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Carl Nielsen

Koncerter


Alan Gilbert, dirigent
Robert Langevin, fløjte
Anthony McGill, klarinet
New York Filharmonikerne
Nikolaj Znaider, violin

Carl Nielsen, komponist

Om:

Carl Nielsens tre solokoncerter udgør sammen med de seks symfonier kernen af hans orkestermusik. Ligesom symfonierne forholder de tre koncerter sig til den klassiske tradition på hver sin personlige måde. Samtidig viser de, hvordan Carl Nielsen udviklede sig og i stigende grad fjernede sig fra konventionerne. “Jeg tænker ud fra Instrumenterne selv – ligesom kryber ind i deres Sjæl”, sagde Carl Nielsen selv. Det er den personificering af instrumenterne, der gør de tre solokoncerter så individuelle.

Til denne afsluttende udgivelse i The Nielsen Project med New York Philharmonic har chefdirigent Alan Gilbert valgt at følge i forgængeren Leonard Bernsteins fodspor ved at benytte orkestrets egne førsteblæsere i solopartierne. Den canadiske fløjtenist Robert Langevin folder sin fænomenale klang ud i fløjtekoncerten, mens den unge Anthony McGill debuterer som orkestrets nye soloklarinettist, der er kommet til New York Philharmonic fra et årti som solospiller i Metropolitan Operaens orkester. Til violinkoncerten har Gilbert inviteret danske Nikolaj Znaider, som er vokset op med Nielsens violinkoncert og i dag turnerer over hele verden med koncerten på programmet. 
  
 

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Trackliste:

Priser vist i Amerikanske dollars
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 33 (1911–12)
1

I. Prelude: Largo - Allegro cavallerésco

18:43 Play $3.50
2

II. Poco adagio -

6:19 Play $2.10
3

Rondo: Allegretto scherzando

10:06 Play $2.80
Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (1926)
4

I. Allegro moderato

10:54 Play $2.80
5

II. Allegretto, un poco

7:21 Play $2.10
Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 57 (1928)
6

Allegretto un poco -

8:07 Play $2.10
7

Poco adagio -

4:49 Play $1.40
8

Allegro non troppo - Adagio - Allegro vivace

10:55 Play $2.80
Total spilletid  78 minutes

JEG KRYBER IND I INSTRUMENTERNES SJÆL
Carl Nielsens tre solokoncerter udgør sammen med hans seks symfonier kernen af hans orkestermusik. Ligesom symfonierne forholder de tre koncerter sig til den klassiske tradition på hver sin personlige måde. Samtidig viser de, hvordan Carl Nielsen udviklede sig og i stigende grad fjernede sig fra konventionerne. “Jeg begyndte med at komponere med Klaver, som jeg senere omsatte for Orkester. Det næste Stadium var, at jeg skrev mit Partitur direkte for Instrumenterne. Nu tænker jeg ud fra Instrumenterne selv – ligesom kryber ind i deres Sjæl”, sagde Carl Nielsen som 60-årig. Det er den personificering af instrumenterne, der gør de tre solokoncerter så individuelle. I Violinkoncerten er der desuden en helt personlig indlevelse i soloinstrumentet, fordi Nielsen oprindelig selv var violinist.

Violinkoncert
Allerede som lille dreng spillede Carl Nielsen violin til bryllupper og fester på landet; improviseret dansemusik, der fortsatte, indtil solen stod op. Fra opvæksten som spillemand er der et voldsomt spring til 1889, hvor Carl Nielsen som 24-årig blev ansat som violinist i det Det Kgl. Kapel i København. En egentlig solistkarriere havde han aldrig, og Violinkoncerten skrev han først efter at have sagt sin orkesterstilling op for at koncentrere sig om at komponere. Solostemmen kunne han næppe selv fremføre.

