View RSS Feed

Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Herbert Blomstedt ‎– Carl Nielsen

Rate this Entry
Today's installment of Vinyl's Revenge features a few selections from a three-disc set dating from the mid-1970's, featuring the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Herbert Blomstedt.

This set, second of two, completes Blomstedt's first complete cycle of the symphonies of Carl Nielsen; another cycle was produced about 15 years later while he was Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony. This set features the last three symphonies and three short orchestral works. Today's share has two of these and Nielsen's Inextinguishable symphony.

I remember well my first encounter with Nielsen's Fourth: it was a television broadcast featuring Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony, and the impression it left me was such that I absolutely needed to acquire this work - which I did in a Bernstein vintage CBS recording with the New York Philharmonic.

The symphony's opening is mst surprising to me; while most symphonies takes a few bars to establish the mood before "getting to business", Nielsen's work dives right in, as if the first couple of pages of the score were ripped out! The result is a work that is all-momentum, a fitting tribute to Life and the Human Spirit undeterred by the effects of the ongoing First World War.

Preceding the symphony in this share, I added a pair of short orchestral works. The Rhapsodic Overture "An Imaginary Trip to the Faroe Islands" draws on Faroese folk tunes but also contains freely composed sections. The nine-minute symphonic poem "Pan and Syrinx" is based on the ancient legend which tells how the amorous god Pan invented the pan flute when following the nymph Syrinx.

Happy Listening!

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931)

Rhapsody Overture 'En fantasirejse til Faeroene' (An Imaginary Trip to the Faroe Islands), FS123
Pan And Syrinx, Op. 49
Symphony No. 4, Op. 29 "The Inextinguishable"

Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Herbert Blomstedt, conducting

Seraphim ‎– SIC-6098
Vinyl, LP, Stereo, Quadraphonic
Released 1975

Details -

YouTube URL -