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Carl August Nielsen (1865-1931)

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Nielsen: Cantatas

Nielsen: Cantatas


Jens Albinus, Ditte Højgaard Andersen, Mathias Hedegaard & Palle Knudsen

Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Chorus of the Danish National Opera, Aarhus Cathedral Choir & Vox Aros, Bo Holten & Thomas Søndergård

There are still unknown, exciting sides to Denmark’s world-famous composer, Carl Nielsen (1865-1931).

On this CD you can hear the premiere recordings of two of his cantatas for choir, soloists and orchestra.

The cantatas were written in 1908-09, when Carl Nielsen was in one of his most productive phases. They have been performed several times since, but it is only in connection with the new collected edition of Nielsen’s works that they have appeared in print.

The same is true of his genial Homage to Holberg, written in 1923 to celebrate the great 18th-century dramatist to whom Carl Nielsen also paid homage with his opera Maskarade.

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Dacapo - 8226079

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Nielsen - Chamber Music Volume 1

Nielsen - Chamber Music Volume 1


Nielsen:

Piano Trio in G major, FS3i

Serenata in Vano (1914)

Fantasy Piece in G minor for clarinet & piano, FS3h

Fantasy Pieces (2) for oboe & piano, Op. 2, FS 8

Canto serioso for Horn and Piano (FS132)

Tågen letter

Børnene leger

Tro og håb spiller


Trio Ondine & Diamand Ensemble

“It is all extremely well played, beautifully recorded and well documented.” Gramophone Magazine

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Dacapo - 8226064

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Nielsen - Chamber Music Volume 2

Nielsen - Chamber Music Volume 2

The Violin Sonatas and works for Solo Violin


Nielsen:

Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 9 (FS20)

Jon Gjesme (violin) & Jens Elvekjær (piano)

Violin Sonata No. 2, Op. 35 (FS64)

Jon Gjesme (violin) & Jens Elvekjær (piano)

Prelude & Theme with Variations for solo violin, Op. 48 (FS104)

Tue Lautrop (violin)

Preludio e Presto for violin solo, Op. 52 (FS128)


Carl Nielsen’s works for violin, both with and without violin accompaniment, have never achieved the same dizzy heights of popularity as his Wind Quintet, but they do give us a very wide-ranging picture of the composer. The Sonata No. 1 was avant-garde for its time, and was treated with suspicion upon its première in 1895. His last work for solo violin from 1928 was just as experimental, but was received with much more respect, because in the intervening period he had won the status of a national icon.

“A lively threesome clearly relish Neilsen's adventurous and wilful spirit.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2008

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Dacapo - 8226065

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Nielsen: Concertos

Nielsen: Concertos


Nielsen:

Flute Concerto, FS119

Robert Langevin (flute)

Clarinet Concerto Op. 57 (FS129)

Anthony McGill (clarinet)

Violin Concerto, Op. 33 (FS61)

Nikolaj Znaider (violin)


“I think in terms of the instruments themselves – I sort of creep into their souls”, said Carl Nielsen (1865-1931). His three solo concertos for violin, flute and clarinet concertos are highly characteristic and expressive works that show how Nielsen developed as a composer, increasingly distancing himself from the classical conventions. This new recording by New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert concludes the acclaimed Nielsen Project with soloists Nikolaj Znaider, Robert Langevin and Anthony McGill as the soloists in vivid live recordings from Avery Fisher Hall.

“I have to admit that this sequence of concerti has, quite by accident, saved what I think is the best for last. The combination of Nielsen's characterful writing and Anthony McGill's mellifluous playing gives the Clarinet Concerto a unique charm – the instrument's full range is explored and McGill's tone is marvellously liquid throughout.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 8th June 2015

“In the Violin Concerto Nikolaj Znaider, sweet and slender in tone, is equal to all the work's ferocious technical demands. He treats the first movement's Bach-inspired cadenzas with convincing spontaneity, and dances his way delightfully through the Rondo finale…Robert Langevin is nimble and elegant in the Flute Concerto…Anthony McGill is brilliantly virtuosic in the Clarinet Concerto” BBC Music Magazine, December 2015

Presto Disc of the Week

8th June 2015

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Dacapo Alan Gilbert Nielsen Project - 6220556

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Nielsen: Maskarade

Nielsen: Maskarade


 

Bonus material: Introductions to Maskarade, Making of Maskarade

Nielsen:

Maskarade

Sung in Danish


Stephen Milling (Jeronimus), Susanne Resmark (Magdelone), Niels Jørgen Riis (Leander), Johan Reuter (Henrik), Ole Hedegaard (Arv), Poul Elming (Leonard), Gisella Stille (Leonora), Hanne Fischer (Pernille), Sten Byriel (En vægter), Anders Jakobsson (Maskarademester), Jakob Bloch Jespersen (En magister)