Det meste af Violinkoncerten blev skrevet i Griegs komponisthytte på Troldhaugen, som Nielsen i sommeren 1911 blev inviteret til at låne af Griegs enke, Nina, der var halvt dansk. Carl Nielsen dirigerede selv uropførelsen i København 1912 sammen med den nye Symfoni nr. 3, “Sinfonia espansiva”. En skelsættende aften for både Nielsen og dansk musik. Solisten var Det Kgl. Kapels koncertmester Peder Møller, der de følgende år havde så godt som patent på Violinkoncerten. Senere blev det især Nielsens svigersøn og fortrolige, den ungarske violinist Emil Telmányi, der førte den frem.

Violinkoncerten er ukonventionel og virker måske forvirrende, hvis man ikke har mødt Nielsens musik før. Det er ellers et af hans mest typiske værker, hvor flere sider af hans personlighed står tæt op ad hinanden. Værket er formet i to store halvdele, som hver er delt i et langsomt og et hurtigt afsnit. En usædvanlig, men klar struktur.

Indledningen er drastisk: En kæmpemæssig solokadence over et orgelpunkt. Her møder man den stræbsomme kunstner, og i Bach-stil kalder Nielsen afsnittet for Præludium. Som kontrast til de store armbevægelser følger et helt anderledes idyllisk tema af yndefuld og jordnær skønhed.

Brat skifter Nielsen så til koncertens hoveddel, betegnet Allegro cavalléresco, dvs. ridderlig og stolt. Violinen træder frem som erobrer, der kender sit værd, og Nielsen udfolder vitalt sit meget originale temastof og afrunder med endnu en stor solokadence – denne gang på det “rigtige” sted i en klassisk solokoncert.

2. del begynder med oboens søgende tema over tonerne B-A-C-H. Det sære motiv er perfekt egnet til Nielsens kromatiske undersøgelse af grænselandet mellem dur og mol. Dette intense, højtidelige afsnit går ligesom i 1. del brat videre til musik af en helt anden udadvendt karakter: En drilsk rondo, hvor Nielsen slipper sin indre spillemand løs. I samtiden mente nogle, at komponisten her gamblede med seriøsiteten. Kunne en bredt anlagt solokoncert også være morsom? Nielsen, en af den klassiske musiks største humorister, beskrev for sin kone finalen som “en Slags halvsød, halvlystig, dinglevorn Sats, uden Villie næsten, men god og indtagende som en hjertelig smilende Drivert i sine bedste Øjeblikke. Synes Du om saadan èn?”, tilføjede han selvironisk – en stadig meget drenget mand på 46 år.

Fløjtekoncert
De to andre solokoncerter stammer fra en anden fase af Nielsens liv. I 1920’rne bredte hans musik sig for alvor i Europa, og som modernist blev han nu målt over for både Bartók og Schönberg.

Det var ikke et tilfælde, at hans to sidste koncerter er for blæsere. Efter at have skrevet sin Blæserkvintet i 1922 fik Carl Nielsen lyst til at skrive en solokoncert til hvert af kvintettens fem instrumenter og samtidig portrættere personligheden hos de musikere, der havde uropført hans kammermusikværk. Desværre blev det kun til to af de planlagte fem blæserkoncerter, inden Nielsen døde i 1931.

Fløjtekoncerten er fra 1926 og blev uropført samme år ved et Carl Nielsen-arrangement i Paris, som en række velyndere havde stablet på benene for at præsentere den danske komponist for et internationalt publikum. Ravel, Honegger og Roussel var blandt de kolleger, han mødte ved lejligheden, og kritikere fra flere lande rapporterede hjem. Fløjtesolisten var den fransk skolede Holger Gilbert-Jespersen, og Emil Telmányi dirigerede. Reaktionerne på den nye Fløjtekoncert var overvejende positive, og Carl Nielsen blev endda udnævnt til officer af Æreslegionen.

