Langgaard: Symphonies 4 & 5

Performing with: Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra


Rued Langgaard (1893-1952) was a strange and lonely figure in Danish music. His 16 symphonies represent a thoughtful, original contribution to the history of the genre. Symphony No. 4 is one of Langgaard’s most important symphonies and one of his most performed orchestral works, an ‘autumn diary’ with evocations of different types of weather and the related human moods. Summer is irrevocably over and nature and mindset are maintained by decay, despair and a parting atmosphere. Symphony No. 5 is in a much more extroverted tonal language and is programmatically associated with a fantasy world, a ‘Nordic’ summer landscape dominated by heroic and legendary moods. The symphony exists in two different designs, which the composer himself calls Version I and II – less than half of the music is identical in the two works.


Rued Langgaard

Symphony No. 4 “Løvfald”, BVN 124 (1916, rev. 1920)
1. I. Fortvivlet skovbrus (Despairing forest murmur): Allegro 2:49
2. II. Solstrejf (Glimpses of sun): Quasi allegretto 2:27
3. III. Allargando espansivo 1:38
4. IV. Torden (Thunder): Allegro 1:17
5. V. Più lento 1:25
6. VI. Allegretto pastorale 0:50
7. VII. Høstligt! (Autumnal!): Allegro con moto 1:30
8. VIII. Træt (Tired): Poco adagio 2:39
9. IX. Fortvivlelse (Despair): Allegro appassionato 2:12
10. X. Tranquillo 2:58
11. XI. Comodo sempre 1:31
12. XII. Søndagmorgenklokkerne (Sunday morning bells): Sostenuto pesante 0:55
13. XIII. Forbi! (Over!): Più con moto 1:20

Symphony No. 5 (Version I), BVN 191 (191718/1926)
14. I. Lento misterioso (Introduzione) Allegro fiero 5:35
15. II. Lento 3:39
16. III. Allegro fiero 1:58
17. IV. Lento misterioso 3:10

(Premier Recording)
Symphony No. 5 (Version II) “Steppenatur” (“Sommersagnsdrama”), BVN 216 (191718/1920/1931)
18. I. “Sonate”: Lento misteriosoFiero pesante preciso 4:25
19. II. Florido 4:20
20. III. Pesante 4:09
21. IV. Coda: “Sonate” con variazioni: Fiero pesante 2:44
22. V. Andante 3:35