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Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5

Danish National Radio Symphony , Nielsen Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Details


1. Sym No.4, FS 76, Op.29 'The Inextinguishable': Allegro
2. Sym No.4, FS 76, Op.29 'The Inextinguishable': Poco Allegretto
3. Sym No.4, FS 76, Op.29 'The Inextinguishable': Poco Adagio Quasi Andante
4. Sym No.4, FS 76, Op.29 'The Inextinguishable': Con Anima - Allegro
5. Sym No.5, FS 97, Op.50: I. Tempo Giusto -
6. Sym No.5, FS 97, Op.50: I. Adagio
7. Sym No.5, FS 97, Op.50: II. Allegro -
8. Sym No.5, FS 97, Op.50: II. Presto
9. Sym No.5, FS 97, Op.50: II. Andante Poco Tranquillo -
10. Sym No.5, FS 97, Op.50: II. Allegro (Tempo I)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Carl Nielsen's mature symphonies have been well represented on disc. Considering the Fourth, for example, the listener can choose between Leonard Bernstein's searing account for CBS, Bryden Thomson's more sober approach, and Herbert Blomstedt's excellent Decca recording, all with very good sound. And for the Fifth, there's Bernstein again, in a classic recording that helped popularize Nielsen's music in the States, as well as Blomstedt and a handful of others. The Danes, however, have begun reclaiming Nielsen as their own, first rereleasing some historic recordings performed by the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and now a digital series with essentially the same organization conducted by Michael Schønwandt, who has returned to the manuscript sources for a somewhat more authentic Nielsen than we're used to hearing. But instead of offering the musicology lesson of the scholar-conductor, Schønwandt has recorded these symphonies in a way that, for sheer power, conviction, and natural presence, will delight Nielsen lovers and become the definitive versions for years to come.

Schønwandt persuades us to rethink some earlier recordings' excesses. He takes the composer's antiromanticism at his word ("A harp in the orchestra is a like a hair in the soup," Nielsen once remarked), but retains his ferocity and speed. The energy of this Fourth, the "inextinguishable" quality of life and art that it embodies, easily overpowers the score's occasional darkness and distress. But will we ever hear the battle of the timpani performed more fearsomely? The same goes for the snare drum's attempts to disrupt the narrative flow of the Fifth, which ultimately transcends discord. Nielsen responded to the brutality of the early 20th century by reaffirming the primacy of the creative force. Schønwandt's disc serves that purpose to the ultimate degree. --Robert Burns Neveldine


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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong but idiosyncratic Oct. 9 2002
Format:Audio CD
The energy, passion, and recording quality of these performances has helped me enjoy them despite the fact that the interpretive style is not to my taste. It is a rather heavy, romantic approach, with sometimes very broad tempos that occasionally come near to (but not quite) bogging the music down. The conductor doesn't always achieve the rhythmic or textural clarity of others, but the climaxes are powerful nonetheless. Recommended if you are a Nielsen completist or if this approach suits you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong but idiosyncratic Oct. 9 2002
By Variety in Music - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The energy, passion, and recording quality of these performances has helped me enjoy them despite the fact that the interpretive style is not to my taste. It is a rather heavy, romantic approach, with sometimes very broad tempos that occasionally come near to (but not quite) bogging the music down. The conductor doesn't always achieve the rhythmic or textural clarity of others, but the climaxes are powerful nonetheless. Recommended if you are a Nielsen completist or if this approach suits you.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best interpretation April 3 2014
By Robert S. Gelfand - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This recording of the Nielsen Fourth "The Inextinguishable" with Michael Schonwandt and the Danish National Radio SO
is absolutely the finest I have ever heard or seen (DVD). Schonwandt, who is Danish, knows this music like no other conductor. I have listened to the Bloomstedt, Bernstein-his Third is excellent, but not so with the Fourth, Schmidt. Davis
and Martinon and in my opinion, no conductor's interpretation will compare. Schonwandt;s direction is spot-on. The orchestra plays as though it were possessed. This is one of the greatest symphonies ever written and this recording
captures Nielsen's intentions perfectly. What a shame that so few people are familiar with Nielsen's work. Please get
this recording as well as the entire set with Schonwandt. You will thank me.
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