Benelux & Swiss Symphonies

From the 19th Century to the Present

A Discography Of CDs And LPs
Prepared by Michael Herman
Maintained by Stephen Ellis

Composers A-KComposers L-ZCésar Franck


The smaller nations of the northerly section Western Europe have been dominated politically throughout most of their histories by their larger neighbors. Culturally this has also been true, as the smaller national groups have struggled to maintain their particular identities. No one would argue the fact that in the field of music, France and Germany are the predominant powers in this part of the continent. Still, composers mostly totally unknown outside of their own countries have produced a large body of very worthwhile and distinctive music in Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland over the last two centuries. Of those who are known to the wider world among the composers included in this discography, such as Ernest Bloch, César Franck, Arthur Honegger and Joachim Raff, they left their native countries and achieved fame in the larger cultural universes of France, Germany and the United States. This situation can readily be underlined by the fact that of the 141 composers covered in this work, it is only those 4 composers (and Hermann Goetz) who are even mentioned in the ostensibly comprehensive “A Guide to the Symphony” edited by Robert Layton. Thus, as the title implies, the aim of this discography is to shed some light on a little known musical area by documenting all the recordings of the symphonies written by composers of these 4 countries that have been issued on CDs and LPs.

The composers included in this discography are those born in or who came to live in these countries and wrote symphonies from the beginning of the 19th century to the present that have been recorded. It will be noticed that many composers have more than one country listed in the heading for his or her entry. This reflects the fluidity often seen in the music world where some leave a smaller place in order to create in a larger artistic milieu while others go in the opposite direction often to seek refuge in a less turbulent environment. Unlike the previous discographies in this series, an alphabetical arrangement is utilized here because we are dealing with composers of different nationalities and the idea of educational continuity is less meaningful. A single alphabet is used for the all the composers from the various nations and a composer index is placed first so the reader can immediately go via links to any particular composer.

As in the previous discographies in this series, no attempt has been made to list every release of every recording of each work. There have just been too many reissues, especially from the major labels, to make this feasible for many recordings. Instead, what are listed are the most current issue the author has located and the earliest release (if any on LP or CD) of that particular recording. In general, multi-disc compendium releases are omitted unless they contain a unique recording or the sole modern reissue of a previously released performance.

The entry for each composer consists of two sections. First there is a compact biographical paragraph that notes some essential information such as place of birth, higher musical education (including schools and prominent teachers), subsequent musical careers in addition to composing, details of other symphonies that have not been recorded and selective lists of other works for orchestra. Compositional styles are not discussed in these paragraphs and readers are referred to the bibliography where various reference books that cover this subject are listed. The second part of each composer entry consists of lists of his or her symphonies that have been recorded and the various recordings of each work. Symphony is defined here as any work the composer has designated as such in its title including works called “sinfonia” or “sinfonietta.” The works can be for full orchestra, chamber orchestra, strings, winds, brass or chorus and orchestra. For every symphony that has them, the opus number, key signature and title are noted and the year of composition is stated for all. The entries of the symphonies that have had multiple recordings are listed alphabetically by the conductor’s name. Each listing of a recording consists of the following components (if known): (1) Performers (in this order if all are involved – conductor, soloists, choral group, orchestra), (2) Other works on the recording. (3) Label and catalogue number and year of issue and (4) If the recording is a reissue, the original LP or CD release and its year of issue. Please note that the performers listed are for the entry work and not necessarily for the works that it is coupled with. Also, in most instances when an entry work is included in a large collection (especially if most of the other works are not related to the discography’s subject) the list of couplings is not given but replaced by the title of the collection.

