One of the most grown-up review sites around

51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
9 cello sonatas
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley n/a
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers


Rued LANGGAARD (1893-1952)
Eight Songs – Emil Rittershaus (1908-13) [33:43]
Fünf Lieder (Five Songs) (1914) [09:57]
Fem erotiske digt (Five Erotic Poems) – Vilhem Krag (1915) [14:00]
Jens Krogsgaard (tenor); Jan Ole Christiansen (piano)
Rec. February 2016 MCH Herning Kongrescenter, Denmark

The Danish composer Rued Langgaard (1893-1952) wrote a vast amount of music. There is one opera, sixteen symphonies, some 35 other orchestral works, 25 pieces of chamber music, 175 organ and piano pieces and a similar number of choral and vocal works. Amongst all this music are 143 songs, most of which were written in Langgaard’s younger days. A number have been lost. A small selection were published during the composer’s lifetime.

The present CD selects three groups of songs. Firstly, there are eight melodies based on words by the German poet Emil Rittershaus (1834-97). The second, ‘Fünf Lieder’ is a song-cycle with texts by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788-1857) and Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) and the final cycle is a setting of five poems by the Norwegian poet, Vilhelm Krag (1871-1933).

The three groups of songs are very different in style. For anyone who loves the music of Wagner, the Rittershaus settings will appeal immediately. There is considerable power in these romantic, often overblown, songs that explore the usual themes of love, death, nature and pain. The complex almost ‘orchestral sounding’ piano parts are counterpoised with long evolving melodies for the soloist. The subject matter of these songs includes a lover’s declaration, watching his mistress asleep, the reflection of the world in her eyes, ‘Death’, ‘Spring Nights’ and ‘Keep Still’ (!).

The Fünf Lieder are quite different in their musical style. The composer often makes use of more regularly constructed melodies with straightforward accompaniments. He has pared down his style allowing the vocal line to dominate the proceedings. The songs deal with ‘Spring Greetings’, ‘Dawn’, ‘What is this Pain Then?’, ‘I know of a Great Garden’ and ‘A Fir Tree.’

The listener should not be carried away with the word ‘erotic’ in the title of the final song cycle. These texts, by Vilhelm Krag, shimmer with nature symbolism, passion and fragrant memories and thoughts. They are in no way explicit. Langgaard has brought a wide range of musical styles to these texts – from simple verse setting, through an almost impressionistic vocal and piano presentation to pure recitative.

I felt that Jens Krogsgaard was sometimes just a touch harsh in some of these songs but overall, he gives a convincing recital. The pianist, Jan Ole Christiansen provides a beautifully stated performance of these varied and often complex accompaniments.

The liner notes include the texts of all the songs in German/Norwegian and English. There is a short note about Rued Langgaard and the usual details of the performers. I could have wished for a bit more detail about the songs, as there is very little written elsewhere.

This is an excellent introduction to Langgaard’s songs. Like much of this composer’s music the listener will be conscious of his eclectic style: the composer picked and chose whatever style best suited the moment. What is not in doubt is the sheer beauty and musical poetry of many of these settings. They will be of huge interest to all lovers Scandinavian songs in particular and ‘lieder’ in general.

John France

Detailed Track Listings:
[1] Für Dich [2:58]
[2] Sie Schläft [4:07]
[3] Die Sonne meines Lebens [2:44]
[4] Das Auge [3:53]
[5] Sterben [6:12]
[6] Frühlingsnacht [8:45]
[7] Halte still [2:36]
[8] Mit Hellen Augen [2:38]

Fünf Lieder
[9] Frühlingsgruss (J. v. Eichendorff) [0:59]
[10] Morgendämmerung (J. v. Eichendorff) [2:45]
[11] Was ist mir denn so wehe? (J. v. Eichendorff) [2:16]
[12] Ich weiss einen grossen Garten (J. v. Eichendorff) [1:05]
[13] Ein Fichtenbaum (H. Heine) [2:52]

Fem erotiske digte (5 Erotic Poems) - Vilhelm Krag
[14] Og atter ser jeg (Once again, I see) [2:05]
[15] Naar du kommer (When you arrive) [2:12]
[16] Lys nat (Bright night) [2:50]
[17] Serenade (Serenade) [3:20]
[18] I de forunderlige, blonde nætter (In the wondrous, blond nights) [3:33]



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger