In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
The second release in Sir Colin Davis’s acclaimed Nielsen Symphony cycle features Symphonies Nos 1 & 6. The first title in the series, Symphonies Nos 4 & 5, was an Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and Orchestral Choice of the Month in BBC Music Magazine. The final release in the cycle, Symphonies 2 & 3, will be released at the end of 2012.
Nielsen’s First Symphony draws inspiration from Brahms and Dvorak but also contains hints of the progressive tonality for which he was later celebrated. His enigmatic final symphony, entitled 'Sinfonia Semplice' (Simple Symphony), suggesting a work of “entirely idyllic character”, turns out to be anything but this. Though written 30 years apart, both works feature folk-inflections, tonal ambiguity and Nielsen’s distinctive anti-Romantic style.
“From the outset of the opening movement’s allegro orgoglioso (proud), the tension never flags...the LSO’s principal trombone relish[es] his derisive “yawns”...With the dazzling final theme and variations, Nielsen grapples with the pessimistic zeitgeist and the inevitability of death, but his spirit ultimately triumphs — as do Davis and the LSO.”
21st January 2012
“Colin Davis has come late to Carl Nielsen. But his live recordings of the Dane’s symphonies are likely to be as definitive as his earlier discs of Sibelius and Berlioz...Superb performances all round.”
18th February 2012
“In Davis’s hands the First Symphony is a more substantial work than its reputation would suggest: his performance reveals its Beethovenian dynamism...The Sixth is a superficially jocular work, but thanks to the LSO’s virtuoso handling of its jabs, scowls and woodwind figurations, it emerges as a set of enigmatic variations”
“an often probing account of a perenially disconcerting piece [the Sixth], rendered with evident conviction by the London Symphony...[some] may find Davis underselling what is a symphony in constant and unfulfilled transition. The First Symphony (1892), however, is an almost total success.”
“More fiery and dramatic Nielsen from Sir Colin Davis and the LSO...The First Symphony here is beautifully paced, balancing drive with poetry. The slow movement may be on the broad side but, buoyed up by such musicianship and affection, it can take it...Davis has his finger on the psychological as well as the rhythmic pulse.”
“This is the second instalment of [Davis's] Nielsen Symphony series with the LSO, recorded with admirable clarity and carrying no extra-musical sounds apart from an occasional gasp, groan or semi-melodic hum from the conductor - but there are fewer of those than usual.”
9th December 2012
“The veteran British Sibelian has come late to Nielsen, but his continuing cycle, with the orchestra on its best form, finds him an idiomatic interpreter of the Danish composer’s symphonies.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.