The ideas behind the music

Emma Langgaard's view of the world...

Emma Langgaard - painted in 1910 by Sally Philipsen (privately owned).

Emma Langgaard's views on the development of music are expressed in a letter she wrote in 1912 to Hans von Wolzogen (a writer on Wagner topics who both read and wrote Danish):

"Personally I am deeply committed to the task of the true Art here in the world, as both my husband and my son (our only child) belong to the movement of ideal artists here on earth, which is the same as saying that they have the call to perceive 'the narrow path' in contrast to that of the world, which also in terms of the art of music is becoming more and more visibly an anti-Christian path.
When I look at a 'phenomenon' such as Richard Strauss, for example, it seems to me that these times in which our younger musicians are growing up, and especially those who have received creative gifts implanted by their Maker, are even more troublesome and difficult than ever before, since Good and Evil are mixed together in a wily, devilish fashion, and only the one, true Light in Jesus Christ can now enlighten and cleanse this and all other parts of life."

This statement is all the more interesting because it points directly forwards to Rued Langgaard's opera, Antikrist (Antichrist), which was written 10 years later. This opera was inspired amongst other things by Richard Strauss' musical idiom, which Langgaard undoubtedly imitated because he found it attractively decadent, and at the same time typical of the decline of the anti-Christian period.