Nielsen: Symphonies Nos.1 & 6 / Colin Davis, LSO

Audio Samples

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 1 in G minor, Op. 7
>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 6, FS 116 "Sinfonia semplice"

Album Summary

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 1 in G minor, Op. 7
>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 6, FS 116 "Sinfonia semplice"
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The second release in Sir Colin Davis' acclaimed Nielsen cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra features the fi rst and sixth symphonies. The debut recording of symphonies four and five was an Editor's Choice in Gramophone and Orchestral Choice of the Month in BBC Music Magazine. 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 sixth and final symphony, entitled Sinfonia Semplice (Simple Symphony), turns out to be anything but this. Though written thirty 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." -The Sunday Times

"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." -The Times

Sunday Times
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.

Financial Times
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.

International Record Review
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.

Gramophone Magazine
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.

BBC Music Magazine
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.

The Times, 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.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Barbican, London.



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Works Details

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 1 in G minor, Op. 7
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Barbican, London (10/02/2011/10/04/2011)
  • Running Time: 32 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1891-1892

>Nielsen, Carl : Symphony no 6, FS 116 "Sinfonia semplice"
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Notes: Barbican, London (05/26/2011/06/02/2011)
  • Running Time: 34 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1924-1925