Julius Röntgen (1855-1932)

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  • Julius Röntgen
  • Röntgen at the age of three years old
  • Julius Röntgen, portrait
  • Drawing of Röntgen in his younger years
  • An older Julius Röntgen
  • Jurjen Vis's Röntgen biography 'Gaudeamus'

'Not the famous one' (Julius Röntgen’s habitual way to introduce himself, referring to his famous uncle, the inventor of the X-ray.)

‘The famous one’ (Edvard Grieg refering to the fact that Julius Röntgen’s rays were penetrating hearts and souls whereas those of the scientist only penetrated flesh and bones.)

‘There is no specific Dutch music. Our composers are influenced either by the German or the French school, but they never created a musical idiom that reflects the Dutch nature in terms of folk elements, as Grieg achieved it in Norway. Of course one cannot achieve this just by cosmetically implementing folk tunes. Yet what is the basis of these traditionals should be the backbone, only then one can achieve a veritable Dutch school of music.’ (Julius Röntgen, ‘Alt-Holländische Volksmusik’, Zeitschrift für Musik, Nr. 92, 1925.)

'His musical intuition, his natural understanding for music’s secrets, his joy in composing and his experience and acquaintance with the greatest composers of his time have formed him into the personality that he is.' (Sem Dresden, Jaarverslag Amsterdams Conservatorium, 1932.)

''Omnipotens Julius Röntgen’: the allmighty, the one who can do anything.’ (S.A.M. Bottenheim, Geschiedenis I, 1948.)

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Julius Röntgen is among the most prominent golden engraved names in the balustrades of the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, next to his world famous colleagues Brahms, Grieg, Franck, Stravinsky and Hindemith, to mention but a few. However, unlike the last names only few among the audience of the Concertgebouw know anything about Röntgen. With a foresight he used to joke about this during his life when he called himself ‘The less famous one’, referring to his famous uncle, the inventor of the X-ray. Although he was born and raised in Leipzig, the Netherlands rank Röntgen among the Dutch composers. In part because his father was Dutch, and then also because he lived in the Netherlands throughout the creative phase of his life, from 1878 onwards. In a life that was so rich and full of success a number of things stand out. To begin with there is his enormous oeuvre of more than 670 compositions, 80% of which is completely unknown today. Following his death, he was dubbed a Brahms epigone and for decades his works were no longer performed. Since the turn of the century this changed, among others because of the efforts of the Austrian CPO cd-label, which took a specific interest in Röntgen and a few other German oriented Dutch composers (among them Jan van Gilse). Röntgen's symphonic oeuvre of 23 symphonies has been recorded for the most important part, along with much of chamber music; even RCA has a Röntgen recording in it’s catalogue. How different is the situation with respect to his large scale vocal works from which, except for the Scenes Aus Goethes Faust from 1931 (CPO) and a few songs, not a note is known other than in manuscript form. Among those forgotten works are no less than three operas, Agnete (1913), De Lachende Cavalier (1919) and Samûm, his last opera was never even performed. One will also look in vain for recordings of excerpts of these operas on cd, vinyl or 78-rpm. Not a note of these was known until 401DutchOperas included some excerpts of Agnete and De Lachende Cavalier in 401Concerts 3 on May 29 2016 in the Kröller-Müller Museum. These excerpts included Rupert’s song ‘Dreigt ook gevaar’ (If danger threatens) from Agnete and the remarkable finale of De Lachende Cavalier. Soprano was Jolien De Gendt, tenor Denzil Delaere, pianist Pieter Dhoore. These recordings are downloadable via the 401Concerts 3 download programme.

