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Langgaard: Symphonies No 15 & 16, Etc / Dausgaard, Danish Nso, Et Al


Release Date: 01/27/2009 
Label:  Dacapo   Catalog #: 6220519   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony OrchestraDanish National Vocal EnsembleDanish National Radio Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 2 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.

3261610.az_LANGGAARD_Symphonies_15.html

LANGGAARD Symphonies: No. 15, “The Storm at Sea”; 1,2 No. 16, “Sun Deluge.” Drapa. Sphinx. Hvidbjerg-Drapa. 2 Danmarks Radio. Res absùrda!? 2 Read more class="ARIAL12"> Thomas Dausgaard, cond; Johan Reuter (b bar); 1 Danish Natl SO, Vocal Ens & RCh 2 dacapo 6.220519 (Hybrid multichannel SACD: 61:43)


Thomas Dausgaard’s traversal of Rued Langgaard’s 16 symphonies easily outclasses Ilya Stupel’s earlier survey on Danacord; Dausgaard works with a better orchestra, and draws more consistently committed performances of what can be rather odd music. Dacapo has issued the entire Dausgaard series in a box, but at this writing only a few discs have been issued individually. This is the latest.


People who write about Langgaard’s music often mention his approach to and withdrawal from “modernist” tendencies, but remember that this is a composer who got his start at the beginning of the 20th century, when modernism meant Richard Strauss. There’s nothing on this disc wilder than Strauss, and not even to the extent of, say, Elektra . A few of the early pieces here even evoke Grieg. That’s surely intentional in Drapa , written (prematurely, as it turns out) to mark the death of Edvard Grieg. It’s heartfelt and dramatic, and suggests a Viking burial on a rough sea. Another “drapa” piece (the word refers to an Old Norse form of homage) is Hvidbjerg-Drapa , from near the end of Langgaard’s career, and commemorates the murder of a bishop in 1260. This one, a mere three minutes long, is full of turmoil, and more than hints at the anger and self-pity of the unsuccessful old composer himself. The piece, like everything else on this disc, gets a terrific, forceful performance.


Sphinx is an early, dark, compact tone-painting that might as easily be called Passing Storm , and employs a musical language similar to that of Rachmaninoff’s early tone poems, but without the Russian’s long melodic lines. The little Danmarks Radio fanfare and Res absùrda!? are, in different ways, roiling Straussian pieces. The latter item, which can be translated as “absurdity,” supposedly repeats its 30 bars for chorus and orchestra “so many times that the tempo cannot become faster and more furious.” It holds Dausgaard’s attention for five and a half minutes, but the ending is not substantially faster than the beginning.


The main fare here is Langgaard’s final pair of symphonies. Even the unpredictable Havergal Brian had a more consistent conception of the term “symphony” than did Langgaard, but these two are relatively conventional multi-movement works clocking in at either side of the 20-minute mark. The 16th, titled “Sun Deluge,” is for orchestra only; the 15th, “The Sea Storm,” adds bass-baritone solo and male chorus. These are both explosive late-Romantic works, and No. 16 is, indeed, generally brighter (more sun-drenched) than the music on the rest of this SACD.


The performances are committed, secure, and impassioned, and the audio is also excellent, aside from a slight tendency to turn tubby when the timpani hold forth. It’s all idiosyncratic and melodramatic, which in this case are positive qualities.


FANFARE: James Reel
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Drapa, BVN 20 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra,  Danish National Vocal Ensemble,  Danish National Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; Denmark 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
2.
Sphinx, BVN 37 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra,  Danish National Vocal Ensemble,  Danish National Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909-1913; Denmark 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
3.
Hvidbjerg-Drapa, BVN 343 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra,  Danish National Vocal Ensemble,  Danish National Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; Denmark 
Length: 5 Minutes 35 Secs. 
4.
The Danish National Radio Fanfares, BVN 351 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra,  Danish National Vocal Ensemble,  Danish National Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; Denmark 
Length: 1 Minutes 19 Secs. 
5.
Res absúrda!?, BVN 354 by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra,  Danish National Vocal Ensemble,  Danish National Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; Denmark 
Length: 6 Minutes 41 Secs. 
6.
Symphony no 15, BVN 375 "The Storm at Sea" by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra,  Danish National Vocal Ensemble,  Danish National Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938/1949; Denmark 
Length: 17 Minutes 37 Secs. 
7.
Symphony no 16, BVN 417 "Sun Deluge" by Rued Langgaard
Conductor:  Thomas Dausgaard
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra,  Danish National Vocal Ensemble,  Danish National Radio Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950-1951; Denmark 

Sound Samples

Drapa (On the Death of Edvard Grieg), BVN 20 (1913 final version)
Sfinx (Sphinx), BVN 37 (1913 revised version)
Hvidbjerg-Drapa, BVN 343
Danmarks Radio (Radio Denmark), BVN 351
Res absurda!?, BVN 354
Symphony No. 15, BVN 375, "Sostormen" (The Sea Storm): I. Bevaeget (Moving)
Symphony No. 15, BVN 375, "Sostormen" (The Sea Storm): II. Scherzo
Symphony No. 15, BVN 375, "Sostormen" (The Sea Storm): III. Adagio funebre
Symphony No. 15, BVN 375, "Sostormen" (The Sea Storm): IV. Finale: Allegro molto agitato
Symphony No. 16, BVN 417, "Syndflod af Sol" (Sun Deluge): I. Allegro -
Symphony No. 16, BVN 417, "Syndflod af Sol" (Sun Deluge): II. Scherzo
Symphony No. 16, BVN 417, "Syndflod af Sol" (Sun Deluge): III. Straffedans (Punishment Dance)
Symphony No. 16, BVN 417, "Syndflod af Sol" (Sun Deluge): IV. Elegi (Elegy)
Symphony No. 16, BVN 417, "Syndflod af Sol" (Sun Deluge): V. Finale

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