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Thread: Carl Nielsen

  1. #31
    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    My initial exposure to Nielsen was by a radio broadcast of Bernstein's recording of the 5th, and it hooked me immediately. I have since come to really enjoy the 3rd and 4th. The 1st and 2nd are nice but as with Sibelius' first two, are not the equal of the later works. The 6th is still somewhat of an enigma.

    I can also recommend a number of Nielsen's shorter works such as Saga-Drøm, An Imaginary Trip to the Faroe Islands, and Helios Overture.

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  3. #32
    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    Pan og Syrinx is a delightfully weird tone poem too.

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  5. #33
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    I don't know if this CD is still available, but if you can find the Chandos recording of three of Nielsen's choral works , Hymnis Amoris , Sleep and Springtime on Funen with Leif Segerstam and the Danish National orchestra and chorus , grab it .
    Hymnis Amoris is in Latin and is a song of praise to love, not the sexual kind but more in the Greek sense of Agape .
    "Sleep " is a weird choral piece about the experience of sleep , but it's not at all somnolent !
    The text explores both the peaceful and restful benefits of sleep and the disturbing ones , such as nightmares . The central section is the depiction of a nightmare, with some truly weird harmonies .
    "Springtime on Funen" is a charming folksy autobiographical cantata taken from Nielsen's childhood and youth growing up on the idyllic Danish island of Funen in the Danish archipelago . There are soloists in addition to the chorus , portraying the simple, idyllic life of Danish peasants .

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  7. #34
    Senior Member Omicron9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beetzart View Post
    I did a search to see if other threads have been started about this composer but I couldn't find any. I just wanted to say I have been getting into Nielsen's symphonies and they are incredible, dare I say they are on par with with the the works other famous Nordic composers like Grieg and Sibelius, or better (ducks for cover).

    But why just compare him to other Scandinavian composers? He is seriously underrated and is as good as Bruckner and Mahler, and perhaps Tchaikovsky, but that would be pushing it!

    So, just interested in other people's views of Nielsen.

    Agreed. Additionally, his chamber works are outstanding, and equally underrated.

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  8. #35
    Senior Member AfterHours's Avatar
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    Nielsen is quite underrated in general and definitely deserves to be more renown and critically exalted. His 5th Symphony is quite astonishing and probably his most remarkable work.

    I wouldn't agree with some users that feel his symphonies are on the same level as Brahms and Beethoven's (or Mahler's) very best -- but they're not that far out of the picture either. In addition to their ability to elicit emotion(s) through music, Beethoven and Brahms were also masters at conveying multiple emotions in the same phrasing of melody/theme (Brahms with even more ambiguous, enigmatic combinations), and then expanding on this exponentially and creatively from innumerable angles/points-of-view. Beethoven's and Brahms' mastery of "cyclic form" (and their incredible creativity and compositional economy with this) makes them very difficult to surpass because it's not just the emotional/conceptual conveyance of their symphonies that are impressive, but also the "prismatic", "reverberating effect" that permeates throughout them, that keeps multiplying layers and layers of content into overwhelming depth (for Beethoven's symphonies, from the 5th forward in particular; for Brahms' 3rd and 4th in particular). Each theme/melody/motive (etc) takes on increasingly greater significance throughout, as from the beginning to the end they are being alluded to, echoed, altered, reflected upon and expanded before, during and after their main emergence in the works, into quotations of musical architecture, creating a "domino effect" of context and content. This makes the amount of emotional significance they can generate "per unit of time" quite substantial.

    Typing hastily from my phone, so hope that makes sense.

    Oh -- this thread is about Nielsen?

    Oh yes, he is phenomenal btw
    Last edited by AfterHours; Jun-30-2017 at 01:17.
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  10. #36
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I can't see comparing Nielsen to late romantic German heavyweights. But I listen to his symphonies more than Brahms. Nielsen, Honegger, Martinu, and Bax are the post romantic symphonies I've been listening to the most. And Sibelius a couple times a year.
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    Senior Member MatthewWeflen's Avatar
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    I have been listening to this Nielsen set lately. What stupendous sound. LSO is quickly becoming one of my favorite labels. Their online music store can't be beat for ease of use, and features hi-res for basically everything. Highly, highly recommended.

    As far as the music goes, it is definitely in the Sibelius sort of vein, with a bit more of a "classical" feel. Very enjoyable. It will take me a few more listens to situate him among my other favorites, but he's certainly at least in the same ballpark as a Schumann or a Schubert in terms of overall "desire to listen to again."

