Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Nielsen, Carl. (1865-1931) The Carl Nielsen Edition. CD 5. Orchestral works.

From my collection.
Bought in 2012.
First listen: 6-2-2013.
Second listen: 14-3-2017.
Label: Classico.
CD 5 from 10.
Recording dates:January 2001 & August 2005.
Recording venue: Pardubice, Czech Republic, and Liverpool, England
Recording engineers: Not mentioned in this set.
Running time: 64:45.
Classical relevance to me: Essential.

Works performed:

Concerto for Flute and Orchestra.*
(An original version of the second movement is added as an extra)
Pan and Syrinx, opus 49.*
Suite for String orchestra, opus 1.*
At the bier of a young artist, for String orchestra.*
Bohemian-Danish Folk Songs for String orchestra.*
Andante Tranquillo e Scherzo for String orchestra.**

Performed by:

* Rune Most, Flute.
The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Douglas Bostock.

** Royal Liverpool PO, Douglas Bostock.

One of the best CD's in this set in my opinion. I enjoyed all what is on this disc, every single work without exception. This edition is a set that belongs in the same league as many so called top contenders. Bostock's performances are a bit overlooked and stands in the shadow of many others not even as good as his. Well to my ears that is totally undeserved so I lavish my praise today and any other day, on this box.
For me the performance of the Flute concerto is a winner on all counts. It's a thrilling work, with a lot of musical elements so akin to Nielsen's oeuvre. There is a pastoral sense, a free flowing harmony, alternating between intense and playfulness. Such elegant notions pass me by. Waywardness throughout but also a energetic insistence making itself known forcibly in the brass and timpani. The soloist is outstanding, even if I did not know him, he is now firmly fixed and connected with this concerto. His tone is is velvety and sensual, a balm for my ears.
The second movement is a pastoral walk through the shrubs that grow left and right of the road. Magical at regular intervals, and always captivating, with even some chaos entering this realm, but it calms down soon enough. There is also a facetious element in all this.  Added as a bonus is a second movement that was originally composed and later discarded. I think this movement as splendid as the one that is now in place.
Pan and Syrinx gives me the same feeling as Mendelssohn's Midsummer night's Dream. It's definitively a piece with a high dose of mystery. I love this work.
The suite is a work of great artistry and beauty, Pastoral in its first movement, with a balletic intermezzo following, very light on its feet, and the third movement could have been written by Edvard Grieg. Full with a Nordic charm that is so recognizable. 
At the bier is a very solemn piece, dramatic in expression, but not in a overwrought way, and it gets the message across. There is an enormous melancholic undercurrent throughout.
The Bohemian folk songs are charming works in which is also a strong reminder of Grieg's genius. It has more flesh on its bones. Stunning work.
The Andante Tranquillo combines all what I heard before, and is a fine close.
The recordings from the Czech Republic are state of the art, and the ones from Liverpool lag a little behind. Both orchestras deliver first rate performances.

My playlist for 25-4-2018.

If by any chance you might be interested in my thoughts or feelings about the recordings of today, please let me know, and I will provide ad...