- Variations "Mig hjerteligt nu længes" (O sacred head! Now Wounded)
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Rued Langgaard: String Quartets, Vol. 1 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The much under-appreciated Rued Langgaard gets another post career boost with a new recording of some of his string quartets (No. 2, 3, and 6 and his variations). The music is magically trapped in a nether world between late romanticism (see Brahms, Strauss, Mahler, and early Schoenberg) and early modernism (see Scriabin, Debussy, Bartok). But don’t let that dissuade you. Even if, on top of these influences, you might find his northern European contemporaries Sibelius and Nielsen floating around, there is something emotionally different and very original here. There is a recurring progression from quiet contemplation encapsulated in Iveian hymns and chorals that suddenly flair up into Scraibin-like bursts of despair, agitation and frenzy. Also the structures are very clearly articulated, convincing, and full of technical nuance and immense skill. The Nightingale Quartet does an amazing job of getting around all the mood shifts dangling phrases, and gasps for air. Their overall approach is a deep respect for the score, performing seamless section changes and rhythmic transitions with impeccable accuracy. In the past, I have snobbishly renounced the digging up of forgotten romantic composers just to feed the publics thirst for everything not modern. In this case, I have to make an exception, as he is a unique voice that I look forward to hearing more of.