Works for Violin and Piano vol. 2

Sonata No 3; Sonata No 4; Short Sonata, etc
Serguei Azizian (vn), Anne Øland (pn)
Da Capo: 8.224217 [66 mins]

Here is a thought provoking and slightly disturbing CD which I welcome warmly. Langgaard (1893-1952) is a Danish 'outsider' with romantic and mystical tendencies, well represented on disc, but rarely encountered in UK concerts; he always has surprises up his sleeve.

For seekers after the unusual, best start with Sonata No 4; five movements, the longest 12 and a half minutes, the shortest a half minute scherzo furioso. Schumann lurks behind most of this music collected here, but this sonata's first movement has some abrupt, 'rhythmically skewed' motifs which enhance its modernist flavour. There are naive simplicities and an inconclusive ending before a slow movement with unexpected tonal directions. The last has some wildness and an underlying religious background to ponder.

The Short Sonata has a lot to say in its four movements of 57 bars in total. No 3 is deceptive, more directly Schumannesque, but anachronistic for 1949, strange in its formal development; euphonious, pleasing music which would delight audiences to, say, the Sunday Morning concerts at London's Wigmore Hall or Blackheath Halls, if the composer's strange name didn't frighten people away. He'd be an apt choice too for the BBC's revival of their Innocent Ear programmes, with composer's name only revealed afterwards, and good for a musical Christmas Quiz, too!

Excellent playing, ideally balanced in this recording from Danmarks Radio Studio, 2001.

See also: LANGGAARD Symphonies Nos 4 & 6; The Music of the Spheres


© Peter Grahame Woolf 2003