Text: René Seghers
Sources: Manuscript scores and libretti of Agnete, De lachende Cavalier, Samûm; newspaper articles regarding Agnete, 1914-1952; Röntgen archives Nederlands Muziek Instituut; newspaper articles regarding De lachende Cavalier, 1914-1942; ‘Alt-Holländische Volksmusik’ in Zeitschrift für Musik, Jg. 92 (1925), blz. 518 (in Zeven Eeuwen Nederlandse Muziek, W. H. Thijsse). Jurjen Vis, Gaudeamus, Het leven van Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) Componist en musicus, 2007, proefschrift; Jurjen Vis, Julius Röntgen, (2007, tekstboek bij Julius Röntgen: Aus Goethes Faust, CPO LC 8492). Ger van den Tang, Cornelis van der Linden en de Nederlandse Opera, Dordrecht 2011, onuitgegeven; Aanvullende info uit de diverse tekstboeken van CPO, de Julius Röntgen stichting, de NM Classics uitgaven etcetera.
Partners: Nederlands Muziek Instituut, Kröller-Müller Museum
Tickets 401Concerts 3 for sale via ticketlink

Julius Engelbert Röntgen (9 May1855, Leipzig – 13 September 1932, Utrecht) was the son of violin player and concertmaster of the Gewandhausorkester Engelbert Röntgen, (1829-1897), himself born in Deventer (The Netherlands) from ‘German’ parents, although the real roots of the Röntgen bloodline goes back to Denmark. Through the Rhineland a Röntgen once landed in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where he founded the shipyard… Feyenoord. Another descendant was an industrialist in Deventer. His son Engelbert attended the Conservatory of Leipzig in 1829, where he eventually succeeded the famous David as concertmaster. Julius German mother Pauline Röntgen-Klengel was a pianist, coming from a family that for generations held important musical posts in Leipzig. Franz Liszt named the Klengels adepts of the Leipzig school, true classicists in the spirit of Mendelssohn and his adepts, which put them in the anti-Wagner camp. Julius grew up in the heart of this musical environment. Under the wings of his grandfather Moritz Klengel and his mother Pauline he quickly emerged as a musical prodigy. At the age of eight, in February 1864, he produced his first compositions. From 1865 until 1873 he took lessons with Moritz Hauptman (1865-68), Louis Plaidy (1868-70), Carl Reinecke (1871-1872) and Ernst Friedrich Richter (1873). Perhaps because Röntgen had so much success at such an early age, he may have developed slower than was then expected. He only discovered this when Franz Lachner tutored him for a few months in 1872, and then the famous singer Julius Stockhausen also pointed out his limitations on the piano to him during tours in 1873 and 1874. Stockhausen also advized the young musician to play less of his own compositions at concerts because people tired of them quickly. Nonetheless his first compositions were published as early as 1871, and at the age of fifteen Röntgen was introduced to Franz Liszt, for whom he played two of his own compositions. In 1874 he was introduced to the 22 years older Johannes Brahms, who would become the prime influence on Röntgen’s style. In 1875 he met Edvard Grieg, with whom he became friends for life.

Just as in the case of the stylistically conservative Jan Brandts Buys who composed deliberately accessible music for very experimental theatrical works, Röntgen also made his musical choices because he believed they were the right way. Although a follower of Brahms, his choices were essentially romantic in believing that a composer should follow his heart. He himself did not feel that he was following Brahms either, he merely had a similar musical heart. When it came to the avant-garde of his day, he felt that they were looking just for effect; that their music was superficial. One should also know at this point that the criticism of Brahms epigonism cannot be employed randomly at his entire output. To begin with there are a lot more influences traceable. From 1890 onwards this is firstly the Russian school of Borodin and Cesare Cui, along with César Franck. From 1900 one can hear also Debussy, Richard Strauss and especially Max Reger in his works. Post 1920 there are subtle influences of Hindemith, Stravinsky, Willem Pijper, Gershwin and even of jazz. Already before 1920 he senses the genius of Schönberg, although it will only be at the end of his life that he will ‘secretly’ experiment with such things as ‘bitonality’ and even atonality.


