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Friedrich Kuhlau   (1786 - 1832)

composer

Kuhlau is one of the most important figures in Danish music at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Kuhlau, was German-born and came to Denmark to avoid conscription in the German army in the war against Napoleon. Kuhlau had a passionate, dramatic artistic personality, and was greatly preoccupied with the contemporary music of Beethoven. For this reason among others he was never quite accepted by the Danish musical establishment, and he had to live in precarious financial circumstances throughout his life. The bulk of his works are pieces for one or two musicians, and of a level of difficulty suited to able amateurs. Kuhlau was obliged to write innumerable works of this type, often with flute or piano as the solo instrument, for financial reasons. He expressed more of his personality in ambitious works like his piano quartets, his only string quartet, the piano concerto, operas and theatre music. Kuhlau was immortalized in Danish cultural history by his music for the play Elverhøj (The Elf Mound) which became the first true work of Danish National Romanticism, although it was disguised as a tribute to absolute monarchy. In the music Kuhlau made very effective use of Danish and Swedish folk tunes, and the play allows the Renaissance King Christian IV to effect the denouement like a deus ex machina to the strains of the Royal Anthem. To this day it is Kuhlau's version of this melody which is the definitive arrangement.

Live Dates

09/02/2015   New video: Copenhagen Piano Quartet plays Kuhlau
See the presentation video for Copenhagen String Quartet's debut album with piano quartets by Friedrich Kuhlau.
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04/02/2015   Prize-winning quartet ready for debut and CD release
When the Copenhagen Piano Quartet burst on the scene as a professional chamber ensemble, Dacapo Records present the ensemble's ambitious debut CD
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04/06/2014   Sjældne sonater på Sophienholm og ny CD
Christina Åstrand og Per Salo har opdaget en mesterlig samling violinsonater af dansk-tyske Friedrich Kuhlau.
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01/11/2015   Nordis

Kuhlau: Klaverkvartetter 1 & 2
4/5 Stars

"Kuhlau neu entdecken"
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08/09/2015   American Record Guide

Kuhlau: Piano Quartets Nos. 1 & 2
"...if you must have immaculate string tone or prefer a less aggressive piano, this beautiful, well-balanced SACD might be just what you’re looking for."
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25/06/2015   Gramophone

Friedrich Kuhlau: Klaverkvartetter 1 & 2
"Let’s have the Third Quartet and some more Kuhlau from these fine young Danish musicians"
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01/05/2015   Magasinet Klassisk

Debutterende dansk kvartet har fod på Kuhlau
4/6 Stars

"På cd'en viser CPQ et omhyggeligt arbejde, stor koncentration, modenhed, sikker intonation og flot klang individuelt og sammen."
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07/04/2015   MusicWeb International

Friedrich Kuhlau: Klaverkvartetter 1 & 2
"What we have here are two pieces of very high quality music with melody and energy. The recordings are spacious and detailed with the piano placed behind the strings and with the ambience of the acoustically excellent, and rather beautiful, DKDM Concert Hall subtly present."
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01/04/2015   Classical CD Review

Friedrich Kuhlau: Klaverkvartetter 1 & 2
"These are full-scale works that display the composer's skill in writing for the piano."
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04/03/2015   Kristeligt Dagblad

Herlig kammermusik af Kuhlau
5/6 Stars

"Det unge ensemble Copenhagen Piano Quartet spiller med stor omhu og sikker stilfornemmelse."
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04/03/2015   Politiken

Et frisk kuld fra rugekassen
4/6 Hjerter

"Det nye danske ensemble gør guldaldermusikken mange tjenester. Pianisten trækker et stort læs uden at virke for hårdt spændt for. Strygerne strutter af positiv energi og opmærksomhed i indspilninger. [...] Det er god musik, og Copenhagen Piano Quartet får den til at leve med en fin friskhed."
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02/12/2014   MusicWeb International

Friedrich Kuhlau: Violinsonater vol. 1
"The performances are stylish and deft, and appropriately modest where need be. They’ve been well recorded."
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10/11/2014   Gramophone

Friedrich Kuhlau: Violinsonater vol. 1
"The playing on the new Dacapo disc is admirably clean, flexible and responsive, both to the music and between the two players."
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25/09/2014   MusicWeb International

