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Dacapo - The National Music Anthology of Denmark

Format:  SACD

Catalogue Number:  6.220576

Barcode:  747313157662

Release Date:  Nov 2013

Period:  Early 20th Century

Review


Rued Langgaard: String Quartets Vol. 2

01 April 2014  BBC Music Magazine
Stephen Johnson
5/5 Stars
PERFORMANCE:  
RECORDING: 

Mixed feelings are virtually guaranteed with any collection of works by the unclassifiable Dane Rued Langgaard. Stylistically these works oscillate between delicate late Romanticism and a kind neoclassicism so innocent that at times it hardly seems to merit the 'neo-'prefix. Only it's soon clear thar this is a composer who doesn't think like anybody else, except perhaps Schumann in his disturbed 'idyllic' vein. Either the course is weirdly unpredictable, or there's no real progress at all, at least not in the European symphonic sense.

The only recently rediscovered Rose Garden Play is exquisite: deliciously teasing one moment, painfully tender the next. (Yes, that really does sound like Schumann.) After this the first two movements of the A flat major Quartet seem studiedly bland, yet in the strangely timeless repetitions of the slow movement and finale we hear distant echoes of the visionary Music of the Spheres. Quartet No. 4 revisits marerial from Rose Garden Play, yet it could almost be reworking by another mind: superficially more demonstrative, yet far less revealing.

As in their first Langgaard disc the Nightingales play this music with an understanding and love that puts competitors in the shade. And it's all beautifully recorded. Recommended - so long as you start with Rose Garden Play!





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