Langgaard Prom: Danish NSO/Thomas Dausgaard

György Ligeti seems to have become the Proms' warm-up DJ, used to sensitise our ears before segueing without pause into the main attraction. Thus it was last year with Atmosphères and Mahler's Kindertotenlieder; and again, a couple of weeks ago, Musica Ricercata No 2 seeped into George Benjamin's Duet for Piano and Orchestra. Last night, though, Thomas Dausgaard played the Ligeti warm-up card twice. The filigree textures of Lux Aeterna – beautifully spun by the 32-strong Danish National Vocal Ensemble – laid the red carpet for the UK premiere of Rued Langgaard's Music of the Spheres. Before this, Ligeti's minute choral settings of "Night" and "Morning" were woven seamlessly into – wait for it – Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. Soloist Henning Kraggerud's charm-filled performance was excellent, but the piece resonated like an interloper from another concert entirely.

Langgard's Music of the Spheres is less a musical work than a collection of sonorous thoughts bound by a mystical concern for the cosmos and man's place within it. Composed in 1916-18, and soon forgotten until its rediscovery by Per Nørgård and Ligeti, its use of chord clusters, extended repetitions and spatial techniques foreshadow many techniques central to postwar music. Over half an hour long, it does interesting things to the ears, but terrible things to the mind.

Frequently clumsy and tirelessly self-indulgent, the work's most powerful evocation of its title consists not in a revelation of some cosmic harmony, but in its apparent indifference to its listeners. Indeed, if the movement of celestial bodies really sounded like this, we'd see rather more interplanetary collisions than we do.

The winding up of Langgard's myriad loose threads was left to Sibelius 5, given a welcome and high-spirited workout by Dausgaard and his players. After three hours, the extended applause given by the capacity audience was richly deserved, but musically the evening was both muddled and muddling.

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