Friedrich Kuhlau Violinsonater vol. 1
"Op. 79 seem to offer a more personal insight into Kuhlau the composer and his individual style."
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01/09/2014   Klassisk

Forfriskende Guldalderromantik
4/6 Stars

"Christina Åstrand og Per Salo spiller med glød og gejst."
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04/08/2014   David's Review Corner

Friedrich Kuhlau: Violinsonater vol. 1
"They are duos with an equally demanding part for piano, much of the thematic content given to the keyboard, the violin’s role being decorative."
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26/06/2014   Kristeligt Dagblad

Friedrich Kuhlau: Violinsonater vol. 1
4/6 Stars

"Christina Åstrand og Per Salo spiller alle fire sonater med en velgørende naturlighed og stilsans, og udgivelsen vil givetvis vække både glæde og forundring blandt musikinteresserede."
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26/06/2014   Fyens Stiftstidende

Guldaldermusik for to
4/6 Stars

"Det er ikke ”stor” musik, men udførelsen her med to af landets erfarne kunstnere berettiger bestemt opmærksomhed."
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20/06/2014   Jyllands-Posten

Romantisk Tænding
4/6 Stars

"Salo virker i den grad tændt, og hans spændstige bund giver Åstrand mulighed for at krænge sjælen ud mellem nodelinjerne og levere andet end en tur i guldaldertrædemøllen."
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18/06/2014   JC Klassisk

Friedrich Kuhlau: Violinsonater vol. 1
"Samarbejdet betyder musik, som i sin inderlighed og sit udtryk giver en romantisk friskhed, som det er ideelt at lytte til netop nu."
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06/05/2014   Gramophone

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
"Under Hillier’s direction, Ars Nova Copenhagen perform a cappella, with meticulously shaded dynamics, articulation and colour."
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04/05/2014   Diapason

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
5/5 Stars

"Les membres de Ars Nova Copenhagen respirent et phrasent d'une seule voix."
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16/02/2014   Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
5/6 Stars

"Nænsomme, fine og forførende udgaver.", "Weyse, Gade og Nielsen smiler med i graven".
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13/02/2014   Politiken

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
4/6 Hjerter

"En nærmest ufattelig perfektion præger hele CD'en."
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15/08/1994   Berlingske Tidende

Friedrich Kuhlau & C.F.E. Horneman: String Quartets
"Intensiteten er til stede i hvert buestrøg."
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08/08/1994   Fanfare

Friedrich Kuhlau & C.F.E. Horneman: String Quartets
"They play like angels."
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Discography

Piano Quartets 1 & 2
Piano Quartets 1 & 2
Friedrich Kuhlau

SACD 6.220596 (2015)

Violin Sonatas Vol. 1
Violin Sonatas Vol. 1
Friedrich Kuhlau

CD 8.226082 (2014)

Four sonatas by Kuhlau, who with his wide network was the most international composer in the Danish music of the 1820s and 1830s

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
Various

SACD 6.220568 (2014)

Paul Hillier’s interpretations of choral classics by among others Gade, Carl Nielsen and Weyse sung to perfection by Ars Nova Copenhagen

Der er et yndigt land
Der er et yndigt land

CD 8.224141 (2000)

Danmark i lommeformat – de største klassiske hits og skønneste melodier

Det bedste fra Den danske Guldalder
Det bedste fra Den danske Guldalder

CD 8.224145-47 (1999)

3-cd boks med 40 stykker musik fra midten af 1800-tallet, en gylden æra i dansk kultur

Sonatas for Flute and Piano
Sonatas for Flute and Piano
Friedrich Kuhlau

CD 8.224071-72 (1997)

Classic recording of some of Kuhlau’s most successful chamber music

Piano Quartets
Piano Quartets
Friedrich Kuhlau

CD 8.224044-45 (1997)

Unparalleled playing by the Copenhagen String Quartet. A classic!

Elverhøj
Elverhøj
Fr. Kuhlau

CD 8.224053 (1996)

The Best of Danish Golden Age Music
The Best of Danish Golden Age Music

CD 8.224020 (1994)

String Quartets
String Quartets
Friedrich Kuhlau & C.F.E. Horneman

CD 8.224016 (1994)

Unsurpassed playing by Copenhagen String Quartet. A classic!


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