Fløjtekoncerten er et pragteksempel på Carl Nielsens sene stil: Rastløs, men præcis, humoren skarp, men hjertet varmt. Igen er koncerten opbygget i en todelt form, dog strammet betydeligt op. Flowet er hurtigt og omvekslende, og varigheden er kun det halve af violinkoncerten (“Det er nok til en Fløjte”, sagde Carl Nielsen). Ved at udelade alle messingblæsere undtagen én bliver klangbilledet mere gennemsigtigt, men Nielsen holder sig ikke tilbage, og hans Fløjtekoncert er usædvanligt dynamisk.

Det begynder flagrende, på jagt efter en fast toneart, og selv efter både hoved- og sidetemaet er intet endnu sikkert. En første solokadence må fløjten dele med klarinetten, og i gennemføringsdelen får marchpauker og en truende bastrombone solisten til skrige som en fugl, der har øjnet et rovdyr.

Så samler orkestret sig om et tema, der omsider giver fløjten sjælero. “Fløjten kan ikke fornægte sin Natur, den hører hjemme i Arkadien og foretrækker de pastorale Stemninger; Komponisten er derfor nødt til at rette sig efter det blide Væsen, ifald han ikke vil risikere at stemples som en Barbar”, skrev Carl Nielsen i en vittig programnote. Alligevel slutter satsen uforløst med paukerumlen under den sidste solokadence.

2. sats forsøger at lægge konflikterne bag sig med en naiv melodi, men snart må fløjten bekende sig til et indadvendt, sorgfuldt Adagio-tema. Det lysner lidt med en opmuntrende tempo di marcia 6/8-version af det første tema, dog ikke nok til at Adagio-temaet vil forsvinde. Hvordan skal det ende? Vidunderligt bizart lader Nielsen den brovtende basun sætte tingene på plads: Den vælter ind med marchtemaet og styrer hele værket i havn med det pastorale tema fra 1. del. Fløjten er perpleks over forlovelsen med den ulige partner, men pointen er typisk for Carl Nielsen: Enighed er ikke nødvendigvis lykken. Frodige modsætninger bringer liv og lyst.

Klarinetkoncert
Klarinetkoncerten fra 1928 er Carl Nielsens mest radikale værk overhovedet og skræmte samtiden ganske meget. “Maaske lyder det ikke godt, men det morer mig ikke at komponere Musik hvis jeg skal blive ved paa samme Maade”, skrev han til sin elev Nancy Dalberg.

Nielsen havde stor sans for klarinettens personlighed. Han lærte den at kende som dreng af en gammel blind spillemand, der viste, hvordan klarinetten både kan græde og grine, og i København blev der fyret yderligere op under Nielsens klarinetbegejstring af den temperamentsfulde klarinettist Aage Oxenvad fra Det Kongelige Kapel. De ekstreme udsving i Klarinetkoncerten er i høj grad inspireret af ham.

“Klarinetten kan være paa én Gang varmhjertet og bundhysterisk, mild som Balsam og skrigende som en Sporvogn paa daarligt smurte Skinner” lød en af Nielsens karakteriseringer.

Orkesterbesætningen i Klarinetkoncerten er barberet ned til blot strygere, to horn og to fagotter. Dertil en vigtig birolle til lilletrommen, der fungerer som sidekick i endnu højere grad end basunen i Fløjtekoncerten. Allerede i sin 5. Symfoni havde Nielsen lade klarinet og tromme optræde som dynamisk kombination med destruktive kræfter, og her drives de endnu længere ud.

Musikkens forløb er helt uden satspauser, og selv om man kan underdele koncerten i fire kontrasterende afsnit, opfattes den bedst som én lang scene. Konflikten ligger denne gang i polyfonien, der hverken er for eller imod en fast toneart. “Jeg har en saa fri Stemmegang i Instrumenterne, at jeg virkelig ingen Anelse har om hvordan det vil klinge”, skrev Nielsen med tilfredshed om sit dristige partitur. Solist og orkester presser hinanden med lilletrommen som tredjepart, der skiftevis opildner og splitter. Klarinetten er desuden oppe mod sit eget temperament – allerede i sin første melodiske indsats mister den besindelsen, og efter bare et par minutter ryger låget helt af kedlen i en kolerisk dobbeltkadence sammen med trommen.

