Author Topic: Langgaard's Lyre  (Read 46188 times)

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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Langgaard's Lair
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2009, 05:16:17 AM »
The score of Music of the Spheres is available on IMSLP at

http://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Langgaard%2C_Rud_Immanuel

Thanks for this notification! When I checked last month, the pdf couldn't yet be downloaded.
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karlhenning

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Re: Langgaard's Lair
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2009, 06:38:06 AM »

karlhenning

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2009, 06:39:12 AM »
Decided the thread title should be lyrical rather than lair-like.

Offline Dax

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Re: Langgaard's Lair
« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2009, 07:45:46 AM »
Thanks for this notification! When I checked last month, the pdf couldn't yet be downloaded.

If you print it out, try just the first page of the score for starters at 80% size to check that the whole page fits on A4.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2009, 07:45:50 AM »
Decided the thread title should be lyrical rather than lair-like.

Yes, it's a real improvement, more in Langgaard's spirit.  :)
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #45 on: February 11, 2009, 08:04:15 AM »
Bragging time: I have long been a fan and supporter of this much neglected but talented composer - maybe you find more about him and me in the old forum file  0:) - but please to not overlook some of his other work like the whimsical and entertaining Insectarium piano piece. I think the disc is still available and contains six piano works.

Of course there is his opera Antichrist, which has been discussed at length in the old forum also. I still don't understand it, but the music is beautiful!  :)

Brünnhilde forever

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2009, 08:13:19 AM »

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2009, 08:48:38 AM »
Bragging time: I have long been a fan and supporter of this much neglected but talented composer - maybe you find more about him and me in the old forum file  0:) - but please to not overlook some of his other work like the whimsical and entertaining Insectarium piano piece. I think the disc is still available and contains six piano works.

Of course there is his opera Antichrist, which has been discussed at length in the old forum also. I still don't understand it, but the music is beautiful!  :)

Hojotoho, Brünnhild! I applaud your advocacy of L.'s piano music. Yes, you can overlook it. I have downloaded quite a lot of piano pieces from emusic with the most wonderfully evocative names (the man had a genius for titles), like Flame Chambers, Shadow LifeMadness Fantasy and Music of the Abyss... And don't forget that enormous organ work Messis (2 hours long)!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

karlhenning

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2009, 08:54:07 AM »
... And don't forget that enormous organ work Messis (2 hours long)!

Alas! I had forgotten it!  And I very much enjoy the disc I have of shorter organ pieces.

Offline Dax

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2009, 09:04:55 AM »
the whimsical and entertaining Insectarium piano piece

. . . or set of pieces. He probably achieved a first in knocking the piano in Death watch beetle (geddit?). Unless anyone knows an earlier example?

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2009, 09:19:37 AM »
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #51 on: February 11, 2009, 02:16:31 PM »
Why don't I warm to Langgaard? :( :(

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #52 on: May 01, 2009, 05:20:19 AM »
I have a question which may seem kind of silly:

From looking over his cycle and its milestones, Langgaard invites comparison to Havergal Brian. Beginning with a precocious and enormous first symphony, they both honed and refined their style down to the barest of essentials (sometimes outright micro-symphonies). Both were completely ignored during their later careers, and seemingly willfully inaccessable at times in their compositional process. But from the samples I have heard so far, Langgaard seems also to have retained far more Romanticism than Brian. If Brian's 1st was an evolution from Mahler, and then a plunge into outright modernism (if still through tonal means), Langgaard appears to have refined his Straussian influences after the 1st, but perhaps doesn't go as far? What would be the key differences between the two, or are there more apt composers to compare him to?

I ask because I am considering the DaCapo box, but having never heard a full Langgaard symphony, it would be a risky purchase - but one that I feel I will almost inevitably enjoy if I can tick enough "this sounds promising" boxes...
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #53 on: May 01, 2009, 04:00:58 PM »
I have a question which may seem kind of silly:

From looking over his cycle and its milestones, Langgaard invites comparison to Havergal Brian. Beginning with a precocious and enormous first symphony, they both honed and refined their style down to the barest of essentials (sometimes outright micro-symphonies). Both were completely ignored during their later careers, and seemingly willfully inaccessable at times in their compositional process. But from the samples I have heard so far, Langgaard seems also to have retained far more Romanticism than Brian. If Brian's 1st was an evolution from Mahler, and then a plunge into outright modernism (if still through tonal means), Langgaard appears to have refined his Straussian influences after the 1st, but perhaps doesn't go as far? What would be the key differences between the two, or are there more apt composers to compare him to?

