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Carl Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 / New York PO; Gilbert

Album Summary

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 5, Op. 50
>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 6, FS 116 "Sinfonia semplice"
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Marking the beginning of Carl Nielsen's 150th anniversary year, this recording concludes the acclaimed cycle of Carl Nielsen symphonies by the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert known as The Nielsen Project. Recorded live in Avery Fisher Hall, this CD presents the Danish national composer's last two symphonies, nos. 5 and 6, the latter of which has never previously been performed by the Philharmonic. According to Alan Gilbert, both works represent the "battle between good and evil" and are profound, dramatic works by a mature composer who knew that his days were numbered. "The New York Philharmonic is a powerhouse orchestra, Nielsen is a powerhouse symphonist, and Alan Gilbert revels in the music's energy and dynamism." (10/10 ClassicsToday)

American Record Guide, July/August 2015
The sound is excellent in terms of timbre and detail; it may be the best of this series. If you've liked Gilbert's Nielsen so far, you should like this entry, too.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City (10/01/2013-10/03/2014).



Reviews

"This impure trench music?"
A strong conclusion to a justly applauded modern cycle. Thus far, Maestro Gilbert and the NYP have demonstrated a certain affinity for the Danish masterís first four symphonies in consistently perceptive, dramatically intuitive performances. Symphony No. 5 is no less compelling. Maestro Gilbertís sense of pacing, balancing and building are congruent with the composerís vision. While all sections deliver, the strings in particular display a special sheen and cohesion. As good as this version is, the groundbreaking, incendiary Bernstein/NYP recording continues to loom large some 50 years after its release, remaining the preferred version for many. Upon its premiere, the accompanying Symphony No. 6 confounded audiences who were accustomed to the composerís straightforward ďheroicĒ style as exemplified by the previous 3 symphonies. They found the ironic twists and turns of this last symphony perplexing. Some critics even detected a declining inspiration they attributed to the composerís faltering health. To this day, the concluding few measures are markedly ambiguous, almost derisive as if Nielsen were thumbing his nose at us. Maestro Gilbert nimbly maneuvers the tricky disparate elements within this symphony through careful balancing and observance of the composerís precise dynamic and rhythmic markings, thereby making a solid case for this work. The players are with him all the way. The sound pickup is finely etched and three dimensional throughout both works, most prominently in the SA format. Finally, the excellent liner notes deserve mention.
Submitted on 03/13/15 by Allen Cohen 
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Works Details

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 5, Op. 50
  • Conductor: Alan Gilbert
  • Ensemble: New York Philharmonic
  • Notes: Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City (10/01/2013-10/03/2014)
  • Running Time: 36 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1921-1922

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 6, FS 116 "Sinfonia semplice"
  • Conductor: Alan Gilbert
  • Notes: Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City (10/01/2013-10/03/2014)
  • Running Time: 34 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1924-1925