Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 1-6

Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 1-6

by Herbert BlomstedtHerbert Blomstedt




Even though the revival of Carl Nielsen's music in the late '60s proved to be nearly as revelatory as the slightly earlier promotion of Gustav Mahler's symphonies, the pace of recordings at the time was quite sluggish. Indeed, by the early 1970s, the discography of Nielsen's symphonies included a smattering of releases by Leonard Bernstein and Eugene Ormandy for Columbia, Jascha Horenstein on Nonesuch, and Ole Schmidt on Unicorn, along with these utterly superior recordings by Herbert Blomstedt and the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra for EMI. The six symphonies and two additional orchestral works, "Bohemian-Danish Folk Tunes" and the "Andante lamentoso" (At the Bier of a Young Artist), were all recorded between 1973 and 1975, and for their time were the best available recordings of Nielsen's key works. While they have been superseded in terms of sound quality -- note Theodore Kuchar's exceptional 2005 set on Brilliant -- they have hardly been improved upon in terms of interpretation and execution. Anyone coming to Nielsen's music for the first time may want to try one or two of the symphonies initially -- the "Symphony No. 5" is perhaps the most recommended and easiest to absorb -- but if the urge to acquire all of them becomes hard to ignore, then this complete set is a good place to begin, notwithstanding the analog sound that is slightly weaker than Brilliant's all-digital recording. Both sets offer exceptional value for the music, and the full range of Nielsen's expression -- from optimistic post-Romanticism to bemused (if not bitter) modernism -- is marvelously brought across in Blomstedt's recordings, as it is in Kuchar's.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/02/2007
Label: Warner Classics
UPC: 5099950082926
catalogNumber: 829
Rank: 185616


  1. Symphony No. 1 in G minor, FS 16 (Op. 7)
  2. Symphony No. 2 ("De fire temperamenter"), FS 29 (Op. 16)
  3. Bøhmisk-dansk folketone (Bohemian-Danish Folk Tune), paraphrase for string orchestra, FS 130
  4. Symphony No. 3 ("Sinfonia espansiva"), FS 60 (Op. 27)
  5. Symphony No. 4 ("Det uudslukkelige"; "Inextinguishable"), FS 76 (Op. 29)
  6. Ved en ung kunstners baare (At the Bier of a Young Artist), for string quartet & double bass, FS 58
  7. Symphony No. 5, FS 97 (Op. 50)
  8. Symphony No. 6 ("Sinfonia semplice"), FS 116

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