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Langgaard - String Quartets CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

Price: £25.95
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Da Capo
  • ASIN: B000024OBC
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 471,451 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
7:41
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2
30
2:24
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3
30
5:58
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4
30
6:55
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5
30
14:06
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6
30
7:39
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7
30
1:27
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8
30
5:26
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Disc 2
1
30
11:25
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2
30
3:06
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3
30
4:34
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4
30
6:06
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5
30
6:15
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6
30
3:05
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7
30
8:43
Album Only
8
30
14:13
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
From everything I have ever read about Rued Langgaard I gathered that his music was so unusual that he was not recognised as a composer in his own lifetime and was considered one of the "odd bods" of the music world. Having said that, this set is a pleasant surprise.

This set is not the complete quartets. I have checked up on the web and found that, in addition to quartets 2-6 and the variations on "O Sacred Head now wounded" included here, he wrote a first (numbered) quartet (which a fellow reviewer on Amazon US has indicated was reworked into quartets 4 and 5), an unnumbered A-flat quartet from 1918 (approximately 22 minutes long) and a 28-minute piece for string quartet called "Rosengaard Play". It would have been interesting to have the full set, but what we have here is very nice.

Some of Langgaard's music can be obscure and angular (Quartet 2 strikes me this way), but some works have a type of beauty. My personal favourite is Quartet 6, while the opening movement of Quartet 5 is also very attractive. Other individual movements also have their merits.

The music is excellently performed by the Kontra Quartet, who have also recorded the complete quartets of Nielsen and Holmboe. The recording is very good, and the set can be recommended to anyone with an interest in late-romantic Nordic music. Thanks to Dacapo for providing us with this insight into one of the more interesting composers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Exactly Complete, But Lovely and Lively 23 Dec. 2009
By Gene Barnes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This two-disc set of Langgaard string quartets isn't titled "Complete String Quartets" for a reason. Number 1 is not included, having been reworked into Numbers 4 and 5, and an A-Flat Major Quartet from 1918, never previously performed, is also missing. To which I can only ask: Would it have killed you to include them anyway? So what we have is Numbers 2 through 6 and a set of variations on "O Sacred Head, now Wounded." They are exquisitely performed by the Kontra Quartet, a Danish ensemble with a Hungarian 1st violinist (Anton Kontra), whose complete cycle of the quartets of Vagn Holmboe (Don't know him? You should!) are a landmark in modern quartet writing and performance. Here, in the Langgaard quartets, they make the kind of beautiful music so well known from this composer. Langgaard is variously prickly and lyrical, and it's in the lyrical moments that he can become, well, a bit dull. But as ever, your mileage may vary in this.

For those who have already experienced his signature work, "Music of the Spheres," his symphonies (Da Capo's new set with Dausgaard conducting is exemplary), and his opera "Antichrist," these quartets will be a welcome addition to your collection.
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