Langgaard, who lived until 1952, was an important Danish composer who wrote in a staunchly conservative Romantic style. Like Bruckner and others, he was occupied mainly as a church organist from his early youth. The style of his 16 symphonies has many similarities to that of Bruckner and Mahler, including some of grand design.
The seven-minute Symphony no. 12 is filled with autobiographical references. The subtitle of No. 13, completed in l947, is not really translatable but has been listed as “Belief in Wonders,” and besides that meaning it is also a Danish play on words having to do with the unlucky number 13. The 14th Symphony has seven movements and is a basically optimistic work of great beauty. The subtitle translates as “The Morning.” The song texts are short and tie in with the religious program, coming from one of St. Paul’s Epistles – though not without a touch of Danish humor. The work’s second movement can stand alone as a lovely work for string orchestra. Originally Nos. 13 & 14 were one lengthy symphony, whose theme was described by Langgaard as “everyday life after death.”
Sonics are rich and evidence a wide orchestral soundstage. The note booklet is informative reading about this singular figure in Danish music.
– John Sunier