Rued Langgaard - in brief


Selected photos, musical excerpts and facts

Five photos reveal a life:

Five short excerpts of Langgaard's music:

Twelve facts about Langgaard:

  • Born 1893 (Copenhagen), died 1952 (Ribe)
  • A unique musical genius, idealistic - and eccentric.
  • Composed more than 400 works - 50 hours of music in all.
  • The background for Langgaard's music is a religious belief in the spiritual power of music and its importance for mankind.
  • He was not appreciated by his contemporaries and came into conflict with the spirit of the time and the powers that be of Danish music.
  • "Carl Nielsen is Humbug" is a typically bitter statement by Langgaard.
  • At the age of 47 Langgaard was 'exported' to Ribe, where he finally obtained a permanent job (as the cathedral organist).
  • In 1968, 16 years after his death, Langgaard was 'rediscovered' and accurately described as an "ecstatic outsider."
  • Since then, his tragic fate and fascinatingly 'different' music have interested an increasing number of people.
  • Today, more than 100 compositions have been recorded on LP's and CD's, including his 16 symphonies.
  • Langgaard is a lonely figure in the history of music in Denmark, but belongs to an international 'family' of outsiders which includes the American, Charles Ives.
  • Langgaard's music is expressive, affected, visionary, extreme, bizarre - and irrational. Concepts such as style, tone, time and space are more prominent in Langgaard's music than such traditional basic elements as melody and form.