Udgangspunktet for hele koncerten er begyndelsestemaet i cello og basser, der minder om en skævvreden dansk hopsa, spillet lurende langsomt. Det andet gennemgående tema i koncerten er poco adagio og rummer en dyb sørgmodighed, der bliver stadigt mere intens for hver gang, det dukker op. Det smerter mere end selv de sataniske marchpassager i koncerten. I det sidste afsnit hiver klarinetten – ligesom violinen i sin koncert – et drilsk spillemandsmotiv frem. Det letter, men selv om koncerten afrundes i en form for forsonlighed, kommer det aldrig til en egentlig afklaring. Fred i vor tid? Næppe!

Carl Nielsens Klarinetkoncert er den vigtigste klarinetkoncert fra det 20. århundrede og et af hans mest forunderlige værker, fordi hans fantasi får lov at udfolde sig uden tonale bindinger. Ved uropførelsen i København var det kun få, der kunne se nogen fremtid for værket. Det frydede Carl Nielsen, som til en avis opsummerede debatten: “Det var ganske fornøjeligt. Det viser jo, at man ikke er helt sakrosankt endnu, at man endnu er i live og har Haab og Udviklingsmuligheder. Er man naaet dertil, at ingen tør pille ved en, saa er man først sat helt uden for Spillet og parat til at komme paa Museum.”

© Jens Cornelius, 2015

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Indspillet i Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City, 10.–13. oktober 2012 (Violin- fløjtekoncert) samt 7.–10. & 13. anuar 2015 (Klainetkoncert)
Producers: Preben Iwan and Mats Engström
Teknik, mix og mastering: Preben Iwan
www.timbremusic.dk

Optaget i lyformatet DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) 352.8kHz / 32 bit
Live monitoring on MK Sound speakers
Microphones main array: Decca Tree with outriggers: 5x DPA 4006TL
– surround microphones: 2x DPA 4015TL
Converters & Preamps: DAD AX24 – DAW system: Pyramix with Smart AV Tango controller
Mastering monitored on B&W 802Diamond speakers

TimbreMusic ønsker at takke thank Lawrence Rock, Audio Director hos New York Philharmonic, for hans støtte og hjælp under optagelserne.

Grafisk design: Denise Burt, www.elevator-design.dk

Forlag: The Carl Nielsen Edition – Edition Wilhelm Hansen AS, www.ewh.dk

Dacapo takker Carl Nielsen og Anne Marie Carl-Nielsens Legat, Augustinus Fonden og Beckett-Fonden for økonomisk til produktionen.

---

Instruments made possible, in part, by The Richard S. and Karen LeFrak Endowment Fund.

Steinway is the Official Piano of the New York Philharmonic and Avery Fisher Hall.

CREEP INTO THE SOULS OF THE INSTRUMENTS
Carl Nielsen’s three solo concertos, along with his six symphonies, constitute the core of his orchestral music. Like the symphonies, each of the three concertos relates to the classical tradition in its own way. At the same time they show how Carl Nielsen developed, and increasingly distanced himself from the conventions. “I began by composing with the piano, later rearranging for the orchestra. The next stage was that I wrote my score directly for the instruments. Now I think in terms of the instruments themselves – I sort of creep into their souls,” said Carl Nielsen at the age of 60. It is this personification of the instruments that makes the three solo concertos so individual. In the Violin Concerto there is moreover a quite personal empathy with the solo instrument, because Nielsen was originally a violinist himself.

