RUED LANGGAARD (1893-1952): In Ténebras Exeriores, Messis.
Catalogue Number: 07L077
Description: Composed over the period 1932-37, Messis ("Harvest Time") was described by its composer as "an organ drama in three evenings". Intended as a liturgical piece, it is based on various passages of scripture (the scores have many citations in the manner of "programmatic guides" to the music). At this time in his life, Langgaard had turned his back on the avant-garde on the one hand and disagreed with the prevailing Danish liturgical composers who sought to strip away the excesses of Romanticism which had attached themselves to church music throughout the 19th century. He wrote this massive piece in a pure, high Romantic style (Gade was his paragon and model at the time) in which his deeply felt religiosity is always present. The three sections are: Messis - deliberations on the harvest, the end of the world and the Crucifixion; Juan (peculiarly, he chose the Spanish name for St. John) - the segments carry generic titles but the program comes mostly from the St. John Gospel; and Buried in Hell - describing the account of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Abraham's bosom. Whether you follow the liturgical program or not, you will be in for a memorable hour and forty-five minutes of rich, colorful organ music by one of the century's true eccentrics. In Ténebras is a 19-minute work from 1947 which builds on the Buried in Hell segment of Messis. Dreisig recorded this identical program (on a different organ) in 1997-98 for Danacord and we offered it in our June 1999 catalogue. 2 CDs. Flemming Dreisig (organ of Copenhagen Cathedral). SACD hybrid