Rued Langgaard

Biography

Born: July 28, 1893; Copenhagen, Denmark   Died: 1952; Ribe  
Regarded as an outsider and an oddball during his lifetime, Rued Langgaard spent his entire career at odds with the Danish musical establishment; his last great public success was when the Berlin Philharmonic played his massive Symphony No. 1 when he was 20 years old. Obscurity ensued until about the time of his centennary, when record labels determined to record everything ever written systematically brought his music to a more appreciative Read more international public.

Langgaard received his first musical training from his parents and private teachers. He made his debut as an improvising organist at age 11 in Copenhagen, and four years later he turned heads with an ambitious cantata. During his teens, his parents frequently took him to Berlin; their contacts there led to the Berlin Philharmonic performance of his first symphony. The Germans maintained an interest in the reserved young composer's extroverted music, but the Danes would have none of it. Langgaard launched an attack on the musical establishment as well as on modernism when the Copenhagen Royal Theater rejected his opera Antikrist in 1925. His opposition to the dominant culture, as well as his mystical-symbolist religious tendencies, did nothing to advance his career. Only in 1940 was he able to land a job as an organist in the provincial town of Ribe, a safe distance from Copenhagen culture.

Langgaard wrote more than 400 works; they were Straussian pieces until 1916, but then more along the lines of Nielsen with a hint of Hindemith until 1924. From that second period emerged his fourth and sixth symphonies, Antikrist, and the second and third quartets. The years 1925-1945, oddly, brought a return to Wagnerian Romanticism with such works as Messis (Harvest Time); the music of this time is, to put it mildly, structurally incoherent, yet powerfully expressive. In his final years, Langgaard adopted a desperate, half-mad style even more dependent on collage and fragmentation than his earlier music. It was this music that began to interest avant-garde composers of the 1960s, but the full range of Langgaard's work did not become widely known until the 1990s. Read less