The Royal Danish Opera Choir, The Royal Danish Orchestra, Michael Schønwandt

The premiere production was a decided audience success and a more or less unanimous press acknowledged the music as original. “The first act works excellently. After this one would swear that Carl Nielsen was born to write opéra comique. So smooth, so dexterous, such a quick turn of phrase, such aptness in the dialogue, with fine phrases and droll ideas; equally felicitous in the treatment of the text, the singing roles, the instruments of the orchestra. In the craft of music, it is a fully-fledged master who holds the pen; one’s thoughts can only resort to Verdi in ‘Falstaff’ to find a parallel.” Nationaltidende (1906)

Stage directors: Kasper Bech Holten, Morgan Alling & DVD producers: Thorleif Hoppe, Niels Severin

DVD Video

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Nielsen: Maskarade

Nielsen: Maskarade


Gert Bastian (bass), Edith Brodersen (soprano), Ib Hansen (bass), Ove Verner Hansen (bass), Aage Haugland (bass), Tove Hyldgaard (soprano), Mogens Schmidt Johansen (baritone), Jørgen Klint (bass), Tonny Landy (tenor), Gurli Plesner (alto), Christian Sørensen (tenor)

Danish National Choir, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, John Frandsen

“Frandsen's performance is distinguished by good - sometimes very good - singing and alert orchestral support. Above all, the sound is musical, the images are well located and firm” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

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Dacapo - 6220507-08

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Nielsen: Maskarade

Nielsen: Maskarade


Johan Reuter, Stephen Milling, Niels-Jørgen Riis, Dénise Beck, Anne Margrethe Dahl, Ditte Højgaard Andersen, Guido Paevatalu

Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Michael Schønwandt

Carl Nielsen's vivid comedy opera Maskarade has enjoyed a natural status as Denmark's national opera ever since its first performance at the Royal Danish Opera in 1906.

On this recording, Nielsen expert Michael Schønwandt leads a sparkling cast of today’s finest Nielsen singers and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra through the delightful yet stirring comedy plot.

Recorded in the ideal acoustic of DR Koncerthuset, this is the 21st century’s first studio recording of Nielsen’s much-loved opera, appropriately released to celebrate the Danish composer’s 150th anniversary.

“here’s a cast (led by Johan Reuter and Niels Jorgen Riis) whose singing brings the comedy to life under the expert baton of Michael Schonwandt. Enjoy two hours of top-notch light music and brush up your Danish in the process.” The Times, 17th July 2015 ****

“Nielsen’s anniversary invites us to reassess the composer with new recordings, in this case a fourth – and successful – outing on disc for Maskarade...The new performance, like all previous rivals, builds on the strength of home casting at the work's alma mater, the Royal Danish Opera...there's a suitably towering comic monster performance from Stephen Milling.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2015

“The mighty bass Stephen Milling catches the ageing paterfamilias Jeronimus's comically fallible humanity likeable…Denise Beck and Ditte Højgaard Andersen as love interests Leonora and her maid Pernille are excellent, as are the many character roles. Michael Schønwandt conducts with great detail and sweep.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2015

“When played and sung like this, by a cast, conductor and orchestra who clearly relish every bar, it is hard not to be swept along by the warmth and generosity of spirit of the music...All squeeze the maximum dramatic juice out of what the score gives them; they may be stock comic characters, but the feelings with which Nielsen invests them are real enough.” The Guardian, 16th September 2015 ***

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2015

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Dacapo - 6220641-42

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Nielsen: Orchestral Music

Nielsen: Orchestral Music


Nielsen:

Maskarade Overture

Sir Oluf He Rides: Prelude

Snefrid (Suite for Orchestra)

Saul & David - Prelude Act 2

Rhapsody Overture: An Imaginary Trip to the Faroe Islands (FS123)

Pan & Syrinx, Op. 49 (FS87)

Amor og Digteren, Op. 54: Overture

Helios Overture, Op. 17 (FS32)

Maskarade: Dance of the Cockerels

Willemoes: Prelude to Act III


“…this disc is a good reminder of just how experimental Nielsen could be: prepared to try out not just different stylistic devices but even different kinds of persona. Thomas Dausgaard conducts all these works with tremendous gusto, balanced by a fine ear for unusual, suggestive textures, or the comedic vitality that erupts in Maskarade.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2007 *****