As a pianist and accompanist of baritone Johannes Messchaert Röntgen enjoyed great fame in Europe from the mid 1870’s onwards. The Messchaert-Röntgen concerts would continue until 1916. Röntgen’s Dutch career started in 1878 when he settled in Amsterdam, where until 1884 he taught at the music school. Shortly after his arrival Röntgen wrote that he saw great options for himself because the Dutch musical world was underdeveloped (see the quote above this article). This belief played a role in his decision to settle permanently in The Netherlands. Judging from his letters he felt himself here like the one-eyed king in the land of the blind. He judged it a piece of cake to create a Dutch national style which, looking at the way this was achieved elsewhere, did not ask for much more than a sauce of Dutch traditional music integrated in a good technical bedding. That was perhaps a correct observation, but Röntgen’s conservative Leipzig background and his roots in Brahms, Grieg & co were too strong to enable him to take on the role of composer of the Dutch nation. His contributions in this respect remained limited to some songs and symphonic poems of limited scope, such as the e Suite ‘Old Dutch Suite’ and ‘Old Dutch Dances, a slightly lightweight work that nonetheless remained his most played composition here for decades.


Julius Röntgen: ‘Oud Nederlandsche dansen’
Koninklijk Concertgebouw orkest o.l.v. Willem Mengelberg, 1950’s.

In his great symphonies he could, however, not suppress his ambition to sound international and relevant, which meant that The Netherlands had no part in those.

Thus also Röntgen’s Dutch biographer Jurjen Vis remembers him foremost as a composer in the sphere of the Brahms of the ‘Second Symphony’ and the serenades, after which Grieg and Franck are most strongly felt. This brought Vis to a beautiful phrase that stated that there was nothing wrong with good, technically skilled, virtuoso epigones who at times could produce some wonderful music. Having mentioned that suggestion it has still to be pointed out that Röntgen’s best works certainly have his own signature, although this is not as easily recognizable or to be defined as it is in those composers that we identify directly with a specific style. Röntgen’s music in general has a melodious character within a classic structure. One might uphold that within the specific bandwidth of a certain idiom he focussed on refining the level of instrumentation, which in most of his symphonies is the true highlight. Röntgen’s works are seldom overpowering or sweeping one of his feet, but they are always very refined and descriptive; they reveal their depths more in the details. One has only to close one’s eyes to see the streams, to hear the wind rustle in the trees, the flowers, the fields, the water, the birds and whatever else inspired the composer.

From Conservatory to Concertgebouw

The success that Röntgen expected to have in the Netherlands certainly was his in his early years in Amsterdam. In 1884 he, MesschaertDaniël de Lange and Frans Coenen founded the Amsterdam Conservatory where he would keep various posts until 1933, from 1924 onwards as director. In 1884 he started directing the Excelsior Choir, likewise founded by himself. In 1886 he succeeded Johannes Verhulst as conductor of the famous 300-heads strong Toonkunst Choir, which caused quite a stir since the critics blamed the directors for choosing a ‘German’ over Dutch candidates such as Willem Kes, Richard HolDaniël de Lange or Henri Viotta.

When people wonder what Röntgen’s name is doing between the golden engraved world famous composers in the balustrades of the Concertgebouw I always point out that his inclusion was based on the early decades of the house, following its opening in 1888. Röntgen had a part in the founding of the Concertgebouw and helped with finding the specialists for its now famous acoustics. With the inauguration of the Concertgebouw a period of performances in Felix Meritis ended, where Röntgen conducted the closure concert on April 13 1888. On April 21 he first appeared with the Toonkunst Choir for the second concert in the Concertgebouw, yet his ambition to become first conductor there was not fulfilled. After Hans von Bülow rejected the offer that was made to him, the management gave preference to first violinist Willem Kes, who was considered more all-round. Nonetheless Röntgen became one of the most prominent figures in the Dutch musical world of those days. With the Toonkunst Choir he frequently appeared in the Concertgebouw. Introductions such as Bach’s ‘Hohe Messe in B Moll’ in 1891 were ground-breaking. Kes also gave him ample opportunity to conduct his own works in the house.



