Notes & Reviews:
The string quartets of Rued Langgaard (1893-1952) are passionate works from the eccentric composer's youth. The third and concluding release in the Nightingale String Quartet's Langgaard CD series presents the premiere recording of the composer’s very first string quartet, which the composer began in 1914 at the age of 21. Like his subsequent quartets it is shot through with moving musical references to the fateful summer of the year before, when the composer met the (hopeless) love of his life. In 2014, Gramophone Magazine named the Nightingale String Quartet ‘Young Artist of the Year’. About the prior volumes in this series, the critics have been unequivocal in their praise: "The Nightingale Quartet understand the provocative vitality, the fragile romantic sensitivity and the striking intellectual independence behind it all." (BBC Music Magazine) "The performances here are marvelous. The Nightingale SQ relishes every bizarre nuance" (ClassicsToday 10/10)
American Record Guide, March/April 2015
The performance by the young, all-female Nightingale Quartet is loving, colorful, and deeply engaging. The recording has the warmth this music requires. This is a beautiful finale to an important series.
Recording information: Concert Hall of the Royal Danish Academy of Music (01/10/2013); Concert Hall of the Royal Danish Academy of Music (08/19/2013-08/24/2013); Concert Hall of the Royal Danish Academy of Music (09/03/2013-09/06/2013).
Like Paul Hindemith, Langaard constructed his own tonal language that was internally consistent, even if that logic wasn't always
apparent to the listener. Langgaard's first quartet, written in 1914 is a an ambitious work for a young 21-year old composer. It's quite poignant and delicate in expression. Langaard's sometimes strange harmonies (although less strange-sounding to 21st century ears), take the music in unexpected directions, but never too far afield. The third movement is particularly beautiful in its quiet, somber way.
The 5th string quartet (1925), written a decade later, is both progressive and regressive. It's easy to hear how much Langgaard's composition skills had developed since 1914. The work is more tightly organized, the musical gestures more effective in their emotional import. The fluid lyrical melodies are the work of a composer confident in his abilities.
And yet, the quartet is a deliberately nostalgic work. Originally titled "Faraway Melodies," the quartet looks back to the 1850's. It's a rejection what Langaard called "the horrors of modern music."
Also included is Langgards's final thoughts on the genre, a short 2-minute scherzo he dashed off in 1950, near the end of his life. A lifetime of artistic rejection is summed up in the score's notation "Can't be bothered composing the remaining parts, perhaps to no avail." If only he had.
The Nightingale String Quartet turns in committed performances, bringing to light the subtle nuances of the scores. Excellent
performances of exceptional music.
Submitted on 12/22/14 by RGraves321
Anders Koppel: Marimba Concertos / Marianna Bednarska, marimba; Anders Koppel, composer; Aalborg Symphony Orchestra; Christensen
Dessau, Brecht: Puntila / Paul Dessau
Yuri Butsko (b.1938): White Nights, a sentimental opera in one act / Galina Pisarenko, Anatoly Mishchevsky. Rozhdestvensky (rec. 1973)
Julius Röntgen: String Trios Nos. 1-4 / Lendvai String Trio
Livingston Gearhart: Music of a Lifetime / Oregon String Quartet; Laura Wayte, soprano; Fritz Gearhart, violin; John Owings, piano
Sensemaya - Music of Silvestre Revueltas / Salonen, et al
Bretan: Luceafarul - The Evening Star
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 / Schwarzkopf, Cavelti, Haefliger, Edelmann. Furtwangler (rec. 1954)
Works DetailsLanggaard, Rued : Quartet for Strings no 1, BVN 68
- Ensemble: Nightingale String Quartet
- Notes: Concert Hall of the Royal Danish Academy of Music (08/19/2013-08/24/2013)
- Running Time: 36 min. 12 sec.
- Period Time: Modern
- Written: 1914-1915
Langgaard, Rued : Quartet for Strings no 5, BVN 189
- Notes: Concert Hall of the Royal Danish Academy of Music (09/03/2013-09/06/2013)
- Running Time: 29 min. 12 sec.
- Period Time: Modern
- Form: Chamber Music
- Written: 1925
Langgaard, Rued : Italian Scherzo, for string quartet, BVN 408
- Running Time: 1 min. 57 sec.
- Period Time: Modern
- Written: 1950