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Dacapo - The National Music Anthology of Denmark

Format:  SACD

Catalogue Number:  6.200001

Barcode:  0747313300167

Release month:  Jan 2009

Period:  Early 20th Century


Rued Langgaard: The Symphonies

16 January 2009  Classics Today
David Hurwitz


Langgaard was out of his mind. Was he a crazy genius, or just plain crazy? It's hard to say. His 16 symphonies range in length from one hour (No. 1) to slightly more than six minutes (No. 11). There's a concertante work for solo piano, chorus, and orchestra (No. 3), music of Straussian refulgence (No. 6 "The Heaven-Rending"), some quirky faux Mendelssohn (Nos. 8 and 9), and lots of nature poetry (Nos. 2, 4, 5, 15, and 16). Most of the works have fanciful titles, ranging from No. 10 "Yon Hall of Thunder" to the religious mysticism of "Belief in Wonders" (No. 13), to No. 14's individual movements, such as "Dads rush to the office" and "Radio-Caruso and forced energy".

God only knows what all of it means, but one thing is certain: it's all tremendously entertaining and never dull. The individual discs in this set have all been issued previously, most of them welcomed here enthusiastically. Thomas Dausgaard and his team deliver uniformly excellent performances captured in first-rate SACD stereo sonics. The packaging in this boxed set is really classy, with slip-cases that unfold when the top is opened, and a neatly printed booklet with informative notes and translations of the sung texts that stores in its own compartment. It's great to see a national label working so hard and so successfully to preserve its cultural heritage and disseminate it abroad. This project both deserves and will reward your support.

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