Julius Röntgen: Symfonie Nr. 3 ‘Presto feroce’
Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz o.l.v. David Porcelijn
(2005 CD CPO 777119 -2)

The change in Röntgen’s career came in 1895 when Willem Mengelberg became principle conducor of the Concertgebouw orchestra. Mengelberg as the antipode of Röntgen and after three years his position was strong enough to press for changes. While he had no power over the Toonkunst Choir the fixed choral partner of his orchestra, he resulted to a strategic attack, suggesting to do away with the choir alltogether in favour of a new Concertgebouw Choir. Röntgen understood his position and resigned. With that there also came an end to the performances of Röntgen’s work in the Concertgebouw, which resulted in a great emotional crisis for the composer, who suffered from prolonged depressions until in 1911 he managed to sort things out with Mengelberg. Suddenly Röntgen’s ‘Third Symphony’ and his ‘Second Cello Concerto’ were performed in the house again. 


Julius Röntgen: Celllo Concerto Nr. 2 (Excerpt)
Arturo Muruzabal (cello), Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra o.l.v Henk Schäfer
(2007 CD Etcetera KTC 1329)

Röntgen was also given programs to conduct again, a.o. with works by Nielsen and Grieg. The culmination point of his Concertgebouw activities came at his 75-years jubilee concert in 1930, when Mengelberg conducted an all-Röntgen program with the composer as piano soloist in his ‘Piano Concertos Nr. 6 en 7’.

Scandinavia, The Netherlands, marriages

Röntgen’s Danish roots seem to explain in part his later preference for Scandinavian subjects. The composer spent almost all his summer holidays in Denmark, became friends with Carl Nielsen, Edvard Grieg and the Dane Carl Hartman and his daughter Bodil. From his first marriage with Amanda Maier Röntgen had two sons, Engelbert and Julius Röntgen jr, with whom he later formed a piano trio. Julius jr. completed De Kous (The sock) and Engelbert jr. left the torso of his incomplete opera Der König amusiert sich (The King amuses himself). Amanda Maier passed away in 1894.
RontgeFrantsBeyerGriegFrom Röntgen’s second marriage, that lasted from 1897 until 1932 with Abrahamina des Amorie van der Hoeven, another four sons were born. Three of them also became professional musicians. Röntgen lived in those years in the Van Eeghenstraat in Amsterdam, where he started the day with a bicycle ride through the Vondelpark, before having breakfast following which he started composing. In the afternoon he went to the Conservatory and in the evenings he made music with family, friends and acquaintances. In 1919 Röntgen acquired the Dutch nationality, which was induced by a precarious situation during World War I, when one of his sons was drafted by the Germans, while an other son, who had emigrated to the USA, was fighting on the American side.


The melodious, accessible character of his compositions seems to have destined him for opera, but this was apparently countered by his lack of sense for drama, which limited his dramatic output to four isolated titles. The very first one was a youth work from 1879, Die Enthousiasten, a Lustspiel in drei Akten mit Gesang composed for the silver wedding of Pauline and Engelbert Röntgen. Röntgen was then just 24 years old. It wasn’t until 1906 that he would try himself in opera again, when he completed the instrumentation of the third act of Carl Nielsen’s Maskerade, after Nielsen became pressed for time. It wasn’t until 1913 that he himself composed an opera again, Agnete, a legend in one act on a text by Gonne van Uildriks. This opera was followed by De lachende Cavalier(The Laughing Cavalier) on a libretto by J.D.C. van Dokkum (1919; fragments of De lachende Cavalier and Agnete can be seen in the above video trailer of 401Concerts 3). Finally he composed the one act opera Samûm (1926) on a German translation of August Strindberg’s play. In 1931 Röntgen further surprised with Scenes Aus Goethes Faust, a monumental cantata for soloists and chorus that reminds one in structure of Schumann’s Faust Szenen, while it has also elements of Faustian compositions such as Boïto’s (the prologue in Heaven), Berlioz (the church scene) and the tone poems by Liszt and the Mahler of ‘Alles vergängliche ist nur ein Gleichnis’, which Röntgen remembered in his Chorus mysticus. The Scenes Aus Goethes Faust might actually be counted as ‘opera fragment’, if one would follow modern definitions of what an opera is; certainly it deserves this title more that the youth work from 1979.



