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LANGGAARD: Rose Garden Songs

3 Songs
No. 1. Lokkende Toner (Enchanting Music) - 05:39
No. 2. Saeterjenten (Dairymaid) - 03:12
No. 3. Hostfuglen (Harvest Bird) - 09:21

Rosengaardsviser (Rose Garden Songs)
No. 1. Vel maa jeg kysse dig, hjertensker (Surely I May Kiss You, My Darling) - 03:02
No. 2. Bag muren sidde de roser sma (Behind The Wall Stand The Little Roses) - 05:36
No. 3. Traet (Tired) - 02:03

plus 16 motets and hymn melodies

dacapo 6.220561

This is a curious case. Rued Langgaard (1883-1952; the spelling of his name is a first stumbling block) was a prolific composer, but a famous outsider and misfit and not the first composer to lack marketing skills. It seems he was born at the wrong time and in the wrong country. We have come across recordings of his music from time to time, though never heard any live in UK, and always enjoyed them.

This re-release (previously avilable as ca capo 8.224058) begins with some of the most ravishing vocal ensemble singing I have heard for a long time, and it was really beautifully recorded in a Copenhagen church in 1997. Apparently it has been revivified for SACD; about that, I cannot say.

The first six songs are in main gloomy delights, ofen celebrating the descent of the cold, long winter after brief summers. The longest one tells us that "It's as if sorrow wishes to make one happy, as if one's melancholy has to smile...". Definitely songs for vocal ensembles and choirs to look into, and I shall try to explore the many other recordings of Ars Nova Copenhagen.

The trouble is that the remaining tracks are really boring. So maybe the answer is to purchase those first six in .mp3 format on line; check out Napster, but I fear you won't find there (or on the da capo website ?) the essential texts and translations. With the disc, these are provided in full on tough thin paper, which we have often applauded for facilitating good presentation (here forty pages) fitting comfortably into a plastic jewel case.


Links: http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.224058

Ars Nova Copenhagen http://www.arsnova.dk/en/folk/sangere