The symphony arrived in our featured countries during the eighteenth century. Composers from France, Italy and, especially, Germany were usually the agents of its introduction. A number of such foreign composers came and settled in this quartet of countries and taught their skills either privately or in music schools. Composers writing symphonies became more and more common as the nineteenth century progressed and by the beginning of the twentieth century hundreds of symphonies (most now forgotten) had been penned in the Benelux countries and Switzerland by a multitude of composers. The dates of some of the symphonies listed below will attest that the symphony is by no means a dead form even in our current century. As mentioned earlier, some world-class symphonists native to these lands are now generally thought of as belonging to the countries they moved to. Yet, a number of their colleagues who stayed behind formed the backbones of their country’s musical culture as composers, conductors and teachers. Through recordings, especially in recent years, more and more of their symphonies are becoming known to the outside world. While this trend is very promising, the negative news is that a lot of these symphonies that were issued in the LP era, especially from Belgium, are no longer available. Hopefully, this situation will improve in the future. Finally, the author has had the good fortune to be able to listen to a number of unrecorded symphonies particularly from Belgium and The Netherlands by means of broadcast tapes and can testify that there are a lot of hidden treasures waiting to be heard by a wider public. So I hope that future revisions of this discography will include world premiere recordings of many great, or at least enjoyable, examples of the symphonic art of these small but very musically productive nations.

The composer paragraphs below include lists of unrecorded symphonies by those already represented but what follows is a brief wish list of such works by composers thus far totally unrecorded:

Karel Albert (1901-1987) Belgium: 4 Symphonies
Flor Alpaerts (1876-1954) Belgium: Lentesymphonie (Spring Symphony)
Gérard Bertouille (1898-1981) Belgium: 3 Symphonies, Symphonie Picturale
Jan Blockx (1851-1912) Belgium: Symphony
Willy Burkhard (1900-1955) Switzerland: 3 Symphonies
Raymond Chevreuille (1901-1976) Belgium: 8 Symphonies
Jef van Durme (1907-1965) Belgium: 6 Symphonies
Jan Felderhof (1907-2005) Netherlands: Symphony, 2 Sinfoniettas
Hans Haug (1900-1967) Switzerland: Symphony
Marinus de Jong (1891-1984) Belgium: 4 Symphonies
Leo Moeremans (1861-1937) Belgium: Flemish Symphony
Lodewijk Mortelmans (1868-1952) Belgium: Homerische Symphonie
Herman Mulder (1894-1989) Netherlands: 15 Symphonies
Robert Oboussier (1900-1957) Switzerland: Symphony
François Rasse (1873-1955) Belgium: 3 Symphonies
Karel de Schrijver (1908-1992) Belgium: 5 Symphonies
Renaat Veremans (1894-1969) Belgium: 3 Symphonies


I have received a lot of help in preparing this discography. First of all, Rob Barnett of MusicWeb helped eliminate a lot of errors by proofreading the entire work. I am very grateful to him as well as to Len Mullenger who has kindly hosted and prepared my Discographies for the MusicWeb International website and has patiently instructed me on the use of a software program that has made it easier for me get my work ready for the internet. Finally, the following people have given me some important information that I could not find on my own and I just want to express my sincere gratitude: Peter Vanderputte, Paul Snook, Hubert Culot, Els van Swol of Muziek Centrum Nederland and Karen Fishman of the U.S. Library of Congress.

Please note that all recordings listed are CDs unless specifically designated as LPs.