‘I do not boast of it. The text that was given to me was the result of a libretto contest [of the Dutch Opera Foundation] and it wasn’t really to my taste… a bit too romantic.’ (Julius Röntgen over Agnete, 1925)

Oddly, the dramatic legend Agnete is Röntgen’s best known opera, even though he himself much preferred his De Lachende Cavalier. Admittedly, the libretto of Agnete seems largely anachronistic by 1912 in its combination of the supernatural powers unleashed upon the opera world by Weber and Marschner, although the Wilhelm Ratcliff subject that has strong reminiscenes with the Agnete plot was much in vogue in the fin de siècle. Agnete combined these haunting and romantic supernatural elements with the compact dramaturgic of Cavalleria rusticana. While Mrs. Van Uildriks may not have succeeded in creating true characters, she did manage to produce a melting pot of established operatic highlights that developed with great speed. Jurjen Vis writes that the opera did little to nothing. He seems to point to the limited number of three performances in January 1914, consecutively in Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam (where the hall was half empty). However, the critics raved about the work that also attracted a lot of press.  This was in part caused by the fact that since the bankruptcy of the Dutch Opera there had been but few new Dutch operas created since the turn of the century. The Dutch Opera Foundation had remained dormant though, and by 1910 they had issued the contest, first for the libretto, then for the composition. Röntgen’s score was unanimously awarded the composition prize from among seven operas (the other composers are unknown, but this means that there must be six more Dutch Agnete operas either hidden or lost, perhaps some even by other than established composers!)

De Lachende Cavalier (1918)


‘I completed a new opera that I really like: De lachende Cavalier (The laughing cavalier), it plays in that time. That opera and my 'Sea beggars' song cycle are the dearest to me.’ (Marie van Itallie-van Embden, ‘Sprekende Portretten. Julius Röntgen’, De Haagsche Post, 25 April 1925)

After Agnete Röntgen contemplated writing an opera in Norwegian dialect, Måltekst, but Nina Grieg made him realize that this was impossible for a non-Norwegian. Thus Röntgen, apparently affected with the opera virus that infected many composers then, eventually turned to De Lachende Cavalier. Röntgen’s original ambition to become Holland’s national composer did not survive very long within his artistic soul. In the end he wasn’t the most suited person for the task and during his life he also saw the arrival of some composer who were more naturally suited to pursue that specific ambition. Among them was Johan Wagenaar, with whom he became friends and whom he would later include in his lectures on great Dutch composers. In Wagenaar he praised the humourist of the ‘parodist operas’ and the composer of the glamorous orchestrations. In July 1912 Röntgen praised Wagenaar extensively for his opera De Doge van Venetië and it not very difficult to see similarities between that opera, essentialy the first modern and true ‘Dutch’ opera, and Röntgen’s De Lachende Cavalier after barones Emmuska Orczy’s novel 'The Laughing Cavalier' from 1913. Orczy’s work was dreamed up wholly from Frans Hals’s painting by the same title, which had fascinated the Brits since it came to England. Röntgen’s song and folk music adaptions aside it is probably in De Lachende Cavalier that his focus on Dutch music best comes to the fore. J.D.C. van Dokkum produced the libretto in 1916. Röntgen completed the opera in 1918 and then discovered like many composers before and after him that composing an opera was a challenge of sorts. In a 1925 interview, with his opera still shelved, Röntgen labelled it his best work. It wasn’t until 1928 though that it was finally heard, albeit not on the stage but… in a radio broadcast world première (perhaps a first in the Netherlands)! The radio premiere came just 10 years too early to have it preserved in a recording. Neither did it boost a staged performance of the work, although the overture became a frequently performed concert piece that Wagenaar himself greatly enjoyed, following a letter to Röntgen from October 9 1931: ‘The compact piece with joyous motives in a short time span, so strong and determined in sound, made me remember how healthy our generation was compared to the ones that came after us.’

