Peter Erasmus Lange-Müller

The New Grove lists all three names in bold and with no indication of any optionality: so the 'Erasmus' bit is definitely 'in' as far as this site is concerned! You can confirm this by looking at his scores, too: the front page of the score of his Violin Concerto, for example, is very prominently shown as being by 'P E Lange-Müller'.

He was born in Frederiksberg (today, a suburb of Copenhagen) in 1850 and died in Copenhagen in 1926. He studied political science at university, with piano lessons as a side-hustle at the conservatory: he was, in music compositional matters at least, mostly self-taught. Where being self-taught for you or I would probably mean 'rank amateur at best and really not terribly good!', in Lange-Müller's case it meant (according to the New Groves) that he was able to develop in original and untraditional ways, writing highly Romantic music modelled on Schumann, but with 'emotionally concentrated tonal effects on a dark harmonic background'. New Groves does concede, however, that you can spot the self-taught-ness of his musical education by the fairly 'awkward' way he orchestrated some of his larger, longer pieces.

Accordingly, much of his large music output is of shorter works, particularly songs, at which he excelled: 'he had no equal among his Danish contemporaries [and] his wide choice of texts and acute sensitivity to the mood of each poem enabled him to create a vocal style whose subtlety was without precedent in Danish music'.

He was apparently afflicted with constant headaches which made composing long-form music a problem for him; he eventually gave up composing altogether in around 1900, and lived the last quarter century of his life in seclusion in Sophienberg, north of Copenhagen, with his wife and grandchildren.


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Music Plays from my collection
(since January 9th 2021)

Date of PlayTime of PlayGenreCompositionLengthPlay Count
Date of PlayTime of PlayGenreCompositionLengthPlay Count