CARL NIELSEN: Maskarade
01 January 2016
The Irish Times
Carl Nielsen is generally seen as Denmark’s national composer, and his comic opera Maskarade is similarly regarded. In 2015, to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth, the Danish company Dacapo has released what must be the definitive recording of the work, using front- rank Danish singers under the baton of Michael Schoenwandt, who has long been regarded as a pre-eminent interpreter of Nielsen’s music.
Maskarade is not a well-known opera, but it is a brilliant score, both effervescent and lyrical. The plot deals with the fashion for masked balls in the late 19th century, and is a little naive, but the music brings out the humour of the social comedy, making for a memorable work. Well sung and interpreted as here, Maskarade deserves to be much more widely known.