Langgaard, Rued (Immanuel)

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Langgaard, Rued (Immanuel)

Langgaard, Rued (Immanuel), distinguished Danish composer and organist; b. Copenhagen, July 28, 1893; d. Ribe, July 10, 1952. His father, Siegfried Langgaard (1852–1914), a student of Liszt, pursued a career as a pianist, composer, and teacher at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen; his mother, Emma Foss, was a pianist. He began his musical training with his parents, then studied organ with G. Helsted, violin with C. Petersen, and theory with V. Rosenberg in Copenhagen. He made his debut as an organist at age 11. He subsequently was intermittently active as a church organist until becoming organist of Ribe Cathedral (1940). His early works were influenced by Liszt, Gade, Wagner, and Bruckner; following a period in which he was at times highly experimental (1916–24), he returned to his Romantic heritage; however, even in his last period of production, he produced some works with bizarre and polemical overtones. During his lifetime, he was almost totally neglected in official Danish music circles and failed to obtain an important post. A quarter century after he died, his unperformed works were heard for the first time.


dramatic:Antikrist, biblical opera (1921-39; Danish Radio, June 28, 1980; stage perf., Innsbruck, May 2, 1999). orch.: 16 numbered syms.: No. 1, Klippepastoraler (Rock Pastorals; 1908-11; Berlin, April 10, 1913), No. 2, Vaarbrud (Awakening of Spring), for Soprano and Orch. (1912-14; Copenhagen, Nov. 17, 1914; rev. 1926-33; Danish Radio, May 21, 1948), No. 3, Ungdomsbrus (Youthfulness), for Piano, Chorus ad libitum, and Orch. (1915-16; April 9, 1918; rev. 19257-29; Danish Radio, May 4, 1934), No. 4, Lvfald (Falling Leaves; 1916; Copenhagen, Dec. 7, 1917), No. 5, Steppenatur (1917-18, 1920, 1931; first version, rev. 1926; Copenhagen, April 11, 1927; 2nd version, Copenhagen, July 8, 1937), No. 6, Det Himmelrivende (Tearing the Heavens; 1919-20; Karlsruhe, Jan. 15, 1923; rev. c. 1926-30; Danish Radio, May 29, 1935), No. 7, Ved Tordenskjold i Holmens Kirke (By Tordenskjold’s Tomb in Holmen’s Church; 1925-26; Copenhagen, March 8, 1926; rev. 1930-32; Danish Radio, Dec. 10, 1935), No. 8, Minder om Amalienborg (Memories at Amalienborg), for Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1926-28; rev. 1932-34; not perf.), No. 9, Fra Dronning Dagmars By (From the Town of Queen Dagmar; 1942; Copenhagen, May 31, 1943), No. 10, Hin Tordenbolig (Yon Dwelling of Thunder; 1944-45; Danish Radio, July 22, 1947), No. 11, Ixion (1944-45; Odense, July 29, 1968), No. 12, Hélsingeborg (1946; Danish Radio, July 22, 1977), No. 13, Undertro (Belief in Miracles; 1947; Danish Radio, Oct. 21, 1970), No. 14, Morgenen (The Morning), for Chorus and Orch. (1948; Copenhagen, May 24, 1979), No. 15, Sstormen (The Gale at Sea), for Baritone, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1937-49; Danish Radio, Nov. 23, 1976), and No. 16, Syndflod af’sol (Flood of Sun; 1950-51; Danish Radio, March 17, 1966); 1 unnumbered sym., Sinfonia Interna for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1915–45); Heltedd (Death of a Hero; 1907); Drapa (1907); Sflnx, tone picture (1909–10); Saga blot (A Thing of the Past; 1917-18); Violin Concerto (1943-44; Danish Radio, July 29, 1968). chamber: 8 string quartets (1914–31); 5 violin sonatas (1915–49); Septet for Wind Instruments (1915); Humoreske for 5 Wind Instruments and Drum (1923); Dies irae for Tuba and Piano (1948); Quartet for Brass Instruments (1949); about 50 works for piano, including 6 sonatas; organ music, including Messis (Hstens tid) (Messis [The Time of Harvest]), drama in 3 “evenings” (1932–39), and some 100 preludes. vocal:Musae triumphantes, cantata for Soloists, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1906); Drmtnen (The Dream) for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1915-16; rev. 1945); Angelus (The Gold Legend) for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1915–37); Sfaerernes musik (Music of the Spheres) for Soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1916-18; Karlsruhe, Nov. 26, 1921); Endens tid (The Time of the End; 1921-44); Fra Hjsangen (From the Song of Solomon), 6 works for Solo Voice and Orch. or Ensemble (1949; Danish Radio, Feb. 24, 1969); Fra Dybet (From the Deep) for Chorus and Orch. (1950–52); about 25 motets and 150 songs.


B. Nielsen, R. L.s Kompositioner: Annoterei vaerkfor-tegnelse (Odense, 1991); idem, R. L: Biografi (Copenhagen, 1993).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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