Monday, September 22, 2008

What I am Listening to Today

Another in the long line of obscure composers my long lost friend Jim would laugh about and shake his head:

Rued Langgaard:

Music of the Spheres

Music of the Spheres is actually one of Langgaard's more well known and recorded works. It is a symphonic work of great complexity, calling for a large orchestra, organ and choir, a supporting (distant) orchestra including a soprano voice. Movement titles are some of the most descriptive and unusual in all of orchestral music:

"Like sunbeams on a coffin decorated with sweet smelling flowers"

"Like the twinkling of a pearl of dew in the sun on a beautiful summer's morning"

"Soul of the world - Abyss - All Soul's day"

"I wish …! "

"The end: Antichrist - Christ"

Music of the Spheres lay in obscurity for nearly 50 years before being rediscovered in the late 60's. Two recordings are available, one with Gennadi Rozhdestvensky and the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir is on Chandos 9517 coupled with 4 Tone Pictures. A second recording is with the same forces conducted by John Frandsen coupled in a 2 disc set with a selection of the remarkable symphonies, including the wonderful # 6 "The Heaven Storming", featuring one of most marvelous extended dramatic endings in all symphonic literature.

Available from the usual places, CD Universe, Archiv, or HB Direct.

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