New recording of Nancy Dalberg’s three string quartets gives one of Denmark’s first female composers a place in the history of music
As a woman in a male-dominated musical life, the music of the composer Nancy Dalberg remained unknown to most people. On 13 September, the recording of her three string quartets will at last be released, and on 17 September you are invited to an album and book release.
Nancy Dalberg (1881-1949) was one of the first Danish female composers – and the first Danish woman to write a symphony! She studied under such composers as Carl Nielsen and Fini Henriques and wrote both orchestral music, chamber music and songs. As a woman in a male-dominated musical life, Dalberg’s music remained unknown to most people and only now is serious focus being placed on her compositions with the release of both a new album and a book.
String quartets with a special place
In total, Nancy Dalberg's production is not large, and it came into being within a relatively short period of time, from around 1909 to the late 1930s. But the three completed string quartets have nevertheless something of a special place among her compositions. The first one was the very first instrumental work she presented at a public concert – and it was premiered by Carl Nielsen as a violinist. The second was the first one she got published and played abroad, while the third – despite the fact that it had its first performance 20 years before her death – was not published during her lifetime. So, in a certain sense one can say that with this new recording, made by the young and vibrant Nordic String Quartet, we are being presented here with an early, a mature and a late quartet.
Album is being issued at the same time as a new book
Dacapo is not alone in now focusing on Nancy Dalberg. The Multivers publishing firm is issuing a book about the two composers Nancy Dalberg and Hilda Sehested, written by Lisbeth Ahlgren Jensen, and both issues are being celebrated on 17 September in the New Hall at The Royal Danish Academy of Music, where Edition·S, Multivers and Dacapo are celebrating the dual event with a reception.
Here you will be able to hear a conversation about Nancy Dalberg between the music journalist Jens Cornelius and Lisbeth Ahlgren Jensen and also listen to Nordic String Quartet play an excerpt from the new album.