Author Topic: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?  (Read 836 times)

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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« on: November 30, 2019, 06:40:24 PM »
Two of the most original Nordic viking composers, mavericks, outsiders on their own. If you were allowed to save just one of them, who would be?

From your response will come much responsibility haha. Don't tell yourself it coul be as silly as watching anime, or collecting snails. This is a proposta seria!!  :laugh:

Offline André

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 07:21:41 PM »
Too hard to choose from, they’re so different ! Personally I like both a lot, but with reservations. No clear winner, then.

Sorry  :-\

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 08:57:59 PM »
Langgaard for me. The SQs, Music of the Spheres, Antikrist, and Symphony No. 6 are enough to catapult him into a higher echelon. I like Leifs, but his music gets tiresome after awhile as his musical language, while distinct and completely his own, is quite limited and there’s not much variation. I will say that some of my favorite works from Leifs are not his more well-known elemental tone poems like Hekla or Geysir, but works like Requiem, Réminiscence du nord, and Elegy, which showcase this composer in a different light and are more to my liking.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 07:25:13 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 12:30:50 AM »
Interesting thread idea. As with André, it's difficult for me to choose as I like them both. I find that Langgaard's music is more inconsistent from my point of view and I tend to enjoy almost everything I've heard by Leifs. Having said that I rate works like Langgaard's symphonies 4,6 and 'Music of the Spheres' more highly than anything I have heard from Leifs.
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Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 03:34:09 AM »
If you were allowed to save just one of them, who would be?

Langgaard, no contest. Leifs is swell, but nowhere near Langgaard at his best.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/kgwJnTZWfLI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/kgwJnTZWfLI</a>

Offline Madiel

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 04:00:12 AM »
Probably Langgaard from the admittedly little I've heard.

Because I've listened to most available Leifs compositions in a desperate attempt to like them and the great majority of the time I've just been disappointed. As Mirror Image puts it, the music ends up being tiresome. The works that are of any length end up outstaying their welcome because they are too unvarying.

The one Leifs album I got more out of was of chamber music.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2019, 04:13:43 AM »
Langgaard, no contest. Leifs is swell, but nowhere near Langgaard at his best.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/kgwJnTZWfLI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/kgwJnTZWfLI</a>

I've been meaning to listen to this for a while. You putting it up this way finally got me there.

Okay, my answer is now most definitely Langgaard.
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 04:52:25 AM »
Definitely Langgaard, whose oeuvre is full of splendidly interesting and insightful works, with just one major exception. It would be too unkind to write that Leifs is mostly good for bombastic background music, but that's how his oeuvre feels sometimes, even if it isn't. However, it would be quite accurate to say that Langgaard's often-mentioned Sfærernes Musik merely consists of a bizarre mess - as I put it in the past, a series of vacuous crescendi - rather than being evocative of any sort of celestial music.

Offline Rinaldo

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2019, 06:25:28 AM »
However, it would be quite accurate to say that Langgaard's often-mentioned Sfærernes Musik merely consists of a bizarre mess - as I put it in the past, a series of vacuous crescendi - rather than being evocative of any sort of celestial music.

Interesting that you hear it that way. When I listen to the work, it immediately transports me to some primordial times, maybe to the beginning of time itself, and then it's matter transforming and reconfiguring, with first stars igniting and burning out.. can't get any more celestial than that!

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 05:50:48 PM »
Nice responses thus far!!

In my case it would be Langgaard too. I feel most of his music resonates with me. To be honest, I couldn't live without his 6th Symphony, it's absolutely fantastic and thrilling like nothing else. That for mentioning only an example, because there are other many favorite works as other members have already mentioned. Nevertheless, he wasn't consistently succesful in a large part of his output. Had he written more modern-sounding works his recognition would be wider.

Otherwise, I like from Leifs his earthly sound, that primitive feel to it gives his music much distinction. His voice is instantly recognizable. But I also share the John and Madiel's opinion about him of being too repetitive, the rhythms he manages tend to be a bit monotonous. He composed some of the loudest and fun works I know (Hekla comes to my mind!), it partially benefits him.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 05:58:45 PM by Symphonic Addict »

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2019, 05:54:21 PM »
Interesting that you hear it that way. When I listen to the work, it immediately transports me to some primordial times, maybe to the beginning of time itself, and then it's matter transforming and reconfiguring, with first stars igniting and burning out.. can't get any more celestial than that!

This makes sense to me.

Offline San Antone

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2019, 06:19:55 PM »
I am not sure why these composers are juxtaposed.  Liefs was Icelandic and Langgaard was Danish.    I like Liefs string quartets more than any of Langgard's, but Liefs only wrote three, compared to Langaard's seven.  However, I haven't listened to much music by either composer beyond the SQ.

Offline Biffo

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2019, 02:17:17 AM »
As I had never heard of Leifs until seeing this thread it has to be Langgaard

Offline Christo

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2019, 05:49:05 AM »
Leifs, though by a small margin.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Which composer do you prefer: Leifs or Langgaard?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2019, 06:15:03 AM »
Interesting that you hear it that way. When I listen to the work, it immediately transports me to some primordial times, maybe to the beginning of time itself, and then it's matter transforming and reconfiguring, with first stars igniting and burning out.. can't get any more celestial than that!

I'm glad you manage to get some sense of the heavens out of this, in my perception, nebulously vapid vacuity of a score; to me it sounds too indulgent, artificial and calculated to resemble anything celestial - and not for unwillingness, given that the area of astronomy and astrophysics is one of my main interests. Perhaps it's a different view of the heavens that he was trying to convey or indeed be familiar with; I doubt that our clear and resplendent Mediterranean night skies would be familiar to a Dane.