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Rued Langgaard: Rose Garden Songs / Tamas Veto


Release Date: 08/25/2009 
Label:  Dacapo   Catalog #: 6220561   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

3341720.az_LANGGAARD_Choral_Rose_Garden.html

LANGGAARD Choral songs with secular texts. Rose Garden Songs . Motets and hymn melodies Tamás Vetö, cond; Ars Nova Copenhagen dacapo 6.220561 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 64:31 Text and Translation)
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This program of choral songs by the eccentric Danish composer Rued Langgaard was originally released as a CD by marco polo in 1997 when dacapo’s catalog was being issued here on that label. The collection of 22 a cappella choral works was warmly received by Henry Fogel in Fanfare 21:3. It is now reissued on the dacapo label—again distributed by Naxos—in SACD.


Fogel found the works “restrained, deeply felt, and inventive” and the performances “stunning.” I could not agree more. I was less than enthusiastic about this composer’s symphonies when recently reviewing the dacapo set of Dausgaard performances, finding many of them self-indulgent, derivative, lacking in consistent invention, and deficient in coherent formal structure. None of these criticisms apply to the moving and beautifully crafted works here. Clearly, the predominantly tranquil texts that Langgaard set—full of images of nature and tenderness on the one hand and religious devotion on the other—or the very different compositional demands of choral writing (or likely both) allowed him to mine a vein of lyricism, gentle longing, devotion, and nostalgic regret that is only apparent sporadically in his symphonic output.


As my esteemed colleague also points out, there is a sense of both the old and the new in these works, drawing, as they do, on centuries of choral tradition. It is an effect not unlike that found in the choral works of Vaughan Williams—though the sound and style itself is quite different—with the old-fashioned quality of the works genially complemented by modern harmony and expressiveness. Actually, these songs bring to mind Brahms’s folk-inspired choral works at times, with an occasional harmonic twist as reminder that these are works of the 20th century. This is particularly true of the later sacred works, more traditional pieces that one can imagine were written with his South Jutland cathedral choir in mind.


The 12-member Ars Nova Copenhagen, formed by master conductor-composer and early music specialist Bo Holten in 1979, is one of the premier a capella ensembles, interpretively sensitive and flawless in ensemble and intonation. From 1996–2002, the group’s principal conductor was Hungarian conductor Tamás Vetö, a leading light in the Danish new music scene. Judging from this recording at least, made relatively early in the collaboration, it was an artistically fruitful match. These performances could not be more agreeable, either interpretively or technically. Those who own the original release will want to know if the remastering justifies a new expenditure. The CD layer on the new release has marginally more space around the choir. The SACD layers recreate the church venue even more convincingly—a definite improvement for those with the equipment to enjoy it. Admirers of great a cappella singing who don’t own these performances are urged to make their acquaintance.


FANFARE: Ronald E. Grames
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Works on This Recording

1.
Songs (3) by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
2.
Rose Garden Songs (3), BVN 164 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; Denmark 
3.
O, thank God the road leads homewards, BVN 65 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
4.
When, one day in distant future, BVN 90 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
5.
O that thou wouldst rend the heavens, BVN 310 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
6.
Hymn, BVN 295 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
7.
The great master is coming, BVN 240 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
8.
Death is the last enemy, BVN 239-40 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
9.
When it thunders from the cloud of darkness, BVN 423 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
10.
Be exalted, O god, BVN 294 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
11.
For a thousand years the Church of Christ, BVN 345 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
12.
In the morning, BVN 428 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
13.
In memoriam Ansgarius, BVN 286 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
14.
Rise, ye Christians, prepare for war!, BVN 290 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
15.
When life's pilgrimage, BVN 323 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
16.
The most excellent road, BVN 390 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Tamás Vetö
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 

Sound Samples

3 Songs: No. 1. Lokkende Toner (Enchanting Music)
3 Songs: No. 2. Saeterjenten (Dairymaid)
3 Songs: No. 3. Hostfuglen (Harvest Bird)
Rosengaardsviser (Rose Garden Songs): No. 1. Vel maa jeg kysse dig, hjertensker (Surely I May Kiss You, My Darling)
Rosengaardsviser (Rose Garden Songs): No. 2. Bag muren sidde de roser sma (Behind The Wall Stand The Little Roses)
Rosengaardsviser (Rose Garden Songs): No. 3. Traet (Tired)
O, Gud ske lov; dev hjermad gar (O, thank God the road leads homewards), BVN65
Nar engang I fjerne tider (When, one day in distant future), BVN90
Gid du ville sonderrive (O that thou wouldst rend the heavens), BVN310
Hymne (Hymn), BVN295
Den stor mester kommer (The great master is coming), BVN240
Doden er den sidste fjende (Death is the last enemy), BVN239-40
Tordner der fra morkets sky (When it thunders from the cloud of darkness), BVN423
Ophoj dig, Gud (Be exalted, O god), BVN294
Tusind ar stod Kristi kirke (For a thousand years the Church of Christ), BVN345
Den stor mester kommer (The great master is coming), BVN240
I morgenen (In the morning), BVN428
In memoriam Ansgarius (In memoriam Ansgarius), BVN286
Op, I kristne, ruster eder (Rise, ye Christians, prepare for war!), BVN290
Doden er den sidste fjende (Death is the last enemy), BVN239-40
Nar livets pilgrimsvandring gar pa haeld (When life's pilgrimage), BVN323
Den ypperligste vej (The most excellent road), BVN390

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