Composer List

Absil, Jean (1893-1974) Belgium
d’Alessandro, Raffaele (1911-1959) Switzerland
Andreae, Volkmar (1879-1962) Switzerland
Andriessen, Hendrik (1892-1981) Netherlands
Andriessen, Jurriaan (1925-1996) Netherlands
Andriessen, Louis (1939-2021) Netherlands
Baaren, Kees van (1906-1970) Netherlands
Badings, Henk (1907-1987) Netherlands
Baeyens, August (1895-1966) Belgium
Baiwir, Luc (b. 1958) Belgium
Balissat, Jean (1936-2007) Switzerland
Beck, Conrad (1901-1989) Switzerland
Bergeijk, Gilius van (b. 1946) Netherlands
Bernier, René (1905-1984) Belgium
Biarent, Adolphe (1871-1916) Belgium
Bloch, Ernest (1880-1959) Switzerland (USA)
Blum, Robert (1900-1994) Switzerland
Boeck, August de (1865-1937) Belgium
Boer, Eduard de (b. 1957) Netherlands
Bon, Willem Frederik (1940-1983) Netherlands
Brenta, Gaston (1902-1969) Belgium
Brewaeys, Luc (1959-2015) Belgium
Brun, Fritz (1878-1959) Switzerland
Brusselmans, Michel (1886-1960) Belgium
Bulterijs, Nini (1929-1989) Belgium
Cabus, Peter (1923-2000) Belgium
Celis, Frits (b. 1929) Belgium
Cornell, Klaus (b. 1932) Switzerland
Daetwyler, Jean (1907-1994) Switzerland
Defossez, René (1905-1988) Belgium
Dejoncker, Théo (1894-1964) Belgium
Delden, Lex van (1919-1988) Netherlands
Delnooz, Henri (1942-2023) Netherlands
Delvaux, Albert (1913-2007) Belgium
Devreese, Godfried (1893-1972) Belgium
Diethelm, Caspar (1926-1997) Switzerland
Dijk, Jan van (1918-2016) Netherlands
Domselaer, Jakob van (1890-1960) Netherlands
Dopper, Cornelis (1870-1939) Netherlands
Dubugnon, Richard (b. 1968) Switzerland
Dupuis, Albert (1877-1967) Belgium
Escher, Rudolf (1912-1980) Netherlands
Eycken Ernest van der (1913-2010) Belgium
Feleus, Bouke (b, 1970) Netherlands
Fétis, François-Josef (1784-1871) Belgium
Flury, Richard (1896-1967) Switzerland
Flury, Urs Joseph (b. 1941) Switzerland
Focke, Fré (1910-1989, Netherlands)
Fodor, Carolus Anton (1768-1848) Netherlands
Fortmann, Thomas (b. 1951) Switzerland
Franck, César (1822-1890) Belgium (France)
Franco, Johan (1905-1988) Netherlands (USA)
Frid, Géza (1904-1989) (Hungary) Netherlands
Furer, Arthur (1924-2013) Switzerland
Gagnébin, Henri (1886-1977) Switzerland
Geiser, Walther (1897-1993) Switzerland
Gerber, René (1908-2006) Switzerland
Gilse, Jan van (1881-1944) Netherlands
Glass, Paul (b. 1934) Switzerland
Glaus, Daniel (b. 1957) Switzerland
Glenck, Hermann von (1883-1952) Switzerland
Goetz, Hermann (1840-1876) (Germany) Switzerland
Gossec, Francois-Joseph (1734-1829) Belgium (France)
Grisoni, Renato (1922-2012) (Italy) Switzerland
Groslot, Robert (b. 1951) Switzerland
Guide, Richard de (1909-1962) Belgium
Hamburg, Jeff (b. 1956) (USA) Netherlands
Hemel, Oscar van (1892-1981) (Belgium) Netherlands
Hemmer, René (1919-2019) Luxembourg
Henderickx, Wim (1962-2022) Belgium
Hermann, Robert (1869-1912) Switzerland
Hol, Richard (1825-1904) Netherlands
Honegger, Arthur (1892-1955) Switzerland (France)
Hoof, Jef van (1886-1959) Belgium
Horst, Anthon van der (1899-1965) Netherlands
Hove, Luc van (b. 1957) Belgium
Huber, Hans (1852-1921) Switzerland
Jeths, Willem (b. 1959) Netherlands
Jongen, Joseph (1873-1953) Belgium
Kelterborn, Rudolf (1931-2021) Switzerland
Kersters, Willem (1929-1998) Belgium
Ketting, Otto (1935-2012) Netherlands
Keuris, Tristan (1946-1996) Netherlands
Kletzki, Paul (1900-1973) (Poland) Switzerland
Koetsier, Jan (1911-2006) Netherlands
Kox, Hans (1930-2019) Netherlands