Samûm (1926)

The tekst of Röntgen's unperformed operatic drama Samûm in one act (1926) was a German translation of a pitch black piece by the Swedish writer August Strindberg from 1888. The subject is more up to date than ever before in recent history, since the plot revolves around the successful plan of a jihad fighter who uses his Islamic lover to kill the hated Christian enemy, by luring him to his death. The hatred with which he pursues his goal and the ruthlessness employed in forcing his girlfriend to do the dirty work for him is wholly ISIL 2016/2017. As a composition Samûm fascinates both by the subject and the composition date, so late in Röntgen’s life. By then Röntgen had recognized his successor in Willem Pijper who would indeed create one of the greatest Dutch operatic masterpieces with his 1933 opera Halewijn, a mere seven years before Jan van Gilse would bring the race to its apex with Thijl (that wasn’t premiered until 1976). Although a good number of Röntgen’s later works can at times disappoint when measured along the line of progression in music during the first decades of the twentieth century this doesn’t make us less curious after Samûm. With one glance at the libretto we can safely assume that Röntgen experimented in this score, since the expressive libretto is wholly unsuited to his classic-romantic style. In Samûm we expect more of the composer of the stunning bitonal symphony, arguably the best among Röntgen's known works after it was first heard in June 2016!

The action of Samûm takes place in an Arabic grave. Outside the desert wind howls, the Samûm as it is called. Biskra, disguised as the guide Ali, awaits her victim, the French lieutenant Guimard. Forced by her lover Youssef, also her commander, Biskra reveals how she will make Guimard kill himself for she can’t kill him by her own hand, since this will lead to her being exposed as a spy. Once Guimard enters, weakened by the Samûm, he soon falls victim under her spell. Biskra sings a hallucinant song, ‘Biskra-Biskraa, sinoom-sinoom’, which is augmented by Youssef who echoes her words from under the tomb. Guimar hallucinates, which is enhanced by the drugs Biskra feeds him. She makes him believe that his best friend is the lover of his wife and that they killed his son. She shows him a skull and tells him it is his mirror image. With the storm intensifying Guimard dies in fatal visions of fear and despair. Youssef then declares Biskra worthy to bear his children.


RontgenSL3'Gaudeamus (‘Lets rejoyce’) was the motto of Röntgen’s life and with his house 'Gaudeamus' the composer revealed this to the world. In joy and merriness Röntgen was no less than the hero of his opera De Lachende Cavalier , Elbert van Unia, whose credo was: ‘Merriness from the word to the deed. Joy is the road to God. Jubilee! Jubilate! Keep burning through the night the torch of light-heartedness. Courage, happiness and joy in life and work had settled deeply in Röntgen’s personality.' (Jurjen Vis, proefschrift, 2007)

Following his retirement Röntgen lived through a sort of Indian Summer during which he composed no less than 20 symphonies, the opera Samûm, the Szenen aus Goethe’s Faust, three piano concertos, two violin concertos, numerous songs and chamber music. In total he produced over a 100 works in this period. He also experimented more than he had previously done and even tried the genre of film music. From 1921 until 1931 Röntgen even accompanied movies from the piano in Tuschinski with a series of four movies by Dick van der Ven (Spring movie, Summer movie, Harvest movie and South Sea movie).


