Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Music Webmaster Len Mullenger:

Rued LANGGAARD (1893-1952)
Piano Music
Blumenvignetten (1913)
Stambogsblad (1909)
Sommerferie i Blekinge (1918)
Gitanjali-Hymner (1918)
Flammekamrene (1937)
Smaa Sommerminder (1940)
Piano Sonata No. 3 Minder fra Høstens Tid (1941)
Skyggeliv (1914/1945)
Blomstervignetten (1951)
Peter Froundjian (piano)
rec June 1995, Berlin. DDD

Peter Froundjian's 1995 selection from the shoals of Langgaard piano works overlaps with the same company's Johnsson disc (DACOCD 369) in Smaa Sommerminder (only the Engang movement), Blomstervignetter, Flammekamrene and Skyggeliv representing about half an hour of the playing time. Movements from Gitanjali-Hymner are on both discs: Nos 3 and 9 on Johnsson's and 7 on Froundjian's.

Langgaard remains a disconcerting musical sprite. He can write music of shuddering horror and violence (as in Afgrundsmusik) or glistening tenderness (as in Sinfonia Interna and Sfærernesmusik). At the same time he throws himself, heart and soul, into music that might almost be pastiche-Schumann though he leaves no aftertaste of showmanship or mere cleverness.

Blumenvignetten and Blomstervignetten are the floral overture and peroration to Froundjian's recital. In the first the range is from Macdowell (To a Wild Rose) to the lunar poise of Beethoven and Chopin and Stambogslad is in a related regretful mood. Froundjian's glycerine-soft misty arpeggiation is a joy to hear. Schumann is a constant presence as also in the Smaa Sommerminder: charmers every one; lissom and not outstaying their welcome. Schumann also casts a fluent spell over the five movement Piano Sonata No 3. More than once Langgaard rises to major climactic statements crossing the divide into Rachmaninov territory. In the Ved Hotel movement one quiet chord rings sombrely - heavy with meaning. Both in this movement and the fifth Langgaard shows himself the master of the felicitous fall, of great tenderness and a sense of basking in the light recalling Delian Summer Gardens.

If this disc has a weakness it is in its concentration on the feminine side of Langgaard's muse. The variety, contrast and generosity of the Johnsson disc is to be preferred. Johnsson set down his versions on analogue tape but the sound is very good indeed.

Rob Barnett

If in difficulty by all means contact the UK distributors:

Discovery Records Ltd
phone 01672 563931
fax 01672 563934

or Danacord via their website at


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