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Monday, October 29, 2018

Carl Nielsen - Symphonies Nos. 1-3; Aladdin (Herbert Blomstedt)


Information

Composer: Carl Nielsen

CD1:
  • (01) Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 7
  • (05) Symphony No. 2, Op. 16 - "The Four Temperaments"
CD2:
  • (01) Symphony No. 3, Op. 27 - "Espansiva"
  • (05) Maskarade, opera: Overture
  • (06) Aladdin, concert suite

Nancy Wait Kromm, soprano
Kevin McMillan, baritone

San Francisco Symphony Chorus & Orchestra
Herbert Blomstedt, conductor

Date: 1988-1990/1999
Label: Decca
http://www.deccaclassics.com/us/cat/4609852


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Review

ARTISTIC QUALITY: 10 / SOUND QUALITY: 10

This is the first of two Double Decca reissues containing Herbert Blomstedt's justly praised second cycle of the complete Nielsen Symphonies. Disc one of this convenient gatefolding "twofer" contains Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2, while Symphony No. 3, the Maskarade Overture, and the highly infectious Alladin Suite (complete with optional wordless chorus) occupy the second disc. Blomstedt directs all three symphonies with just the sort of unfussy naturalness and rhythmic thrust that Nielsen's music demands. They are, one and all, outstanding performances. The Alladin Suite originally was coupled to Blomstedt's equally celebrated account of Grieg's Peer Gynt Suites. Like Grieg, Nielsen distilled his symphonic suite from a larger body of incidental music. Alladin's colorful melodies and evocative harmonies really do capture the mythical world of the Arabian Nights, and the work deserves to be much better known. Add to this mix the superb playing of the San Francisco Symphony, along with top drawer sonics from Decca, and the result is a Nielsen cycle that earns the highest possible recommendation.

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Carl Nielsen (9 June 1865 – 3 October 1931) was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist, widely recognized as his country's most prominent composer. Although his symphonies, concertos and choral music are now internationally acclaimed, Nielsen's career and personal life were marked by many difficulties, often reflected in his music. Nielsen maintained the reputation of an outsider during his lifetime, both in his own country and internationally. It was only later that his works firmly entered the international repertoire, accelerating in popularity from the 1960s through Leonard Bernstein and others.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Nielsen

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Herbert Blomstedt (born July 11, 1927) is a Swedish conductor. Blomstedt is most noted for his performances of German and Austrian composers, and also as a champion of Scandinavian composers. He has been Music Director or Principal Conductor of the Norrköping Symphony (1954–1962), Oslo Philharmonic (1962–1968), Danish Radio Symphony (1967–1977), Swedish Radio Symphony (1977–1982), Dresden Staatskapelle (1975-1985), San Francisco Symphony (1985-1995), and Leipzig Gewandhausorchester (1998–2005), making many well-regarded and awarded recordings.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Blomstedt

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