Rued Langgaard – String Quartet no. 5 (1925)

String Quartet no. 5  is composed by the danish composer Rued Langgaard. Here played by Kontra Kvartetten:

Peter Fabricius – Bratsch
Anton Kontra – Violin
Boris Samsing – Violin
Morten Zeuthen – Cello

Rued Langgaard (born Rud Immanuel Langgaard; 28 July 1893 – 10 July 1952) was a late-Romantic Danish composer and organist. His then-unconventional music was at odds with that of his Danish contemporaries and was recognized only 16 years after his death. [source]

The danish filmproducer Peter Aalbaek who normally work together with Lars Von Trier is planning to make a feature movie about Rued Langgaard. Aalbaek has been fascinated by Langgaards history throughout his career, and his graduation film from the Film School also portrayed the composer.

picture from the homepage of Rued Langgaard Selskabet:



Josef Matthias Hauer: Romantische Phantasie op.37 (1925)

Josef Mattias Hauer (March 19, 1883 – September 22, 1959) was an Austrian composer and music theorist. He is most famous for developing, independent of and a year or two before Arnold Schoenberg, a method for composing with all 12 notes of the chromatic scale.

Hauer “detested all art that expressed ideas, programmes or feelings,” instead believing that it was “essential…to raise music to its highest…level,” a, “purely spiritual, supersensual music composed according to impersonal rules,” and many of his compositions reflect this in their direct, often athematic, ‘cerebral’ approach.

His twelve-tone music was balanced between the “obligatory rule” that each composition follow an arrangement of the total chromatic: “the ‘Constellation’ or “Grundgestalt’ (‘basic shape’),” and his often emphasized concept oftropes, or unordered arrangement of a pair of hexachords. [source]

Joseph Matthias Hauer, to judge from his writings and accounts of his social interactions with his contemporaries, was the Rodney Dangerfield of the Viennese serialists; he just couldn’t get any respect. Having developed a parallel but markedly individual system of serial tonal organization a little ahead of Arnold Schoenberg´s first published efforts in the genre, Hauer wanted recognition as the discoverer of dodecaphonic atonality, an attribute that would forever accrue to Schoenberg despite Hauer´s best efforts to the contrary. Mid-twentieth century critics regarded Hauer as a crackpot and his work sank into oblivion; it is only since the 1990s that any effort has been made on Hauer´s  behalf to get some of his music out on record and to permit the public to judge his relative worth. [source]

[read more in german]

Gottfried Rabl – Conductor

Radio Symphonieorchester Wien

Recorded 2004/2005.



Aaron Copland – Dance Symphony for Orchestra (1925)

One of Aaron Copland’s first significant works upon returning from his studies in Paris was the necromantic ballet Grohg. This ballet, suggested to Copland by the film Nosferatu, a free adaptation of the Dracula tale, provided the source material for his later Dance Symphony. Copland composed three numbered symphonies, but applied the word “symphony” to more than just symphonies of typical structure. He rewrote his early three-movement Organ Symphony omitting the organ, calling the result his First Symphony. His fifteen-minute Short Symphony was the Second Symphony, though it also exists as the Sextet. His Dance Symphony was hurriedly extracted from the earlier unproduced ballet Grohg to meet an RCA Records commission deadline.

Read a review of Copland conducting himself in 1975 in The New York Times here.