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Dacapo - Danmarks Nationale Musikantologi

Format:  SACD

Katalognummer:  6.200003

Stregkode:  747313300365

Udgivelsesmåned:  Jun 2015



Nielsen: The Symphonies & Concertos (Live)

23 October 2015  Fanfare
Lynn René Bayley

I asked to review this set, even though two single discs from it had previously been reviewed in Fanfare, because I love the Nielsen symphonies so much (despite later contributions from other composers, I consider him the last really great symphonist) and I have heard through the grapevine that Alan Gilbert, whose work I previously considered good but workmanlike, was actually a pretty good Nielsen conductor. This is true for the most part. Throughout these symphonies, I found that Gilbert took the tempos closest to the score of any I’ve heard in recent years, including the highly touted recordings of Theodore Kuchar (Brilliant Classics) and Douglas Bostock (to which I gave a good review when they were issued in a 10-CD Membran set with all of Nielsen’s orchestral music plus the Wind Quintet and a goodly portion of his piano music). He also does something that Bostock did not, which is to maintain a relatively steady tempo with slight modifications in the form of rubato and rallentando within each movement.

I was…very impressed by the Philharmonic’s remarkably clean playing of the tricky low string figures in the first movement of the “Inextinguishable,” No. 4. Perhaps because Nielsen’s symphonies lack “hooks” for the mind to hang on to, some listeners fail to recognize the many creative and interesting passages in his music, but to me Nielsen is as much about originality in orchestration and orchestral color as in originality of musical progression. Gilbert gets this, and brings out all of Nielsen’s wonderful colors. The brass chorale at 3:40 is played with superb breadth by the Philharmonic. As I say, these are certainly among Gilbert’s finest efforts on disc…

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