Landré, Guillaume (1905-1968) Netherlands
Lange, Daniel de (1841-1918) Netherlands
Leduc, Jacques (1932-2016) Belgium
Leeuw, Ton de (1926-1996) Netherlands
Legley, Vic (1915-1994) Belgium
Lévy, Ernst (1895-1981) Switzerland (USA)
Lier, Bertus van (1906-1972) Netherlands
Lotichius, Erik (1929-2015) Netherlands
Louel, Jean (1914-2005) Belgium
Maes, Jef (1905-1996) Belgium
Manneke, Daan (b. 1939) Netherlands
Marek, Czeslaw (1891-1985) (Poland) Switzerland
Marez Oyens, Tera de (1932-1996) Netherlands
Martin, Frank (1890-1974) Switzerland
Meester, Louis de (1904-1987) Belgium
Meij, Johan de (b. 1953) Netherlands
Mettraux, Laurent (b.1970) Switzerland
Meulemans, Arthur (1884-1966) Belgium
Middeleer, Jean de (1908-1986) Belgium
Mieg, Peter (1906-1990) Switzerland
Moeschinger, Albert (1897-1985)
Mortelmans, Lodewijk (1868-1952) Belgium
Moulaert, Raymond (1875-1962) Belgium
Mul, Jan (1911-1971) Netherlands
Müller-Zürich, Paul (1898-1993) Switzerland
Munzinger, Eduard (1831-1899) Switzerland
Orthel, Léon (1905-1985) Netherlands
Otterloo, Willem van (1907-1978) Netherlands
Pals, Leopold van der (1884-1966) Switzerland
Perrenoud, Jean-Frédéric (1912-1988) Switzerland
Perrin, Jean (1920-1989) Switzerland
Pijper, Willem (1894-1947) Netherlands
Poelman, Alex (b. 1981) Netherlands
Poot, Marcel (1901-1988) Belgium
Raaf, Robin de (b. 1968) Netherlands
Raff, Joachim (1822-1882) Switzerland (Germany)
Reichel, Bernard (1901-1992) Switzerland
Rogister, Jean (1879-1964) Belgium
Röntgen, Julius (1855-1932) (Germany) Netherlands
Roost, Jan van der (b. 1956) Belgium
Rosseau, Norbert (1907-1975) Belgium
Rossum, Frederik van (b. 1939) Belgium
Rütti, Carl (b. 1949) Switzerland
Ruyneman, Daniel (1886-1963) Netherlands
Ryelandt, Joseph (1870-1965) Belgium
Samuel, Adolphe (1824-1898) Belgium
Schaeuble, Hans (1906-1988) Switzerland
Schat, Peter (1935-2003) Netherlands
Schibler, Armin (1920-1986) Switzerland
Schnyder von Wartensee, Xavier (1786-1868) Switzerland
Schoemaker, Maurice (1890-1964) Belgium
Schweizer, Heinrich (b. 1943) Switzerland
Simons, Marijn (b. 1982) Netherlands
Smit, Leo (1900-1943) Netherlands
Stehman, Jacques (1912-1975) Belgium
Stekke, Léon (1904-1970) Belgium
Sternefeld, Daniel (1905-1986) Belgium
Stoppelenburg, Willem (b. 1943) Netherlands
Straesser, Joep (1934-2004) Netherlands
Stranz, Ulrich (1946-2004) (Germany) Switzerland
Suter, Hermann (1870-1926) Switzerland
Swerts, Piet (b. 1960) Belgium
Trachsel, Thomas (b. 1972)
Uy (Uyttenbrouck), Paul (b. 1932) Belgium
Verbey, Theo (1959-2019) Netherlands
Veress, Sandor (1907-1992) (Hungary) Switzerland
Verhulst, Johannes (1819-1891) Netherlands
Vermeulen, Matthijs (1888-1967) Netherlands
Vibert, Mathieu (1920-1987) Switzerland
Vlijmen, Jan van (1935-2004) Netherlands
Vocht, Lodewijk de (1887-1977) Belgium
Voormolen, Alexander (1895-1980) Netherlands
Wagemans, Peter-Jan (b. 1952) Netherlands
Wagenaar, Bernard (1894-1971) Netherlands (USA)
Wagenaar, Johan (1862-1941) Netherlands
Wehrli, Werner (1892-1944) Switzerland
Welffens, Peter (1924-2003) Belgium
Wengler, Marcel (b. 1946) Luxembourg
Widmer, Ernst (1927-1990, Switzerland (Brazil)
Wilms, Jan Willem (1772-1847) (Germany) Netherlands
Wissmer, Pierre (1915-1992) Switzerland (France)
Woestijne, David van de (1915-1979) Belgium
Zbinden, Julien-François (1917-2021) Switzerland
Zwaag, Wim (b. 1960) Netherlands
Zweers, Bernard (1854-1924) Netherlands