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Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5

Audio Samples

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 4, Op. 29 "Inextinguishable"
>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 5, Op. 50

Album Summary

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 4, Op. 29 "Inextinguishable"
>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 5, Op. 50
Conductor Ensemble
  • >
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Despite having been an admirer of the music of Danish composer Carl Nielsen for many years, Sir Colin Davis has rarely conducted any of his works. Now, at the age of 83, Sir Colin embarks on a complete cycle of the composer’s symphonies. Although Nielsen is frequently compared to his near contemporary Jean Sibelius, each composer’s music is equally individual. Both were celebrated symphonists, but used the potential of an orchestra in different ways. Despite giving titles to the majority of his symphonies, Nielsen was often vague about the specific themes for each work. However his music is always direct, dynamic and lyrical. Sir Colin’s traversal of the symphonies began in concert in 2009. He will conduct the remaining symphonies in 2011 with two further LSO Live releases following in 2012.

"Nielsen's last two symphonies form a response to the first world war and its aftermath...Their uncompromising nature is often fearfully enhanced in this pair of hard-hitting live performances from Colin Davis and the LSO...The playing and recording are both exemplary" The Guardian

The Telegraph
Nielsen is still not part of the regular concert-hall repertoire in Britain, but if anything could persuade you that he should be, it's these vivid and dramatic performances... The London Symphony Orchestra rises to the challenges magnificently, throwing contrasts into high relief, and punching out the rhythms on brass and percussion. Colin Davis conducts expertly.

BBC Music Magazine
[Davis] matches Herbert Blomstedt when it comes to grandeur and sense of the long evolving line, and yet the music also seems to fluid and changeable, and alive on so many levels. Full marks to Davis, too, sustaining the momentum through the finale's Adagio fugue in No. 5... Credit too for using the new critical editions of both scores.

International Record Review
This is music in which the creative act is no longer a virtue but a necessity, and it is this unequivocal aspect Davis conveys in a performance which maintains onward drive at all costs... With forward yet sonorous SACD sound that is among the best that LSO Live has yet achieved, this disc bodes well for the rest of Davis's Nielsen cycle over the coming year.

Gramophone Magazine
At last! Nielsen's two best-known symphonies in modern performances with real fire in their belly... [Davis] brings such animal excitement to the task, such a thrilling sense of discovery and existential danger... Davis shows a remarkable instinct for the paradoxical complexity of the moment in Nielsen, as well as for the broader trajectory of his musical thinking.

Classic FM Magazine
Both these interpretations, recorded live at the Barbican, surge along with the full-throated splendour that is a London Symphony Orchestra trademark. In the magnificent Fifth Symphony... Davis's control of pace unfolds a performance of wonderful, unexaggerated drama and humanity, as fine as any I've heard.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Barbican, London.



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Works Details

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 4, Op. 29 "Inextinguishable"
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Notes: Barbican, London (05/06/2010/05/09/2010)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1914-1916
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 5, Op. 50
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Notes: Barbican, London (10/01/2009/10/04/2009)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1921-1922
  • Studio/Live: Live