I ask because I am considering the DaCapo box, but having never heard a full Langgaard symphony, it would be a risky purchase - but one that I feel I will almost inevitably enjoy if I can tick enough "this sounds promising" boxes...

There is a lot of truth and good sense in what you say :) But......I don't think that Havergal Brian was the half-daft eccentric that Langgaard undoubtedly was. Ultimately I believe that Brian is a far, far better composer than Langgaard. But....again, I am not the right person to give you a more balanced assessment since (as I remarked above) I do not really warm to Langgaard.

The best person for this is Johan(Jezetha) who loves both composers :)

Offline edward

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #54 on: May 01, 2009, 04:51:17 PM »
As someone who's something of an agnostic over both composers, I'd tend to agree with those who note similarities. In the works of theirs that I have found most compelling (Langgaard's 4th & 6th; Brian's 8th & 9th) there is a lot of use of small motifs and what might be very loosely termed variation thereof to generate extremely wide-ranging, superficially episodic single-movement structures. This structural use of very short motifs is what makes these works hold together for me and places them far above other, similar works.

Other works I've tended to find somewhat less memorable--but there's enough in both composers that I will return to them.
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 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #55 on: May 01, 2009, 11:02:00 PM »
Dundonnell is right - perhaps I am best placed to explain the similarities and differences between Brian and Langgaard, as I love them both (with Delius as the third man in the triumvirate).

Yes, Langgaard is more of a 'crank' than Brian. This was the result of his upbringing (Theosophy, iirc). He inherited an ultra-Romantic view of music (and the composer) as the conduit of a higher truth. Very Schopenhauerian. In Brian there is none of that, although he exemplifies the cliché of the lonely, visionary genius perfectly, of course.

What about the music, then? There is no real 'progress' in Langgaard. If you like Symphony No 1 you'll like Symphony No. 16, because stylistically there isn't much of a difference, though the latter is far more mature (and really masterly). The point of Langgaard is: his strengths and weaknesses, his reactionary and progressive tendencies sit side by side. There are beauties in every symphony, beauties I wouldn't have missed for the world. But don't look for Beethovenian logic, though every Langgaard 'hangs together'. Langgaard's most 'cogent' symphonies (IMO) are 4, 6, 10, 13 and 16. No. 1 is sprawling but beautiful, 2 is exciting and colourful - Dausgaard has recorded the earlier version of the work, in 3 movements, which is fascinating because the music suddenly turns into a 'Music of the Spheres' world. But I prefer the later version (with Stupel). No. 3 is a sort of piano concerto, and a wonderful work. No. 5 is rather dry and distant, but it has its moments. Nos 7, 8 and 9 are rather nationalistic and very 19th century. But I have a (large) soft spot for the Ninth. Symphonies 11 and 12 are very short - the 11th uses a recurring motif (Wheel of Ixion) obsessively, and that's that (but with 4 Wagner tubas...) and the 12th is over before you know it, but in a very entertaining way ('the composer explodes' it reads in the score - end of symphony). No. 14 is another favourite of mine, a suite of wonderful movements. No. 15 is in two movements, the first is Angst-ridden and very powerful, the second a setting of a poem. This is the one Langgaard work I don't 'get' as a symphony, because both movements could do without each other.

Okay, that's what I think of Langgaard. Brian is a different kettle of fish, more aggressive, and humourous, and 'objective'. I agree with Dundonnell that Brian probably is the greater composer, because in his best works there is a cogency and inexorability which make them into true 'symphonies'. Langgaard is more rhapsodic. But - I like both in equal measure, which says something about me, I suppose...
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 12:17:34 AM by Jezetha »
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Daverz

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #56 on: May 01, 2009, 11:21:36 PM »
Why don't I warm to Langgaard? :( :(

You're a Langgaard Laggard.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #57 on: May 02, 2009, 12:21:02 AM »
You're a Langgaard Laggard.

 ;D

(But I don't think Colin will ever warm to Langgaard. Question of temperament, I suppose. Just as he doesn't like the incomparable Delius.)
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

karlhenning

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #58 on: May 02, 2009, 04:19:57 AM »
Well, he likes Henning, so there is good in his ear  8)

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Langgaard's Lyre
« Reply #59 on: May 02, 2009, 04:34:51 AM »
Well, he likes Henning, so there is good in his ear  8)

Agreed, that's one saving grace (among many more, I hasten to add).  ;)
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

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