First recording of songs by Rued Langgaard
Rued Langgaard composed 143 songs, most of them in his younger years, of which 18 have been lost. 27 of the songs were, as the only ones in his life time, published by Wilhelm Hansen between 1906 and 1919. Only 65 songs were given in concert before his death in 1952.
The songs on this CD falls into three groups; 8 songs based on texts written by Emil Rittershaus and two song cycles: 'Fünf Lieder' (Five Songs) on poems by J. v. Eichendorff and H. Heine, and '5 erotiske Digte' (5 Erotic Poems) based on poems by Norwegian poet Vilhelm Krag.
The poems by German poet Emil Rittershaus (1834-1897) are distinctively romantic and deal with love, nature, pain and death. Langgaard sets the words to music of a lavish style, with extravagant piano parts, long interludes for the piano and long soaring melodies for the voice. Here is a strong inspiration from R. Wagner among others.
'Fünf Lieder' is a cycle of short and concise songs with words by J. v. Eichendorff (1788-1857) and H. Heine (1797-1856). Langgaard sets the two poets' texts to music using very simple and precise compositional means that fit the beautiful simplicity of the poems perfectly.
In '5 erotiske Digte' Langgaard uses the poems of the Norwegian poet Vilhelm Krag (1871-1933). Krag creates a lyric atmosphere of love, erotic desires and obsessions set in the Norwegian nature with its long and bright summer nights. In these songs Langgaard varies his musical expression alternating between simple melodic strophic structures and a more complex form (as in for example 'Lys nat'). The last song, 'I de forunderlige, blonde nætter', dissolves into an almost recitative-like structure, creating a dreamlike, meditative expression.
“Jens Krogsgaard shows understanding [in these] good recordings, and strong accompanying from Jan Ole Christiansen” BBC Music Magazine