in-cheek reference to musical modernism on the composer’s part) while No. 21 shows Roentgen in earnest mindset, even channeling a bit of his inner Bruckner. On the other hand, the Serenade comes from 1902, before any of his numbered symphonies, and is in the vernally fresh and sunny mood of, say, the young Brahms’ string sextets. Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt; David Porcelijn.