Julius Röntgen:Faust ‘Chorus Mysticus: Alles Vergangliche ist nur ein Gleichnis’
National Reisopera Chorus, Netherlands Symphony Orchestra o.l.v David Porcelijn (2007 CD CPO 777 311-2)


Julius Röntgen: Symfonie Nr. 5 ‘Der Schnitter Tod’
Marcel Beekman (tenor), Consensus Vocalis (o.l.v. Klaas Stok), Netherlands Symphony Orchestra o.l.v. David Porcelijn.
Musikcentrum, Enschede, Netherlands, 30 June - 4 July 2008 (CD CPO 777 310-2) .

Post 1925 all his compositions were composed in house Gaudeamus in Bilthoven. This villa with its characteristic half round auditorium was designed by his son Frants in a style that mingled the Amsterdam School with strong Scandinavian influences. Gaudeamus became a central point in musical gatherings. Röntgen received his guests there, gave house concerts and gave courses in analytics, a sort of precursor for the activities that later owner Walter Maes and then also the Gaudeamus Foundation organized in the villa. Famous musicians such as Percy Grainger and Pablo Casals visited Röntgen there. Among the things he taught there were revealing topics such as analysis of the works by Hindemith, Stravinsky, Schönberg and Pijper.


Julius Röntgen: Symfonie Nr. 15 ‘Lento’
NDR Radiophilharmonie o.l.v. David Porcelijn
(2009 CPO 777 307-2)

In the summer of 1930 Röntgen also wrote a book on Edvard Grieg. On his 75th birthday he was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Edinburgh. Julius Röntgen passed away on September 13 1932 in Utrecht. In The Times his friend Donald Tovey remembered him as follows: ‘Röntgen’s compositions, published and unpublished, cover the whole range of music in every art form; they all show consummate mastery in every aspect of technique. Even in the most facile there is beauty and wit. Each series of works culminates in something that has the uniqueness of a living masterpiece.’

Post mortum

Following his passing away the villa Gaudeamus was acquired by Walter Maes, a Jew who hid there in the attic during WW II, after which he founded the Gaudeamus Foundation there, aiming to promote Dutch music. This Foundation was centred around the influential Dutch composer and teacher Kees van Baaren. Since the 1950’s it soon became the most important centre in the development of progressive Dutch music. Almost with a wink to Röntgen's bitonal 'Symphony Nr. 9' from 1930 (performed for the first tme in 2016 it proved to be one of his most revealing and fascinating works), it became a place for experiment. Gaudeamus, also known today as the Walter Maes-house, eventually turned the musical world of the Netherlands upside down during the 1960’s and 1970’s, when its circle of composers rose to prominence as the outcome of a musical war with the old school composers. In the auditorium of Gaudeamus one can still see and hear the Julius Blüthner piano 1896, which was played by Röntgen during concerts and while composing.

Download 401Concerts 3 with  Agnete en De Lachende Cavalier

401COnc3Logo150The recording of our third 401DutchOperas concert in the Kröller-Müller Museum is downloadable via 401Concerts 3. Apart from highlights of Julius Röntgen's Agnete and De lachende Cavalier it also includes highlights from Cornelis Dopper's De blinde van Casteel Cuillé, Willem Landré's De roos van Dekama, Daniël de Lange's Lioba, Gerard von Brucken Fock's JozalJan van Gilse's Helga von Stavern, Jan Brandts Buys’ De kleermakers van Marken (Die Schneider von Schönau) and Richard Hageman's Caponsacchi.

Tickets for 401Concerts 3 in the Kröller-Müller Museum

Through the website of the Kröller-Müller Museum tickets for the May 29 2016 concert are available through www.krollermuller.nl/401nederlandseoperas. The concert is part of a special presentation. The price includes catering and a meet & greet with the artists. By attending you support the project of salvaging Dutch operatic history by means of a series of unique live recordings of its highlights. By nature our concerts are singular events, each time with entirely new repertoire, which has to be constructed for handwritten manuscript scores. Ths makes these concerts far more expensive to organize than average concerts that can be taken on tour.