    Cover_LSO0289_LSO0789_1024x1024.jpg
    Last edited by MatthewWeflen; Oct-21-2019 at 07:33.

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  14. #38
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewWeflen View Post
    I have been listening to this Nielsen set lately. What stupendous sound. LSO is quickly becoming one of my favorite labels. Their online music store can't be beat for ease of use, and features hi-res for basically everything. Highly, highly recommended.

    As far as the music goes, it is definitely in the Sibelius sort of vein, with a bit more of a "classical" feel. Very enjoyable. It will take me a few more listens to situate him among my other favorites, but he's certainly at least in the same ballpark as a Schumann or a Schubert in terms of overall "desire to listen to again."

    Cover_LSO0289_LSO0789_1024x1024.jpg
    When I was at my favorite local record store last, I saw and just barely passed up on a CD from the LSO Live label of Sir Colin Davis conducting Dvorak's 7th. Your high praise of the label has just convinced me to go back there and snag it up. And I've never even heard Dvorak's 7th. I think it was going for $2.

    As for Nielsen, I picked up my first Nielsen CD the other day but have yet to listen, the Bernstein "Royal Edition" with Nielsen's 2nd and 4th. Soon, maybe even today actually.

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  16. #39
    Senior Member MatthewWeflen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    When I was at my favorite local record store last, I saw and just barely passed up on a CD from the LSO Live label of Sir Colin Davis conducting Dvorak's 7th. Your high praise of the label has just convinced me to go back there and snag it up. And I've never even heard Dvorak's 7th. I think it was going for $2.

    As for Nielsen, I picked up my first Nielsen CD the other day but have yet to listen, the Bernstein "Royal Edition" with Nielsen's 2nd and 4th. Soon, maybe even today actually.
    Everything I've heard of Davis' Dvorak leads me to believe it will be a good one. And I have not yet picked up a bum set from LSO Live. I now have Sibelius Symphonies, Sibelius Kullervo, and Nielsen Symphonies by Davis, Mendelssohn Symphonies by Gardiner, and Scriabin symphonies by Gergiev, and the sound has been superlative on each. They are all post-2000 live digital recordings.

    You can sample the Dvorak recording here:

    https://lsolive.lso.co.uk/collection...-no-7-download
    Last edited by MatthewWeflen; Oct-22-2019 at 01:44.

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  18. #40
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I'm leaning toward the Blomstedt Nielsen box because it includes the six symphonies, his opera Maskarade, and the choral work, Hymnis Amoris. The LSO Live sets are cool but I don't have a SACD player to take advantage of the fidelity.
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  19. #41
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Some of the Davis LSO Live Nielsen's are very good. I remember when they came out being a bit surprised as Nielsen had not been a common choice for Davis. There are two sets that I like a little more than the others (I think I have heard them all) - both are with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic:

    41GHP9S7jKL.jpg

    7318599920283.jpg

    The Oramo recordings do cover all six symphonies but are only available separately.

  20. #42
    Senior Member WildThing's Avatar
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    Don't sleep on Alan Gilbert's set with the New York Philharmonic. Surprisingly satisfying performances, great sound, and the concertos are included.


  21. #43
    Senior Member Tero's Avatar
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    I gave him a fair chance, but I am sort of handicapped in that I value melody over most other elements in music. Very little in Nielsen sticks to my memory. I value the smaller works over the symphonies for that reason. Even some chamber works for winds.
    Last edited by Tero; Oct-22-2019 at 20:09.

  22. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tero View Post
    I gave him a fair chance, but I am sort of handicapped in that I value melody over most other elements in music. Very little in Nielsen sticks to my memory. I value the smaller works over the symphonies for that reason. Even some chamber works for winds.
    What? No memorable melodies from Nielsen's Symphonies? Then you have been hearing the wrong composer.
    Last edited by MusicSybarite; Oct-22-2019 at 20:13.

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  24. #45
    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tero View Post
    I gave him a fair chance, but I am sort of handicapped in that I value melody over most other elements in music. Very little in Nielsen sticks to my memory. I value the smaller works over the symphonies for that reason. Even some chamber works for winds.
    I don't quite understand this. There's a lot of melody in Nielsen, also in the bigger works. An obvious, prime example would be the finale of the 3rd Symphony.

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