LANGGAARD Music of the Spheres
Four Tone Pictures Gitta-Maria Sjoberg (soprano) Danish National Radio SO / Gennady Rozhdestvensky Chandos CHAN 9517
Friday 28 March 1997
Three decades later, Music of the Spheres still sounds like one of the most original things written in the first half of this century. As forward- looking as Ives and Scriabin (the only comparisons that vaguely come to mind), it drifts from idea to haunting idea with the logic of a dream: quietly shimmering cluster-chords, lush tendrils of string sound pre-echoing Tippett's Corelli Fantasy, ghostly repetitive figures passed between the two orchestras, and, just before the end, a terrifying bitonal tutti, which Langgaard - ever eager to help the listener - labelled "Antichrist". This new recording serves the music marvellously - Music of the Spheres is perfect Rozhdestvensky territory - and so does the recording, with its fine sense of space and focus.
The Four Tone Pictures are relatively slight and much less original, though Langgaard's voice is still recognisable, and again they're beautifully played and sung. Anyone interested in 20th-century music should hear this. Langgaard was virtually ignored in his own adult life; perhaps his time has come.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt stars in visceral and brutally ugly drama that reminds us war is hell
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year