Violin Concerto As a little boy Carl Nielsen was already playing the violin at weddings and feasts in the countryside: improvised dance music that continued until sunrise. From his early youth as a folk fiddler there is a radical leap to 1889, when Carl Nielsen was engaged at the age of 24 as a violinist in the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen. He never had a true career as a performing soloist, and he only wrote the Violin Concerto after resigning from his orchestral position to concentrate on composing. It is unlikely that he would have been able to perform the solo part himself.

Most of the Violin Concerto was written in Edvard Grieg’s “composer’s hut” at Troldhaugen, which Nielsen was invited to borrow in the summer of 1911 by Grieg’s widow, Nina, who was half-Danish. Carl Nielsen himself conducted the first performance in Copenhagen, in 1912, which also featured the new Symphony No. 3, Sinfonia espansiva. It was an epoch-making evening for both Nielsen and Danish music. The soloist was the Royal Orchestra’s first violinist, Peder Møller, who in subsequent years well nigh had a patent on the Violin Concerto. Later it was primarily Nielsen’s son-in-law and confidant, the Hungarian violinist Emil Telmányi, who performed it.

The Violin Concerto is unconventional and may seem confusing if one has not encountered Nielsen’s music before. It is in fact one of his most typical works, where several sides of his personality emerge in close order. The work is constructed in two large halves, each of which is divided into a slow and a fast section – an unusual but clear structure.

 The introduction is drastic: a giant solo cadenza over a pedal point. Here we meet the striving artist, and in Bach style Nielsen names this opening section Praeludium. As a contrast to the expansive gestures this is followed by a much more idyllic theme of graceful but downto- earth beauty.

Abruptly Nielsen shifts into the main part of the concerto, designated Allegro cavalléresco – that is, chivalric and proud. The violin comes to the fore as a conqueror who knows his value, and Nielsen expresses his highly original thematic material with vitality and rounds it off with yet another great solo cadenza – this time in the ‘right’ place in a classical concerto.

The second part begins with the oboe’s searching theme over the notes B-A-C-H. The odd motif is perfectly suited to Nielsen’s chromatic scanning of the borderland between major and minor. As in the first part, this intense, solemn passage moves abruptly into music of a quite different, outward-looking character: a teasing rondo in which Nielsen unleashes his inner folk fiddler. At the time some people thought the composer was gambling away his seriousness here. Could a grandly conceived solo concerto also be amusing? Nielsen, one of the greatest humorists of classical music, described the final movement to his wife as “a kind of half-cute, half-cheerful, rickety movement, almost without willpower, but good-natured and engaging like a warmly smiling layabout at his best moments. Do you like such a fellow?” he added self-ironically – at 46 still a very boyish man.

Flute Concerto
The other two concertos come from a different phase of Nielsen’s life. In the 1920s his music made serious headway in the rest of Europe, and as a modernist he was now measured against both Bartók and Schoenberg.

It is no coincidence that his last two concertos are for wind instruments. After writing his Wind Quintet in 1922 Carl Nielsen had the urge to write a concerto for each of the quintet’s five instruments, and at the same time to portray the personalities of the musicians who had given his chamber music work its first performance. Unfortunately only two of the planned five wind concertos were completed before Nielsen died in 1931.

The Flute Concerto is from 1926, and was given its first performance the same year at a Carl Nielsen event in Paris that a number of benefactors had set up to present the Danish composer to an international audience. Ravel, Honegger and Roussel were among the colleagues he met on this occasion, and critics from several countries reported home. The flute soloist was the French-trained Holger Gilbert-Jespersen, and Emil Telmányi conducted. The reactions to the new Flute Concerto were predominantly positive, and Carl Nielsen was even awarded the Legion of Honour.

The Flute Concerto is a marvellous example of Carl Nielsen’s late style: restless but precise, with incisive humour but a warm heart. Once more the concerto is given a twofold structure, but tightened up considerably. The flow is quick and varied, and the duration is only half that of the Violin Concerto (“That’s enough for a flute,” said Carl Nielsen). The omission of all the brass but one makes the soundscape more transparent, but Nielsen pulls no punches, and his Flute Concerto is unusually dynamic.

