One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from
 

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
Sung texts with English translations enclosed
DANACORD DACOCD771 [57:50]

Rued Langgaard was something of an eccentric in the Danish music community and struggled most of his life to gain acceptance. His musical language was strongly influenced by Wagner and Richard Strauss and his works were more successful abroad. He was a prolific composer, writing sixteen symphonies and almost 150 songs, the latter mainly during his early years. After his death in 1952 his music was more or less forgotten but towards the end of the last century he had something of a renaissance.

The three groups of songs presented here are very different from each other in style and atmosphere. The settings of the eight Emil Rittershaus poems by and large take the form of extended recitatives, elaborate piano accompaniments and long stretches of interludes and postludes. Pianist Jan Ole Christiansen has impressive stamina to be able to manage these often bombastic explosions and darkly threatening excursions into the lowest regions of the instrument. Just listen to the postlude to Das Auge (tr. 4). The music is impressive and so is the playing. Interest is primarily focused on the piano, which is just as well, since Jens Krogsgaard’s voice is heavily taxed by the music and he often has to resort to shouting. In softer music, like Sterben (tr. 5), where he sings mostly at mezzoforte, he is quite effective, but the voice is worn.

The Fünf Lieder, the first four to texts by Eichendorff and the last by Heine, are more melodiously interesting, and Ich weiss einen grossen Garten (tr. 12) is like a hymn.

Krag’s erotic poems are not very erotic, the general emotions are more fascination for the nature. Musically they are simpler and more like airs. The accompaniments are also more relaxed. Sérénade (tr. 17) could be a good starting point for those who want to sample before buying. This a little strophic song that is immediately accessible. The liner-notes give no clues as to why the groups are so different or whether the represent contrasting periods in the composer’s development. It is hard to believe that the Krag songs and the Rittershaus group were composed by the same person.

Those who want to explore Langgaard’s orchestral and chamber music on records will be richly rewarded by what is available in the catalogues and even his Church opera Antichrist has been recorded. His songs, on the other hand, are much rarer birds and we have to be grateful for these 18 examples. I wish though, that the singer had been more up to the mark. In all honesty however it is mainly in the Rittershaus songs that he can be found wanting.

Göran Forsling

Previous reviews: John France ~ Stuart Sillitoe

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]

 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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

Sample: See what you will get

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