Langgaard - Symphony no.1 | Dacapo 6220644

Langgaard - Symphony no.1


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Label: Dacapo

Cat No: 6220644

Format: Hybrid SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 4th November 2022



Berliner Philharmoniker


Sakari Oramo


Langgaard, Rued

Symphony no.1, 'Klippepastoraler' (Pastorals of the Rocks)


Berliner Philharmoniker


Sakari Oramo


Despite being at odds with his fellow human beings for most of his life, and regarded by many as merely eccentric, Danish composer Rued Langgaard (1893–1952) believed that his time would come, and so it has proved. His First Symphony reveals the teenage composer celebrating his love of beauty and harmony in the most hedonistic terms. This recording sees the Symphony return to its first home, performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker, the orchestra who premiered the work in 1913 and the first to recognise it as a masterpiece.

Rued Langgaard was an eccentric outsider in Danish music lifelife, who took his Late Romantic tonal idiom to highly original extremes.

Langgaard’s Symphony no.1, ‘Cliffside Pastorals’ is one of his most comprehensive works and one of the most ambitious Danish symphonies, more in line with tendencies of the time in Central Europe.

The Symphony was completed when Langgaard was only 17 years old.

The work expresses a mountain ascent. It is also religiously symbolic; Langgaard is the prophet who shows the way to spiritual development.

No orchestra in neither Copenhagen nor Stockholm was interested in performing it. Instead, Langgaard managedto hand over the score to the Berliner Philharmoniker, who gave the first performance at a concert with a full Langgaard programme in 1913.

Now Langgaard’s First Symphony has returned to Berlin. In connection to three highly praised and sold-out concerts, the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sakari Oramo have recorded the work.

Sakari Oramo already has Langgaard under his skin. His recording of Langgaard’s Symphonies 2 & 6 (2018) with the Vienna Philharmonic received a Gramophone Award.


...this hour-long work from a 19-year-old, self-taught composer from Copenhagen doesn’t get any less astonishing. Take away its sense of imposition and the thematic unity is remarkable enough – there’s not a stretch of 10 bars in which you don’t hear one of the work’s central motifs iterated somehow. ... The Berlin players offer stamina and assurance, vital in those multilayered accompaniments and sudden jump-cuts. As observed previously, they can handle Langgaard’s tendency to bellow ‘bigger, louder’ in the outer movements and do so with swagger.  Andrew Mellor
Gramophone January 2023
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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