Notes and Editorial Reviews
Since its earliest days Dutton have had a place for
classic Nielsen.. This continues the line with the work of three
conductors: John Frandsen (1918-1996), Thomas Jensen (1898-1963)
and Emil Reesen (1887-1964). Between 1946 and1952 all six Nielsen
symphonies were recorded for the first time by Tuxen (3, 5),
Jensen (1, 2, 6) and Grøndahl (4) variously on 78s from
EMI, Decca, Polyphon and Tono.
The twofold core of this set is the 4 disc Tono set of Jensen's
reading of No. 6 and the Decca Frandsen reading of No.3. It will
that the Frandsen Third is second generation Nielsen;
the first for that symphony being Tuxen.
Reesen may not have been a big name but he was one of the founders
of the Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra and was also well
respected outside Denmark. He conducted the Berlin Phil on several
Nielsen's Sixth is the least accessible of the symphonies. It
is, in that sense, equivalent to a very different work, Sibelius's
gaunt Fourth. Yet Jensen draws its sheer delight in intricacy
and there is some joyously precise playing from the strings.
Mono or not - and everything here is mono analogue - this for
me brings out the best in this enigmatic work. It now joins the
Ormandy Sixth as a luminous and lucid exposition of the dark
and arcane sheep of the Nielsen flock.
Frandsen's Third is powerful
with mordant accentuation of the rhythmic impacts in the first
movement and an idyllically understated pastoral warmth. Good
to see the name of Ruth Güldbæk as soprano in the
Andante Pastorale. She was still in good voice a decade later
when she took the same role in Bernstein's glorious Espansiva -
available on Sony. The little prelude and march from the incidental
music to Helge Rode's play The mother is well worth having
and praise to Dutton for thinking to include this intriguing
and rare little filler when other labels might have been tempted
to stop with the two symphonies.
The cover of the booklet uses a design from the original LP issue.
The completely satisfying note is by Lyndon Jenkins.
-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
Works on This Recording
Mother, Op. 41: Excerpt(s) by Carl Nielsen
Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1920; Denmark
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