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Nielsen: Violin Concerto, 5 Songs; Langgaard: Quartet No 3

Release Date: 09/26/2000 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9100   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Rued LanggaardCarl Nielsen
Performer:  Daniel ChingJoshua GindeleSandy YamamotoJohn Largess,   ... 
Conductor:  Jan Wagner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Miró String QuartetOdense Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The remarkable disc, emanating from the 1999 Danish Wave music festival in New York City (which also took in the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition), contains some spectacular music making. Yes, the repertoire selection is a bit of a mish-mash, but the performances are, one and all, stupendous. The disc begins with five of Nielsen's most beguiling songs, classic examples of "artful simplicity" sung with an easy naturalness by baritone Lars Thodberg. Langgaard's Third Quartet couldn't be more different. Although the notes mention a similarity to Bartók (whom the composer certainly did not know), Scriabin comes even more readily to mind. There's the same quixotic mixture of
Read more tonal and intensely chromatic elements, the same thematic compression (the entire three-movement work lasts a bit more than 13 minutes), and a nervous urgency that carries the listener along with feverish intensity. What's more, the Miró String Quartet plays with positively scorching ferocity, and the close-up recording gives the music a palpable, physical impact. Wow!

That last exclamation also describes this stunning performance of Nielsen's still too little known Violin Concerto. The reason for the work's neglect is simple: the first movement contains all the fireworks, and while the finale's relaxed, pastoral charm may represent the perfect emotional resolution of the purely musical contest between solo and orchestra, it simply isn't geared to bring the house down. Still, the piece can work in performance if the soloist attacks that last movement with an uplifting rhythmic lilt and a certain rustic vigor, without undue haste. That's exactly what Saeka Matsuyama (the Nielsen competition's silver medallist and special prize winner) does. She also offers perfect intonation and fearlessly conquers the first movement's virtuoso passages. Given a perfectly idiomatic accompaniment from Jan Wagner and the Odense Symphony Orchestra, the result is as fine a version of this work as any. The live recording has great presence and immediacy, with excellent balances despite the close miking. In sum, Bridge has given us a great souvenir of what must have been a terrific music festival.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Quartet for Strings no 3, BVN 183 by Rued Langgaard
Performer:  Daniel Ching (Violin), Joshua Gindele (Cello), Sandy Yamamoto (Violin),
John Largess (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Miró String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Denmark 
Date of Recording: 10/04/1999 
Venue:  Merkin Hall, Abraham Goodman House, NYC 
Length: 14 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Songs (5), FS 12/Op. 4 by Carl Nielsen
Performer:  Lars Thodberg Bertelsen (Baritone), Frode Stengaard (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1891; Denmark 
Date of Recording: 10/04/1999 
Venue:  Live  Merkin Hall, Abraham Goodman House, NYC 
Length: 12 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: Danish 
Concerto for Violin, Op. 33 by Carl Nielsen
Performer:  Saeka Matsuyama (Violin)
Conductor:  Jan Wagner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odense Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; Denmark 
Date of Recording: 10/30/1999 
Venue:  Live  Manhattan School of Music, New York City 
Length: 34 Minutes 28 Secs. 

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