Langgaard: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 6; Symphony No. 10; Symphony No. 14; Music of the Spheres

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Langgaard
LABELS: Danacord
WORKS: Symphony No. 4; Symphony No. 6; Symphony No. 10; Symphony No. 14; Music of the Spheres
PERFORMER: Edith Guillaume (soprano); Danish National RSO & Choir/Michael Schønwandt, John Frandsen, Ole Schmidt, Peter Weis
CATALOGUE NO: DACOCD 560 ADD Reissue (1977-81)
The Danish composer Rued Langgaard (a younger contemporary of Nielsen) was bizarrely inconsistent, but at his best he could be as visionary and original as Ives or Tippett. That quality emerges in parts of the Tenth and 14th symphonies (sometimes alongside music which is mystifyingly bland), and is sustained compellingly in the Fourth and Sixth, and above all in the extraordinary Music of the Spheres, of which György Ligeti – one of the most original composers of our time – remarked, ‘So after all I’m only a follower of Langgaard’. The performances can occasionally be a bit rough at the edges (not surprising in such difficult, unfamiliar music) but the conviction shines through. Stephen Johnson

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