Friday, March 17, 2017

Nielsen, Carl. Orchestral Works. Violin concerto and Romance for Violin and orchestra. CD 6.

From my collection.
Bought in 2012.
First listen: 14-3-2013.
Second listen: 16-3-2017.
Label: Classico.
CD 6 from 10.
Recording dates:  2003 & 1994.
Recording venues: Liverpool Concert Hall England & Copenhagen.
Recording engineers: Not mentioned.
Running time: 61:29.
Classical relevance to me: Essential set.

Works performed:
Concerto for Violin and orchestra, opus 33.
Romance for Violin and orchestra, opus 2.
Violin sonata No. 1 in A major, opus 9.

Works performed by:
Malcolm Stewart, Violin.
Royal Liverpool PO, Douglas Bostock.

Johannes Søe Hansen, Violin.
Frank Jarlsfelt, Piano.
Recorded in 1994, Copenhagen.

On the 8th of March I have listen to a brand new performance of the Nielsen Violin concerto, played by Henning Kraggerud, and the Malmö SO, under Bjarte Engeset. I was very content with this interpretation save for some lack of emotional involvement from both parties. Kraggerud's tone seems as if floating mid air, and puts down a very pure tone, but missing the warmth. So of course I was comparing notes with this somewhat older recording. In tempi they are almost on the same level, but from thereon the interpretation goes the other way in all other respects. First of all, Stewarts tone is definitively earthbound. His tone is warm, emotionally charged but not overly so, and his expression has a romantic character. All the moments in this concerto were emotional input is felt necessary, it is delivered, but it is never to sweet.  Stewart puts just the right amount of involvement in this concerto. His bowing is impeccable. And his sense in shaping melodies remarkable. I never heard of him, but his artistry is beyond doubt. Both interpretations have their value, and I would not be without either of them, but in the final conclusion, my sympathy tends to go a little more to Stewart, marginal as it is.
The Romance is a short work, just lasting 3:36, but it has its effect.
The recording made in Liverpool is extremely good as is the performance as a whole.
The Violin sonata is done with much enthusiasm, and sometimes a bit too fiercely, but the expression of the piece is very much on the forefront. Both soloists are committed and able musicians. A fine piece of music, in which all characteristics of Nielsen are abundantly represented.
The recording is good, but a bit hard on the ear. Nothing serious though.





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