Thomas Dausgaard

Rued Langgaard: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3

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From his youthful Second and Third symphonies, it is possible to discern only a few of the artistic fingerprints of the mature Danish post-Romantic composer Rued Langgaard. One hears his love of nature, his love of life, and, in his expansive developments and extended climaxes, his love of his own compositional technique. One hears his energy, his exuberance, and his artless purloining other composers' styles, to wit, Strauss and Scriabin with a dash of Mahler in the Second, the "Awakening of Spring," and Schumann with a drop of Liszt in the Third, "The Flush of Youth," a high-flown romantic piano concerto in all but name. Though his later symphonies ventured further into harmonic dissonance, melodic violence, and formal incoherence, Langgaard's Second and Third prove to be easily accessible and guilelessly attractive works in these superbly played performances with Thomas Dausgaard leading the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, plus soprano soloist Inger Dam-Jensen in the Second and pianist Per Salo in the Third. Although dedicated fans of Scandinavian symphonies may already have Ilya Stupel and the Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic's recording of these two works, this disc features the world-premiere recording of the original version of the Second that adds about 10 minutes to its length, if not much to its formal coherence. Furthermore, the sound of these 2006 Dacapo recordings is much smoother, rounder, and deeper than the sound of the 1992 Danacord recordings.

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