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Works

Rued Langgaard


MOST POPULAR WORKS
I. Antichrist: Prelude
II. At the End of Time -
III. Towards the End of the World -
IV. The Catastrophe
I. Furiously fast - faster
II. Agitatedly fast - slow
I. Like sunbeams on a coffin decorated with sweet smelling flowers -
II. Like the twinkling of stars in the blue sky at sunset -
III. Like light and the depths -
IV. Like the refraction of sunbeams in the waves -
V. Like the twinkling of a pearl of dew in the sun on a beautiful summer's morning -
VI. Longing - Despair - Ecstasy -
VII. Soul of the world - Abyss - All Soul's day -
VIII. I wish ...! -
IX. Chaos - Ruin - Far and near -
X. Flowers wither -
XI. Glimpse of the sum through tears -
XII. Bells pealing: Look! He comes -
XIII. The gospel of flowers - From the far distance -
XIV. The new day -
XV. The end: Antichrist - Christ
I. Braending og Solglimt (Surf and Glimpses of Sun): Maestoso
II. Fjeldblomster (Mountain Flowers): Lento
III. Sagn (Legend): Lento misterioso
IV. Op ad Fjeldet (Mountain Ascent): Marcato - Andante e con espressione - Tempo I
V. Livsmod (Courage): Maestoso allargando
I. Indledningsfanfare (Introductory fanfare)
II. Upaagtede morgenstjerner (Unnoticed morning stars)
III. Marmorkirken ringer (The Marble Church rings)
IV. De traette star op til livet (The tired get up for life)
V. Radio-Caruso og tvangsenergi (Radio-Caruso and forced energy)
VI. 'Farmaend' farer til kontoret ('Dads' rush to the office)
VII. Sol og bøgeskov (Sun and beech forest)
I. Allegro con anima - Lento - Con moto - Tempo primo - Maestoso festivo alla marcia
II. Lento religioso quasi adagio
III. Molto con moto (with soprano solo)
I. Poco animato festivo - Lento (Cadenza) - Animato festivo (Tempo primo) -
II. Grave maestoso - Lento misterioso -
III. Allegro ma non troppo - Piu lento - Vivace
Skovbrus (Rustle in the Forest)
Solstrejf (Glimpse of the Sun)
Allargando
Torden (Thunder)
Piu lento
Allegretto pastorale
Hostligt! (Autumnal!)
Traet! (Tired!)
Fortvivleise (Despair)
Tranquillo
Sempre con moto
Sondag Morgen (Sunday Morning)
Forbi! (At an End)
Sonate: Lento misterioso
Florido
Pesante
Coda: Sonate con variazioni
Andante
Thema - Versione I
Thema - Versione II
Variation 1: Introduzione
Variation 2: Fuga
Variation 3: Toccata
Variation 4: Sonata
Magnificamente
Variation 5: Coda
WORKS
I. Antichrist: Prelude
II. At the End of Time -
III. Towards the End of the World -
IV. The Catastrophe
I. Furiously fast - faster
II. Agitatedly fast - slow
I. Like sunbeams on a coffin decorated with sweet smelling flowers -
II. Like the twinkling of stars in the blue sky at sunset -
III. Like light and the depths -
IV. Like the refraction of sunbeams in the waves -
V. Like the twinkling of a pearl of dew in the sun on a beautiful summer's morning -
VI. Longing - Despair - Ecstasy -
VII. Soul of the world - Abyss - All Soul's day -
VIII. I wish ...! -
IX. Chaos - Ruin - Far and near -
X. Flowers wither -
XI. Glimpse of the sum through tears -
XII. Bells pealing: Look! He comes -
XIII. The gospel of flowers - From the far distance -
XIV. The new day -
XV. The end: Antichrist - Christ
I. Andante ma non troppo - Piu tranquillo
II. Allegretto scherzando - Piu tranquillo - Lento
III. Grave - Allegro - Grave - Allegro - Grave
IV. Sostenuto - [L'istesso tempo] - Piu allargando
I. Bortdragende Stormskyer (Storm Clouds Receding)
II. Bortkorende Tog (Train Passing By)
III. Skumrende Landskab (Landscape in Twilight)
IV. Vandring (The Walk)
I. Poco allegro rapinsoso
II. Presto scherzo artifizioso
III. Tranquillo
I. Andante quasi andantino misterioso
II. Scherzo grazioso
III. Lento misterioso
IV. Lento - Allegro quasi andantino
I. Braending og Solglimt (Surf and Glimpses of Sun): Maestoso
II. Fjeldblomster (Mountain Flowers): Lento
III. Sagn (Legend): Lento misterioso
IV. Op ad Fjeldet (Mountain Ascent): Marcato - Andante e con espressione - Tempo I
V. Livsmod (Courage): Maestoso allargando
I. Indledningsfanfare (Introductory fanfare)
II. Upaagtede morgenstjerner (Unnoticed morning stars)
III. Marmorkirken ringer (The Marble Church rings)
IV. De traette star op til livet (The tired get up for life)
V. Radio-Caruso og tvangsenergi (Radio-Caruso and forced energy)
VI. 'Farmaend' farer til kontoret ('Dads' rush to the office)
VII. Sol og bøgeskov (Sun and beech forest)
I. Allegro con anima - Lento - Con moto - Tempo primo - Maestoso festivo alla marcia
II. Lento religioso quasi adagio
III. Molto con moto (with soprano solo)
I. Poco animato festivo - Lento (Cadenza) - Animato festivo (Tempo primo) -
II. Grave maestoso - Lento misterioso -
III. Allegro ma non troppo - Piu lento - Vivace
Skovbrus (Rustle in the Forest)
Solstrejf (Glimpse of the Sun)
Allargando
Torden (Thunder)
Piu lento
Allegretto pastorale
Hostligt! (Autumnal!)
Traet! (Tired!)
Fortvivleise (Despair)
Tranquillo
Sempre con moto
Sondag Morgen (Sunday Morning)
Forbi! (At an End)
Sonate: Lento misterioso
Florido
Pesante
Coda: Sonate con variazioni
Andante
Thema - Versione I
Thema - Versione II
Variation 1: Introduzione
Variation 2: Fuga
Variation 3: Toccata
Variation 4: Sonata
Magnificamente
Variation 5: Coda
No. 1. Likewords for a summer's day saga
No. 2. A scent of mull and mud
No. 3. A golden flake hovers above
No. 4. The flowering summer was linked to the harvest


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