Feast of Rued Langgaard (July 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Rued Langgaard

Image in the Public Domain

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RUD IMMANUEL LANGGAARD (JULY 28, 1893-JULY 10, 1952)

Danish Composer

Rued Langgaard was an obscure composer during his lifetime.  The recognition due him has never come, but some has come posthumously.

Langgaard, a child prodigy, grew up in a musical family.  He, born in Copenhagen on July 28, 1893, first studied music under his parents, composer, and pianist Siegfried Langgaard, and pianist Emma Foss Langgaard.  Our saint, a pianist and organist as a child, was a composer by the age of 14 years, when he heard his Musae Triumphantes performed.

Langgaard, the composer of more than 400 works, including 16 symphonies  (such as the #4 “Fall of the Leaf” and #13 “Belief in Wonders”) and an opera, The Antichrist (1923), as well as an orchestral work, The Music of the Spheres (1916), was stylistically radical for his times.  Perhaps that accounted for his obscurity and the lack of acceptance of his works.  He also struggled much of his life to find full-time employment as a musician.  He was, for example, the assistant organist at the Frederikskirken, Copenhagen (1912-1915) and the Garnisonkirken, Copenhagen (1915-1917), then the organist at Ribe Cathedral (1940-1952).  That list did not account for 1917-1940.

Langgaard, since 1927 the husband of Valborg Constance Oliva Tetens, died at Ribe on July 10, 1952.  He was 58 years old.

I encourage you, O reader, to immerse yourself in some of Langgaard’s compositions.  They are beautiful.  They prove his talent as a composer.  And some of them are still challenging.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 9, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS STEFAN AND KAZIMIERZ GRELEWSKI, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS,  1941 AND 1942

THE FEAST OF DIETRICH BUXTEHUDE, LUTHERAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF DOROTHY DAY AND PETER LAURIN, COFOUNDERS OF THE CATHOLIC WORKER MOVEMENT

THE FEAST OF THOMAS TOKE LYNCH, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless your name for inspiring Rued Langgaard and all those

who with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 728

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