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Carl Nielsen (20th Century Composers) Paperback – May 22, 1997

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Product Details

  • Series: 20th Century Composers
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (May 22, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714835072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714835075
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,513,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) is one of those composers who tend to be a late discovery on the part of lovers of classical music. Yet he need not be an acquired taste; this is powerful, well-written music, fashioned on a classical, rather than romantic, base, and every bit as accessible as his better-known and more popular Scandinavian contemporary, Jean Sibelius. Nielsen is Denmark's one great claim to compositional fame, and in this new biography Jack Lawson traces his rise from impoverished farm boy to a dominant musical figure in the life of his country, and of Europe, not to mention to the position of one of the greatest symphony writers of all time. This is one of Phaidon's 20th-Century Composers series, and as such strives to make its subject as accessible as possible to the music lover who is not necessarily a music expert.


'The ideal introduction to a still under-appreciated composer.' (Hi-Fi News) 'Fascinating and fastidiously researched.' (The Scotsman) 'The photographs are among the book's greatest assets, since they are both well chosen and excellently reproduced. The accompanying descriptions are tastefully written, factual and informative.' (Classical Music) 'As a series, Phaidon's 20th Century Composers has brought remarkable variety and a welter of information, both necessary and delightfully trivial. Intended both for the general reader and for the more enthusiatically musical...' (The Scotsman)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven Schwartz VINE VOICE on January 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
If you know nothing about Danish composer Carl Nielsen's music, this is not the place to start. Hear something first. Most composers don't lead especially interesting lives. We are interested mainly in their music. I'd start with the Helios Overture. If it intrigues you, go on to other pieces, like the symphonies, and only then if you want to know about the man, start here. It's as good a place as any. Lawson has the advantage of a dearth of biographies on this composer, due in large measure to the family's refusal to release many of the composer's papers. A Nielsen fan of forty years, I knew most of this stuff. The big revelations had to do with his marriage, which suffered strains. You can read all about it. Other than that, it's mainly a recital of Nielsen's career, and you can get most of the essentials from an encyclopedia article. The best thing about the book, as far as I'm concerned, is its handsome production. The photos of Nielsen the boy, which face the title page, are absolutely extraordinary.
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