Listen to King Frederik IX at the conductor’s rostrum in a new release
A new release collects historic recordings with Queen Margrethe’s father, Frederik IX, as conductor of The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Danish Orchestra. The album contains former releases with an improved sound quality, supplemented by hitherto unissued recordings.
On the occasion of Queen Margrethe’s 80th birthday, the historic recordings made with Frederik IX as conductor of The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and The Royal Danish Orchestra are being released in a new box set that adds new material to the narrative of the musical monarch.
Exceptional interest in classical music
King Frederik IX’s preoccupation with music must be considered to be atypical and exceptional for members of royal households, since it is hard to find other examples of reigning monarchs who had conducting orchestras as a preferred leisure-time pursuit. The king was self-taught and he mainly restricted himself to conducting within a private setting, although he did take on assignments of considerable technical difficulty within the large symphonic repertoire.
For a large number of years, he was a guest conductor for both The Royal Danish Orchestra and The Danish National Symphony Orchestra – a total of 62 registered concerts with 107 concert items covering no less that 51 different works and 18 composers. – It is a selection of these that can be heard on the new release, which it is possible to stream here.
Rediscovered matrices enable improved sound
The recordings with The Royal Danish Orchestra have previously been released on a CD in 1999, but since then the original matrices – a kind of ‘mould’ for gramophone records – have been rediscovered at The Royal Danish Library. While the earlier release was based on gramophone records made in the post-war years using somewhat inferior materials, the re-release is based on a playing of the matrices, which means that practically all the noise is absent and the clarity of the sound picture is greatly enhanced.
The re-release of the recordings with The Danish National Symphony Orchestra have been corrected, so that the changing sides of the original gramophone records is no longer audible.
‘New’ recordings emerged in the DR archives
Apart from the re-releases, the box set also includes ‘new’ recordings with Frederik IX and The Danish National Symphony Orchestra. These previously unreleased recordings emerged last year, when DR was to clear out the last archives at TV-Byen in Søborg, where DR had been located for half a century. Some of the recordings are from 1942 and are the earliest recordings featuring Frederik IX and The Danish National Symphony Orchestra to which there is access. On these recordings, the king conducts music by Beethoven, Wagner and Weber.
Digital bonus: Listen to a rehearsal with the king as conductor
As an extra bonus there is an edited digital recording of a rehearsal of Wagner’s Siegfried’s Funeral March, in which one can hear the king instructing the orchestra – this recording can be heard on our streaming services. Listen here