Short discography


1913 Agnete ‘Dreigt ook gevaar’ (20160529 401Concerts 3 downloadDenzil Delaere (ten), Pieter Dhoore (piano)
1918 De lachende Cavalier ‘Slotscène’ (20160529 401Concerts 3 downloadJolien De Gendt (sop), Denzil Delaere (ten), Pieter Dhoore (piano)
1931 Szenen Aus Goethe’s Faust (2007 CPO)


1910 Symphony No. 03 (2007  CPO - David Porcelijn)
1930 Symphony No. 04 (1997 NM Classics)
1926 Symphony No. 05 (2012 CPO - David Porcelijn)
1928 Symphony No. 06 (2012 CPO - David Porcelijn)
1922 Symphonietta Humoristica (CPO DSRP - David Porcelijn)
1928 Symphony No. 08 (CPO - David Porcelijn)
1930 Symphony No. 10 (CPO DSRP - David Porcelijn)
1930 Symphony No. 15 (CPO - David Porcelijn)
1931 Symphony No. 18 (2008 CPO NDR - David Porcelijn)
1931 Symphony No. 19 (2012 CPO - David Porcelijn)

Chamber Music

A. o. Zes Oud-Nederlandse Dansen (Concertgbouworkest – Willem Mengelberg)
Cello Concertos 1-3 (2006 CPO NSO Gregor Horsch - David Porcelijn)
Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 4 (2011 CPO NdR Matthias Kirschnereit - David Porcelijn)
Piano Music Vol. 1 (2015 CD NIMBUS Mark Anderson)
3 Preludes & fugues (CPO DSRP - David Porcelijn)
Een liedje van de zee • Ballade (2008 CPO NDR - David Porcelijn)
Suite ‘Aus Jotunheim’ (2007  CPO - David Porcelijn)


Julius Röntgen: Suite ‘Aus Jotunheim’ - lento
Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz o.l.v. David Porcelijn
(2005 CD CPO 777119 -2)

List of Röntgen's symphonies

No. 1 in G major, op. 48 (Jan.-Feb. 1872)
No. 2 in F minor / A major, op. 67 (Dec. 1874-March 1875, reconstructed Oct.-Dec. 1875 and ever since it’s in A major)
No. 3 in C minor (30 Sep. 1910)
No. 4, Sinfonietta humoristica, (24 Nov. 1922)
No. 5 in A minor, Der Schnitter Tod, (30 May 1926)
No. 6, Rijck God, wie sal ic claghen, (5 Dec. 1928)
No. 7 in F minor, Edinburgh, (11 March 1930)
No. 8 'Jotunheim' in C Sharp minor (8 May 1930)
No. 9, De Bitonale, (8 Sep. 1930)
No. 10a in D major, Walzersymphonie, (17 Sep. 1930)
No. 10b, Spielt auf!, (undated)
No. 11 in G minor, Wirbelsymphony, (4 Oct. 1930)
No. 12 in C major, In Babylone, (9 Oct. 1930)
No. 13 in A minor, Alle eendjes zwemmen in het water, (29 Nov. 1930)
No. 14 in D major, Winterthur, (30 Dec. 1930)
No. 15 in F Sharp minor (27 Feb. 1931)
No. 16, Tempest, (21 Apr. 1931)
No. 17, Wilhelm Meister, (5 May 1931)
No. 18 in A major (28 May 1931)
No. 19, über B.A.C.H., (1 Sep. 1931)
No. 20 in C minor, Prooemion. Mit Schlußchor über Goethe’s Prooemion [Im Namen Dessen der sich selbst erschuf] (19 Sep. 1931)
No. 21 in A minor (26 Sep. 1931)
No. 22 in F Sharp major (22 Oct. 1931)
No. 23 in C minor (18 Jan. 1932)"In Namen der sich selbst erschuf" from 1931 might be lost.
No. 24 in E major (18 April 193