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Nielsen: Orchestral Music Hybrid SACD - DSD

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, February 27, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


2007 Best of Year Selection -- Classics Today

A recording of rarely-played orchestral works by Nielsen and a new disc of recent choral music by Lauridsen --, Matthew Westphal, March 9, 2007

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Maskarade (Masquerade), opera, FS 39: Ouverture
  2. Maskarade (Masquerade), opera, FS 39: Hanedans (Cockerel's Dance)
  3. Herr Oluf han rider (Master Oluf Rides), incidental music, FS 37: Forspil (Prelude): Andantino giusto
  4. Snefrid, melodrama, FS 17: Forspil (Prelude)
  5. Snefrid, melodrama, FS 17: Andante quasi sostenuto
  6. Snefrid, melodrama, FS 17: Efterspil (Postlude): Allegro non troppo
  7. Snefrid, melodrama, FS 17: Snefrids sovn (Snefrid's Sleep): Andante - Quasi allegretto - Andante
  8. Snefrid, melodrama, FS 17: Sorgemusik (Funeral Music): Andante sostenuto
  9. Saul og David (Saul and David), opera, FS 25: Forspil til 2. akt (Prelude to Act 2): Allegro marziale
  10. Willemoes, incidental music, FS 44: Forspil til 3. akt (Prelude to Act 3): Andantino espressivo
  11. Pan og Syrinx (Pan and Syrinx), for orchestra, FS 87 (Op. 49)
  12. Amor og Digteren (Amor and the Poet), incidental music, FS 150 (Op. 54): Ouverture: Allegretto con brio
  13. Helios, concert overture, FS 32 (Op. 17)

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Danish National Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Thomas Dausgaard
  • Composer: Carl Nielsen
  • Audio CD (February 27, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: Dacapo
  • ASIN: B000M2DNQY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,227 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Nielsen is, of course, primarily known to non-Danes as the composer of six marvelous symphonies, and there is no dearth of recordings of the whole set of them. But there aren't all that many recordings of his non-symphonic orchestral music except for perhaps the two most popular of them -- the overture to his comic opera 'Maskarade' and the evocative 'Helios Overture.' Those two works anchor this CD: the Maskarade Overture begins the disc, and Helios closes it. One is rarely likely to hear such ebullient high spirits in the Maskarade Overture. Thomas Dausgaard, who has to be considered one of the hottest conductors around these days, gets his Danish National Symphony Orchestra to play it like the exuberant pièce d'esprit that it is. And it is followed by the equally exciting 'Cockerel's Dance' from the same opera. As for the 'Helios Overture', I have always thought it one of Nielsen's greatest inspirations, describing musically as it does the sun's course through the heavens from dawn to dusk. Did you know that early afternoon is ushered in by an exciting fugue?

But it the musical contents in between 'Maskarade' and 'Helios' that makes this disc all the more special. There is the prelude to 'Sir Olaf He Rides', from incidental music to Drachmann's play, a genre which engaged much of Nielsen's efforts during the years that he was associated with the Royal Danish Theater first as violinist and later as music director. The piece evokes the Fairyland of the play with grace and craft.

Following this is a suite taken from Nielsen's very early (1893, rev. 1899) suite 'Snefrid', again incidental music for a theatrical production. It includes a jaunty prelude, a yearning andante, another depicting sleep (or perhaps dreams), a funeral march and a postlude.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By David A. Wend on June 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This disc of Carl Nielsen's music has as a focus his music for the theater and contains some music that is not often recorded. The disc begins with a rousing performance of the Maskarade overture and Cockerel's Dance from act 3 of the opera. This is followed by the prelude to Hr. Oluf Han Rider (Sir Oluf He Rides), written in 1906, written for a play which was composed during the rehearsals for Maskarade. The suite for the play Snefrid was composed in 1893 following the First Symphony and was his first music for the stage. The music is lyrical and charming, conveying very beautifully the love story of the play.

The prelude to act 2 of Saul and David is a more familiar piece and occurs in the opera prior to the scene where David is playing for the king when a messenger announces the challenge from Goliath. The Rhapsody Overture: An imaginary journey to the Faroe Islands, the next piece of the CD, is from late in Nielsen's career (1927) and has the more advanced harmonies of the Fifth and Sixth symphonies. The short rhapsody was written for an actual visit from the remote Faroe Islands for the Royal Theater. Willemoes was for a play written to celebrate the centennial of the death of the Danish naval hero Peter Willemoes and was used as a prelude to the third act. Willemous dies in the Battle of Zealand Point during the Napoleonic War and the music Nielsen provided described the hero's love for a young girl.

Pan and Syrinx is an atmospheric piece for a large orchestra that describes the tale told by Ovid in the Metamorphoses.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Larry VanDeSande VINE VOICE on June 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Most classical listeners know Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) -- if they know him at all -- through one or more of his six numbered symphonies, many of which have names like "The Four Temperaments" and "The Inextinguishable". Classical music commentators have often joked about that latter symphony, which is sometimes called Nielsen's greatest, and mockingly termed it the "indistinguishable" since it so sounds like the work of a dozen or so other composers of the same era.

While the music included here is not often portrayed on Nielsen recordings, most of it has been recorded before, often by bigger name conductors and bands than Thomas Dausgaard and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Notable recordings from the present and past of material presented here includes Neemi Jarvi's three DG recordings; those from Herbert Blomstedt, whose reserved style of presentation on a pair of EMI disks supplemented his two sets of complete Nielsen symphonies; and, perhaps best, by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, whose Chandos recording included the big four orchestral works -- Helios overture, Saga-Dream, Pan and Syrinx, and Fantasy Journey to the Faeroe Islands as well as selections from the theater music for Alladin, which isn't represented here.

Getting back to the indistinguishable comment, that claim iis especially relevant here for me. While listening to these selections, I was regularly reminded of both the lesser orchestral music of Gustav Holst and the tone poems of Antonin Dvorak. I think the reason for this is the contrapuntal sytle of Nielsen merged with his insistence on sonata form, elements that brought both other composers to the forefront of classical music.
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