It begins flickeringly, in search of a fixed key, and even after the statement of first and second subjects nothing is yet certain. The flute must share the first solo cadenza with the clarinet, and in the development section marching timpani and a threatening bass trombone make the soloist screech like a bird that has caught sight of a predator.

Then the orchestra settles on a theme that at last gives the flute peace of mind. “The flute cannot deny its nature, it belongs in Arcadia and prefers the pastoral moods; the composer therefore has to adapt to this gentle nature if he will not risk being branded as a barbarian,” Carl Nielsen wrote in a witty programme note. All the same the movement ends unresolved, with the rumble of the timpani during the last solo cadenza.

The second movement attempts to put the conflicts behind it with a naive melody, but soon the flute must take a stand with an inward, melancholy Adagio theme. Things brighten up a little with a cheering tempo di marcia 6/8 version of the first subject, but not enough to make the Adagio theme disappear. How is this to end? In wonderfully bizarre fashion Nielsen lets the swaggering trombone put things in their place; it barges in with the march theme and pilots the whole work into harbour with the pastoral theme from the first part. The flute is perplexed at its betrothal with its odd partner, but the point is typical of Carl Nielsen: agreement is not necessarily bliss. Fertile contrasts produce life and desire.

Clarinet Concerto
The Clarinet Concerto, from 1928, is Carl Nielsen’s most radical work of all, and was rather frightening to his contemporaries. “Perhaps it doesn’t sound so good, but it doesn’t amuse me to compose music if I have to carry on in the same way,” he wrote to his pupil Nancy Dalberg.

Nielsen had a great sense of the personality of the clarinet. He got to know it as a boy from an old blind folk musician who showed him how the clarinet could both weep and laugh, and in Copenhagen Nielsen’s enthusiasm for the clarinet was further stoked by the temperamental clarinettist Aage Oxenvad of the Royal Orchestra. The extreme fluctuations in the Clarinet Concerto are very much inspired by him.

“The clarinet can be at once warm-hearted and utterly hysterical, mild as balm and shrill as a tramcar on poorly greased rails,” was one of Nielsen’s descriptions.

The orchestral ensemble in the Clarinet Concerto is shaved down to just the strings, two horns and two bassoons, as well as an important secondary role for the snare drum, which functions as a sidekick even more than the trombone does in the Flute Concerto. In his Fifth Symphony Nielsen had already made clarinet and drum act as a dynamic combination with destructive powers, and here they are driven even further out.

The music progresses entirely without breaks between the movements, and although one can subdivide the concerto into four contrasting sections, it is best conceived as one long scene. This time the conflict is played out in the polyphony, which is neither for nor against a fixed key. “I have such free motion in the instruments that I really have no idea of how it will sound,” Nielsen wrote with satisfaction about his bold score. Soloist and orchestra urge one another forward with the snare drum as third party, alternatively inciting and dividing. The clarinet is moreover up against its own temperament – already in its first melodic entry it loses control, and after just a few minutes the lid is blown off the kettle in a choleric double cadenza together with the drum.

The starting point for the whole concerto is the initial subject in cellos and basses, which recalls a lopsided Danish hopsa played with a prowling slowness. The second recurring theme in the concerto is poco adagio and exhibits a deep melancholy that becomes ever more intense each time it appears. It is more painful even than the satanic march passages in the concerto. In the last section the clarinet – like the violin in its own concerto – pulls out a teasing folk-dance like motif. That lightens things up, but even though the Concerto is rounded off in a kind of spirit of conciliation, it never achieves a true serenity. Peace in our time? Hardly!

Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto is the most important clarinet concerto from the twentieth century, and one of his most singular works, because his imagination is allowed to unfold without tonal ties. At the first performance in Copenhagen there were few who saw a future for the work. That delighted Carl Nielsen, who summed up the debate for a newspaper: “It was very amusing. It shows after all that one is not quite sacrosanct yet, that one is still alive and has hope and possibilities for development. If you have arrived where no one dares take you down a peg, only then have you been placed outside the game and are ready to take your place in the museum.”

© Jens Cornelius, 2015

Label: Dacapo

Format: SACD

Katalognummer: 6.220556

Stregkode: 747313155668

Udgivelsesdato: June 2015

Periode: Tidligt 20. århundrede

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Anmeldelser

Diapason
5/5 Stars
"Le concertato délicieux du violoniste et des bois est prodigieux d'imagination désinvolte, la technique si parfait qu'on n'entend que sa musique,"
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BBC Music Magazine
4/5 Stars
"... the quality of the New York Philharmonic's woodwind principals is evident throughout the disc."
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The New York Times
"Mr. Gilbert balances the late-Romantic and searching contemporary elements of the symphonies in these spontaneous seeming yet organic performances."
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American Record Guide
"Znaider, Langevin, McGill, Gilbert, and the Philharmonic are in complete command of Nielsen’s scores, rendering each with sonic elegance, technical brilliance, and expressive insight."
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The Arts Desk
"Nielsen’s Violin Concerto…gets an excellent performance from Nikolaj Znaider. Rarely has such an expansive piece felt so compact and finely-wrought, Znaider never letting Nielsen’s stream of ideas ramble. He’s handsomely supported by Alan Gilbert’s New York Philharmonic, the live recording well balanced."
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Magasinet Klassisk
4/6 Stars
”Violinisten vinder: Violinkoncerten blev til i slipstrømmen på 3. Symfoni og er præget af samme energi, store fortællestil og som noget helt særligt en spillemandsstil, som sangbare fraseringer og dynamiske finesser for at afdække lag på lag i denne koncert, der er mere end blot virtuoserier.”
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MusicWeb International
"...Znaider takes command and doesn’t let go. He varies his tone, as the music requires, from big and fruity to soft and silvery (...) The sound is terrific and one can hear all kinds of details in the orchestra that would otherwise go unnoticed. Dacapo’s production is fully in the luxury class. In every way this SACD is a winner and a fine conclusion to Alan Gilbert’s Nielsen cycle."
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Examiner.com
"Whether Nielsen is taking a retrospective or a prospective stance, Gilbert always seems to find the right approach to phrasing his thematic content, coloring it with just the right balance of instrumental resources, and managing the give-and-take between soloist and ensemble …this recent release is definitely an excellent way for the attentive listener to get to know the concertos."
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Gramophone
"Throughout this disc Alan Gilbert and the NYPO play on the kinship that exists between the symphonies that effectively gave the Flute and Clarinet Concertos breath. The latter is a substantial chip off the block that is the Fifth Symphony—and even has the clarinettist bring his old sparring partner, the side drum, with him. NYPO principal Anthony McGill revels effortlessly in its wild improvisatory nature and those elemental pyrotechnics."
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SA-CD.net
"The violin concerto alone makes this disk an absolute must, with, as a bonus, getting the other two, expertly and convincingly played […] Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic play and sound, with the help of excellent engineering…gorgeous. Bravissimo!"
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Allmusic.com
"...exceptional performances by violinist Nikolaj Znaider, flutist Robert Langevin, and clarinetist Anthony McGill…"
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Classical CD Choice
"That particular magical ingredient is present here, and these are cherishable readings of these masterworks"
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David's Review Corner
"The sound is outstanding in its clarity, balance and impact. A remarkable conclusion to the orchestra’s Nielsen symphonic cycle."
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Jyllands-Posten
3/6 Stars
"Med luftig afspændthed og stram struktur holder Gilbert en perfekt orkesterbalance i de tre koncerter."
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