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2021-07-25: Babin: songs


Joseph Jongen

Joseph Jongen was born on 14 December 1873 in Liege (Belgium).  He was a musical prodigy and entered the conservatory in 1881 at the age of seven. There he studied under Jean-Theodore Radoux (composition), Charles-Marie Danneels (organ) and Jules Ghymers (piano). At the end of his studies Joseph Jongen received several awards for his exceptional study achievements and in 1897 moreover won the Belgian Prix de Rome for his cantata "Comala".

This scholarship allowed Joseph Jongen to travel through Europe the next four years. A time he used to attend concerts, meet other composers and performers and build a network. He started in Berlin where he met Max Bruch and Richard Strauss. After short visits in Bayreuth and Munich he travelled to Paris and met Gabriel Faure and Vincent d'Indy among many others. In his last year of the scholarship Joseph Jongen went to Rome where he met Florent Schmitt, the winner of the French Prix de Rome in 1900.

In 1902 Joseph Jongen returned to Belgium and first worked as a lecturer at the Schola Musicae in Brussels. In 1911 he was appointed professor for harmony at the conservatory in Liege. During the time of World War I Joseph Jongen moved with his family to London and returned to Belgium in 1919. A year later he was appointed professor for counterpoint at the conservatory in Brussels, a position he held until his retirement in 1939. He also served as the director of this conservatory from 1925.
Beside his work as a professor at a conservatory Joseph Jongen was also successfully active as a performer. He conducted the "Concerts populaires" and "Concerts spirituels" in Brussels and was an outstanding organist.
Joseph Jongen died on 12 July 1953 in Sart-lez-Spa (Belgium).


The work catalogue contains nearly 140 composition with opus numbers and dozens of works without. Among them are a symphony for orchestra and several other orchestral compositions, concertos for violin, piano, cello, harp, trumpet and - most famous - for organ (his "Symphonie concertante, for organ and orchestra"). He also composed 3 string quartets, a string trio, a saxophone quartet, a violin sonata, numerous compositions for piano and for organ as well as works for choir a cappella or with orchestra (like his award winning "Comala, for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra") and many songs.


In my possession are six autograph manuscripts of songs by Joseph Jongen. With the permission of the Jongne family I am allowed to publish these songs here. So you can find below:


1) Vos Yeux
The song was composed in 1895 on words of Charles Le Goffic and later published as a supplement to the Belgian art journal "La Libre Critique". The song has no opus number.

PDF-Dokument [95.9 KB]


2) Sur la Colline
This song was composed in 1902 on words by Helene Vacaresco. The work was later retitled "Chanson roumaine" and is No.4 of the "Six melodies op.25". My manuscript is signed and dated "3 septembre 1902" at the end.

PDF-Dokument [147.9 KB]


3) Paix
The song was composed in 1916 on words by Frans Hellens and was published through "L'Art Belge" in 1931. I have the information that this song is counted op.50.

PDF-Dokument [107.1 KB]


4) Release
The song was composed in 1917 on words by Jean Georges Aubry and was published through "L'Art Belge" in 1923. It is the op.57 No.5 in the work catalogue of Joseph Jongen.

PDF-Dokument [153.1 KB]


5) Entrevisions

The song was composed in 1926 on words by Charles van Lerberghe. It is the op.80A and was published through CeBeDeM in 2003.

PDF-Dokument [103.4 KB]


6) Rouge
The song was composed in 1928 on words by Valbar Valetty. It is the op.85 No.1 and was published by CeBeDeM in 1955.

PDF-Dokument [111.7 KB]


In addition I also own a handwritten copy of the song "Si tu me quittes un jour". It seems that this manuscript is not in the hand of Joseph Jongen, but the song was never published before and so I also present it here:

7) Si tu me quittes un jour

This song was composed in 1928. The authorship of the used poem is unknown, maybe Joseph Jongen wrote it himself. The song is the op.85 No.3.

PDF-Dokument [75.1 KB]


Finally I also own the following scores of songs by Joseph Jongen:


  • Rouge op.85 (1928), another handwritten manuscript, this time probably not an autograph
  • Bal de Fleurs op.25 No.6 (1902), printed score by L'Art Belge A.B. 291
  • Apres un Reve op.25 No.2 (1902), printed score by L'Art Belge A.B. 510
  • Les Cadrans op.45 No.1 (1914), printed score by L'Art Belge A.B. 424
  • Sur la Greve op.57 (1917), printed score by L'Art Belge A.B. 242
  • Les Fetes Rouges op.57 (1917), printed score by CeBeDeM
  • Petite suite pour piano op.75 (1924), printed score by L'Art Belge A.B. 466
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