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Subject: Langgaard's Magnificent "Antikrist"
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Tue, 12 Jun 2018 22:39:40 -0400

text/plain (45 lines)

Langgaard's "Antikrist" came up in another online opera group I belong to, someone having 
just heard it for the first time, in a recent production (in German translation), and I realized 
I've not listened to or watched this magnificent work in several years, so . . . time to 
remedy that problem.

There is a recording available from a live performance co-produced by the Danish National 
Symphony and the Danish National Theatre, that I highly recommend, and, for several 
years now the video has been available on youtube and I cannot recommend it highly 
enough.  The production is a fairly simple affair, taking place in what appears to be a church 
or meeting house, where the story unfolds.  

Langgaard's  opera, the score completed in 1923, was subject to numerous revisions of the 
libretto, and was never performed in his lifetime, the first performance not occurring until 
1980, in Denmark.  The music though highly still at times conjures up Vaughan Williams, 
Strauss, Mahler and not a little bit of Schoenberg's "Gurrelieder," as well as Szymanowski's 
"Krol Roger" (written a year after "Antikrist").  

It is a sumptuous work, with a large group of soloists (some rather brief) and featuring a 
magnificent role for the chorus.  The plot, such as it is, is more "ideas" than "action" but it's 
a fascinating look at humanity, religion, and of good triumphing over evil.  There is so much 
beauty throughout, it's rather remarkable it isn't given more frequently, even if only in 
concert or in oratorio form.  

I hope during this summer "break" some who are unfamiliar with this little known work will 
take the time and give it a watch or listen, in whole (preferably) or even in part.  The final 
moments are as transcendent.

Here is the Danish performance on youtube.  Do yourself a favor and watch and listen!


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