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Nielsen – Symphonies Nos 2 and 6

Orchestras / Ensembles
Catalogue numberBIS-2128 SACD
Release date2015-03-01
Orig. sample rate96000Hz
Total time64:34

Choc, Classica
Recording of the Month,

”To put it bluntly, this the most penetrating, the most complete, account of Nielsen’s last symphony that I have ever encountered. … A feisty, unfettered Second and a benchmark Sixth; a triumph for all concerned.”; “Ces deux opus se placent au sommet de la discographie actuelle.” Classica

The recently released second volume of the Carl Nielsen symphony cycle from the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Sakari Oramo has already met with acclaim similar to that for the first disc: ‘an ideal blend of fieriness and loving care’ was how the performances of the First and Third Symphonies were characterized by a reviewer on Norddeutscher Rundfunk, and on BBC Radio 3 CD Review the disc was described as ‘an impressive second volume from what's turning into a must-hear Nielsen cycle.’ The last instalment of the cycle opens with the composer’s Symphony No.2, ‘The Four Temperaments’, dating from 1901–02. Its origins were in an allegorical picture Nielsen came across in a country inn, illustrating the four temperaments of man as defined in Greco-Roman medicine: anger, apathy, melancholy and carefree abandon. But Nielsen was incapable of drawing anything other than a rounded character-portrait, and consequently the fiery first movement also allows for lyrical episodes, there are moments of stoic nobility in the melancholy, and the march that conclude the sanguine finale is imbued with a certain dignity. 23 years later the composer completed his sixth and final symphony, giving it the subtitle Sinfonia semplice (Simple Symphony). In the meantime, the Fourth and Fifth symphonies had brought Nielsen the greatest measure of professional recognition he ever enjoyed in his lifetime. In spite of its subtitle, Symphony No.6 baffled reviewers as well as audiences, however. When beginning to work on it Nielsen had envisaged a work that would be ‘quite idyllic in character’ – something that is borne out by the opening bars. But by the time he arrived at the last movement, Theme and variations, the work had taken a different course, and as Nielsen later told a friend, the ninth and last variation, scored for tuba and percussion, represents ‘death knocking at the door’.
    File formats included in STUDIO QUALITY
    • FLAC 24-bit Stereo
    • FLAC 24-bit Surround 5.0
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
    File formats included in CD QUALITY | MP3
    • FLAC 16-bit Stereo
    • MP3 Stereo
$ 15.22
Extra material for download
  Composer: Nielsen, Carl
  Symphony No.2, ‘The Four Temperaments’, Op.16 / FS29 (1901–02) 31:10
01 I. Allegro collerico 08:51 $ 2.12 USD
02 II. Allegro comodo e flemmatico 04:27 $ 1.07 USD
03 III. Andante malincolico 10:43 $ 2.57 USD
04 IV. Allegro sanguineo 07:09 $ 1.72 USD
  Symphony No.6, ‘Sinfonia Semplice’, FS116 (1924–25) 32:15
05 I. Tempo giusto 12:43 $ 3.05 USD
06 II. Humoresque. Allegretto 03:56 $ 0.94 USD
07 III. Proposta seria. Adagio 05:07 $ 1.23 USD
08 IV. Theme and Variations. Allegro 10:29 $ 2.52 USD
  Album total 64:34
ComposerNielsen, Carl
ConductorOramo, Sakari
OrchestraRoyal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra

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