“This is outstanding, and unmissable for Nielsen collectors – and not only for the less familiar items, all of which have been recorded before (not badly, either). The Danish Radio Symphony must have played the Saul andDavid and Maskarade excerpts and the Helios Overture more times than they can count. But for Dausgaard they relish every detail, without ever sounding self-conscious. To call the balance in the 'Cockerels' Dance' felicitous would be an understatement; it is revelatory. Nor is affectionate an adequate word for Dausgaard's interpretations of all the music on this disc; there is love here, and a sense of crusading mission.
The praises of the Rhapsody Overture and Panand Syrinx could be sung just as extravagantly.
As could those over the theatre music excerpts, all of which lead to or from the world of Nielsen's symphonies. Given playing of such finesse and bite (one virtually takes idiomatic understanding for granted) they all feel like gems in their own right.
Here's a Nielsen disc that comes about as close to the ideal as one could hope to hear, and it eclipses almost all others in its field. Dacapo's recording quality is top-drawer, and there is an exemplary essay from Jørgen I Jensen.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Awards 2007

Finalist - Orchestral

GGramophone Magazine

Disc of the Month - April 2007

CD Review

Critics Disc of the Year - December 2007

BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - April 2007

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Dacapo - 6220518

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Nielsen: Saul & David

Nielsen: Saul & David


Johan Reuter (Saul), Ann Petersen (Mikal), Morten Staugaard (Samuel), Susanne Resmark (Witch of Endor), Leif Jone Ølberg (Abner), Signe Sneh Schreiber (Abishai), Niels-Jorgen Riis (David), Michael Kristensen (Jonathan)

The Royal Danish Orchestra & The Royal Danish Opera Chorus, Michael Schønwandt

This DVD presents a spectacular new production of Carl Nielsen's dramatic debut opera, Saul & David from 1901 - a production marking the Royal Danish Opera’s celebration of the composer's 150th anniversary in 2015.

King Saul, bitterly jealous of young David, who won the favour of the people by defeating the giant Goliath, is staged in a highly original fashion by acclaimed English director and Nielsen enthusiast David Pountney, who updates the Biblical story to our own time, lending it psychological and political undertones.

The performance is conducted by Nielsen expert Michael Schønwandt and presents an array of Denmark's leading singers with Johan Reuter in the demanding role of King Saul, Niels-Jørgen Riis as David and Ann Petersen as his beloved Mikal.

“Johan Reuter is overwhelmingly good in what may be the best role of his life.” Opernwelt

“The renowned Nielsen interpreter Michael Schønwandt conducted with great love for the music that never smothered it: drawing warm and polished playing from the orchestra, he gave the impression of really channeling and shaping the music as it pulsed through him” Opera Magazine

Total duration: 2h 12min (132 minutes)

Booklet essays by director David Pountney and Nielsen scholar Knud Ketting

“a riveting performance by Johan Reuter in both voice and acted intensity...Pountney's direction and the conducting of Michael Schonwandt help make much of characters who might easily remain sinecures...Orchestra and conductor unroll their home composer's score with richness and dexterity...Hugely recommended.” Gramophone Magazine, March 2016

“Michael Schønwandt's expansive conducting conveys its epic scale and lyrical sweep…[Johann Reuter is] excellent here…his stage presence, arrogant yet vulnerable, is compelling. Niels-Jorgen Riis sings and portrays David more ardently than most…[and] Michael Kristensen makes a stronger than usual impression as the put-upon Jonathan…this is a strong performance which works well on screen.” BBC Music Magazine ****

GGramophone Magazine

DVD of the Month - March 2016

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

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Dacapo - 2110412

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Nielsen: Songs for Choir

Nielsen: Songs for Choir


Nielsen:

Nu er dagen fuld af sang

Frydeligt med jubelkor

Påskeblomst! hvad vil du her?

Vi sletternes sønner har drømme i sind

Havet omkring Danmark from FS 44

I solen går jeg bag min plov

Nu skal det åbenbares

Nu lyser løv from FS 95

Se dig ud en Sommerdag from FS 75

Frihed er det bedste guld

Som en rejselysten flåde from Moderen Op. 41

Udrundne er de gamle dage

Der sad en fisker så tankefuld

Du danske mand! af al din magt

På det jævne from FS 95

Derfor kan vort øje glædes

Tunge, mørke natteskyer

Hvem sidder der bag skærmen

Betragt mit svage spind

Den danske sang from FS 114


Ars Nova Copenhagen, Michael Bojesen

“It is strange that when I write these simple melodies, it is as if I am not the composer – it is people from my childhood or the Danish people who want something through me.” Thus said Carl Nielsen (1865-1931), who was devoted to renewing the Danish song tradition and whose melodies are still at the heart of Danish community song today. On this recording, Ars Nova Copenhagen presents a selection of Nielsen’s most popular songs under conductor Michael Bojesen.

“These simple tunes can unlock many a greater truth in Nielsen's concert works. In that sense they wholly deserve the artistry of Ars Nova Copenhagen...open-throated singing that befits the direct intent of the tunes and their typically angular harmonies...the beautiful tapering of phrase-endings nicely serves the harmonic spice with which Nielsen often twists his stanzas to a close.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

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Dacapo - 6220569

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