Rued Langgaard (1893–1952) was a major Danish late-Romantic composer who did not gain recognition in his mother country. His greatest successes took place in Germany and Austria, where his Symphonies Nos. 2 and 6 were met with considerable acclaim. Back home, he never received that kind of backing and praise. He died a careworn and despairing individual. On this recording with one of the world’s leading orchestras, the tradition-conscious Vienna Philharmonic, one is therefore able to hear Langgaard's music 'return home' to a central European musical culture. At the same time things were going swimmingly for his colleague Jacob Gade (1879–1963) whose ‘Tango Jalousie’ hasRead more become the absolutely most frequently played piece of Danish music for almost a century. The two pieces are juxtaposed here to create a delightful programme.
Oramo and the Vienna Philharmonic [take] on two contrasted works by Rued Langgaard that illuminate this composer in all his stylistic diversity and recklessness. Such an idiom should be in this orchestra’s blood and the VPO do not disappoint – whether in the lyrically effulgent initial movement, with its discreetly modified sonata form, or the lithe finale. A mandatory purchase for its interpretative insights, committed playing and tangibly realistic sound.
Jalousieby Jacob Gade Conductor:
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1925; England Notes: Violin solo: Sakari Oramo.
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Except in his own townSeptember 22, 2018By Dean Frey See All My Reviews"Here's a common problem among artists and Messiahs: "Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.'" - Mark 6:4. Rued Langgaard had not inconsiderable success in Germany and Austria, but his music never caught on at home in Denmark. So it's good to have this very fine disc from Europe's musical heartland, with Sakari Oramo conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, though I hasten to point out that the recording is published by DaCapo, "the Danish national label". So in that sense, Rued, you can go home again. These are beautifully crafted symphonies, full of appealing melodies and interesting side-trips away from the main themes. "Digression is the sunshine of narrative," says Lawrence Stern, and further, Adam Phillips calls it "secular revelation." While you can hear some strains of the Great Dane Carl Nielsen in this music, and somewhat more Sibelius, it's Richard Strauss who comes most to mind, especially in the very fine 2nd Symphony, written in 1912-14. All three of those composers were born in the 1860s, while Langgaard is 30 years younger. It's no surprise that this relatively conservative but very appealing music, more or less untouched by modernism, was such a hit in central Europe before the Great War. A lot of things were different after that conflict, of course, but Rued Langgaard's music kept to a certain path, and his somewhat prickly and difficult temperament kept him on the outs with the musical establishment at home. He set himself up in opposition to Carl Nielsen, but unlike in the great Jack Benny-Fred Allen feud to come, there seemed to be no benefit to either composer. This is really a marketing issue, though, since you can hear Langgaard's 6th Symphony from 1920 as a kind of response to Nielsen's 4th Symphony, written in 1916. The serious nature of this symphony speaks more to Langgaard's musical evolution, though, rather than any polemical agenda, as much as he aggressively promoted one or another for most of his life. Both of these symphonies have moments of transfiguration, in the Richard Strauss tradition, but they're relatively short on light, and nearly devoid of real joy. This is serious music from a dour man, and I can't help comparing Rued Langgaard with a near contemporary prophet who also had problems at home, Heitor Villa-Lobos. In spite of many personal and artistic trials, Villa-Lobos was a true optimist whose music nearly always expresses the same joyful spirit of music itself, which he felt was embodied in, and expressed most perfectly through, Johann Sebastian Bach. Perhaps in response to this dour hour, Sakari Oramo adds a delightful coda: the Tango Jalousie of another Danish composer, Jacob Gade. With their own light music always right at their finger-tips, the Viennese musicians provide us with an up-beat finale to a thoughtful but severe concert."Report Abuse