Langgaard's Stunning Sixth

Unless you're already one yourself, you need a classical-obsessed person in your life to find things like this. Here I am, your very own music-miner, and boy do I have a gem for you! Never mind the other things on this album — it's the sixth symphony by Rued Langgaard that's more than worth the price of admission. From 1920 but revised ten years later, it's a stunning head-trip with a blazing ending, all the more so for being played so well and vividly recorded here (in surround). I had heard this music before, actually, but for some reason that earlier recording didn't communicate. On this one, conductor Sakari Oramo manages to put across a clear sense of the structure of the piece, which adds to the listener's sense of having a mystical and sometimes violent vision. It appears like a perfect thing to me, this symphony, despite being rather bonkers. I want to hear it live!

The other music is not at all the same: the earlier, late-romantic second symphony, a dreamy excerpt from a later symphony, and, inexplicably, the "Tango Jalousie" by Jacob Gade. You can listen to all that, if you want, but don't miss the sixth symphony — and play it loud.

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