Rued Langgaard: String Quartets Vol. 1
19 April 2012
An outsider. An eccentric. You never quite know where you are with Danish composer Rued Langgaard (1893-1952), but his music is fascinating for its mood swings and stylistic unpredictability. In just one movement there can be changes galore and nothing seems to fit, but keep listening and there are many rewards waiting in the wings - 'Landscape in Twilight' (the third movement of String Quartet No 2) is wonderfully beautiful and descreptive, even quite English at times. Otherwise, Bartók and Janácek are sometimes suggested, but really this is the music of a genuine one-off, who carried on writing (creating hundreds of works) regardless of the fact that no-one was taking any notice. Dacapo has been a great champion of Langgaards music, and now starts on the string quartets, with the all-lady Nightingales in command.