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Rued Langgaard Works for Piano

Gitanjali-Hymner (After Tagore) (1918) *
Fantasi-Sonate (1916) *
Nat paa Sundet (Night on the Sound)(1907) *
Hél-Sfærernes Musik (Music of the Hél-Spheres)(1948) *
Vanvidsfantasi (Insanity Fantasy)(1947/1949)
[* world premiere recordings]
DACAPO CD 8.226025

Langgaard is a famous eccentric with spiritual aspirations which, sadly, led towards mental illness, the latest piece in this collection actually being called Insanity Fantasy.

Berit Tange shows great sensitivity in exploring Langgaard’s music, which is rarely too far from his idol Schumann, with quotes and near quotes, often slightly subverted. Rabindranath Tagore’s mystical poetry inspired the substantial set of ten pieces Gitanjali Hymns. She realises the contradictions in Langgaard’s personality, a mad genius a who evinces nostalgia as well as a strange modernity, arrived at without direct contact with the other streams of contemporary composition at his time.

Recommended to pianists for something unusual but not too remote from the tastes of recital audiences. Very fully documented for newcomers to Langgaard.

© Peter Grahame Woolf