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<<  -- 3 --  Robert Anderson    A POWERFUL WORK

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Such characters as the Spirit of Mystery and Vainglory are temporarily assumed by the otherwise sober members of the sect (Poul Elming almost disappears from time to time beneath the weight of Langgaard's orchestration). I have two favourites, though. The first is Despair, whose comfortable if anxious appearance suggests an overdose of housework rather than more cosmic concerns. But Susanne Resmark puts across her doom-laden thoughts with fine conviction [listen -- Scene 3 'Despair', chapter 5, 1:02-2:40]. But it is of course the Great Whore of Camilla Nylaund who most readily gains my affection. I could wish she was as many-breasted as the unforgettable Diana of the Ephesians, but there she is, gaudy and glorious, Babylon of old, immortal Rome or maybe modern Baghdad, morally dissolute as Langgaard thought us [watch -- Scene 4 'Lust', chapter 6, 0:00-1:14].

Camilla Nylund as the Great Whore. DVD screenshot © 2005 Dacapo Records
Camilla Nylund as the Great Whore. DVD screenshot © 2005 Dacapo Records

Scene 5, in which Hatred tries to mediate between the Great Whore and the Lie, is the most dramatic, and can do sinister duty for capitalism on the rampage. The Lie is powerfully delivered in febrile dialogue by Johnny van Hal [listen -- Scene 5 'Every Man's Strife With Every Man', chapter 7, 2:27-4:15]. The choral finale, now that God has terminated the reign of Antichrist, can be modal and soberly contrapuntal. It is dubbed the 'Ephphatha Chorus'. I take the strange word to be Aramaic. It is spoken by Christ as he heals a deaf man in Mark vii 34, and immediately translated by the New Testament into Greek. Everyman must stumble his own way towards God [listen -- Finale (The Ephphatha Chorus), chapter 9, 0:30-2:14].

Copyright © 3 August 2005 Robert Anderson, London UK

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Rued Langgaard: Antikrist

2.110402 DVD 16:9 NTSC region 0 (worldwide) Stereo + DTS digital surround NEW RELEASE 95' 2005 Dacapo Records

Sten Byriel (Lucifer); Anne Margrethe Dahl (Spirit of Mystery); Helene Gjerris (Echo of Spirit of Mystery/Mystical Voice); Poul Elming (The Mouth Speaking Great Things); Susanne Resmark (Despondency); Camilla Nylund (The Great Whore); Jon Ketilsson (The Scarlet Beast); Johnny van Hal (The Lie); John Lundgren (Hatred); Morten Suurballe (The Voice of God); The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choir; Thomas Dausgaard, conductor

Staffan Valdemar Holm, stage director; Bente Lykke Møller, set and costume; Linus Fellbom, lighting; Pernille Bordal, assistant stage director; Uffe Borgwardt and Peter Borgwardt, DVD producers; Royal Danish Theatre / Danish Broadcasting Corporation co-production

Rued Langgaard (1893-1952): Antikrist (1930), a religious mystery opera; bonus material: Commentary; Langgaard and Antichrist - the rocky road from idea to world première; Langgaard Live

BUY THIS DVD ONLINE FROM DACAPO RECORDS

BENDT VIINHOLT NIELSEN ON LANGGAARD'S 'ANTIKRIST'

RUED LANGGAARD

LANGGAARD SYMPHONIES 9, 10 and 11

LANGGAARD SYMPHONIES 6, 7 and 8

LANGGAARD'S 'SINFONIA INTERNA'

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