Jan van Gilse (1881-1944)
Symphonie Nr. 3
CPO 777518-2

Aile Asszonyi (Sopran)
SO Netherland
David Porcelijn (Leitung)
New Music by Jan van Gilse We are now at last releasing a second CD with a symphony by the Dutch composer Jan van Gilse. Our first release featuring his Symphonies Nos. 1 & (cpo 777 349-2) immediately revealed this composer’s personal style and emotional depth. Van Gilse was not at all a musical innovator but stood firmly on the foundations of tonal late romanticism and wrote music of dazzling beauty. This is ecstatic, romantic, and beautiful orchestral music with pathos, drama, and passion. After he had completed his studies with Humperdinck at the Academic Master School in 1905, van Gilse moved from Berlin to Bremen in order to begin his career as a conductor and répétiteur at the local theater. Presumably inspired by Richard Wagner’s operas, which were performed many times at the Bremen Theater, in May 1906 he began composing his third symphony as a work of large scope with soprano solos from the Song of Songs in its third and fifth movements. In 1907 he completed the symphony, which was entitled »Erhebung.« The premiere of his Symphony No. 3 was held in Munich on 2 June 1908 during the forty-fourth festival of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein. Its Dutch first performance was then held in Amsterdam on 4 March 1909. It was not Willem Mengelberg but Jan van Gilse himself who conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Unfortunately, during van Gilse’s lifetime his third symphony was performed a total of merely seven times. Since Kistner had declined to publish it at the time, the symphony could not be disseminated throughout the world. But now we might just change that!