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 Search Beat > Arts > Music > Styles > Classical Music > Featured Composer > Carl Nielsen


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biography - Carl Nielsen


Carl August Nielsen (June 9, 1865 - October 3, 1931) was a Danish composer. He is probably the best known composer from Denmark.

Nielsen was born in Sortelung, not far from the city of Odense. His family was relatively poor, but he was still able to learn the violin and piano as a child. He also learnt how to play brass instruments, which led to a job as a bugler in a military band in Odense. He later studied violin and music theory at the Copenhagen Conservatory, but never took formal lessons in composition. Nonetheless, he began to compose. At first, he did not gain enough recognition for his works to support him and in the concert which saw the premiere of his first symphony in 1894, he had been playing in the second violin section of the orchestra, before coming forward to conduct his own piece. However, the same symphony was a great success when played in Berlin in 1896, and from then his fame grew.

He continued to play the violin at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen until 1905, by which time he had found a publisher for his compositions. In 1916 he took a post teaching at the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen, and continued to work there until his death.

Internationally, Nielsen is best known for his six symphonies. Other well-known pieces of his are the incidental music for Oehlenschläger's drama Aladdin, the operas Saul og David and Maskarade, and the wind quintet. In Denmark, everybody knows and sings the numerous songs by various poets, set to music by Carl Nielsen.


recommended recordings - Carl Nielsen


Click here to learn more about Nielsen: Symphonies 3 & 6
Nielsen: Symphonies 3 & 6
Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Label: Finlandia - #29714

Track List


1. Sym No.3, Op.27 'Sinfonia Espansiva': I. Allegro Espansivo
2. Sym No.3, Op.27 'Sinfonia Espansiva': II. Andante Pastorale -
   Anna-Kristiina Kaappola/Jaakko Kortekangas
3. Sym No.3, Op.27 'Sinfonia Espansiva': III. Allegretto Un Poco
4. Sym No.3, Op.27 'Sinfonia Espansiva': IV: Allegro
5. Sym No.6 'Sinfonia Semplice': I. Tempo Giusto
6. Sym No.6 'Sinfonia Semplice': II. Humoreske (Allegretto)
7. Sym No.6 'Sinfonia Semplice': III. Proposta Seria (Adagio)
8. Sym No.6 'Sinfonia Semplice': IV. Tema Con Vars (Allegro)
 




Click here to learn more about Neilsen: Concertos
Neilsen: Concertos
Conductor: Herbert Blomstedt
Label: Angel Classics - #69758

Track List


1. Sym Rhap - Danish RSO/Herbert Blomstedt
2. Helios Ov, Op.17 - Danish RSO/Herbert Blomstedt
3. Saga-drom, Op.39 - Danish RSO/Herbert Blomstedt
4. Vn Con, Op.33: I. Praeludium (Largo) -
   Arve Tellefsen
5. Vn Con, Op.33: I. Allegro cavalleresco -
   Arve Tellefsen
6. Vn Con, Op.33: II. Intermezzo (Poco adagio) -
   Arve Tellefsen
7. Vn Con, Op.33: II. Rondo (Allegretto scherzando) -
   Arve Tellefsen 





Click here to learn more about Nielsen: Symphonies no 1-3
Nielsen: Symphonies no 1-3
Conductor: Herbert Blomstedt
Label: Polygram Records - #460985

Track List


On this CD:

1. Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op 7/FS 16
   Composed by Carl Nielsen
   Performed by San Francisco Symphony Chorus 
   Conducted by Herbert Blomstedt 
2. Symphony No. 2 ("The Four Temperaments"),
   Op. 16 (FS29)
   Composed by Carl Nielsen
   Performed by San Francisco Symphony Chorus 
   Conducted by Herbert Blomstedt 

3. Symphony No. 3, Op 27/FS 60 "Sinfonia espansiva"
   Composed by Carl Nielsen
   Performed by San Francisco Symphony Chorus
   with Kevin McMillan, Nancy Wait Kromm 
   Conducted by Herbert Blomstedt 

4. Maskarade, comic opera, FS39 Overture
   Composed by Carl Nielsen
   Performed by San Francisco Symphony Chorus 
   Conducted by Herbert Blomstedt 

5. Aladdin, incidental music, Op 34/FS 89 Suite
   Composed by Carl Nielsen
   Performed by San Francisco Symphony Chorus 
   Conducted by Herbert Blomstedt 

   -------------------------------------

Disc: 1

1. Sym No.1, FS 16: I. Allegro Orgoglioso
2. Sym No.1, FS 16: II. Andante
3. Sym No.1, FS 16: III. Allegro Comodo
4. Sym No.1, FS 16: IV. Finale:
   Allegro Con Fuoco
5. Sym No.2, FS 29 'The Four Temperaments':
   I. Allegro Collerico
6. Sym No.2, FS 29 'The Four Temperaments':
   II. Allegro Comodo E Flemmatico
7. Sym No.2, FS 29 'The Four Temperaments':
   III. Andante Malinconico
8. Sym No.2, FS 29 'The Four Temperaments':
   IV. Allegro Sanguineo
 


Disc: 2

1. Sym No.3, FS 60 'Sinf Espansiva':
   I. Allegro Espansivo
2. Sym No.3, FS 60 'Sinf Espansiva':
   II. Andante Pastorale -
   Nancy Wait Kromm/Kevin McMillan
3. Sym No.3, FS 60 'Sinf Espansiva': 
   III. Allegretto Un Poco
4. Sym No.3, FS 60 'Sinf Espansiva': 
   IV. Finale: Allegro
5. Maskarade, FS 39 - Ov
6. Aladdin, FS 89 - Ste: I.
   Oriental Festive March
7. Aladdin, FS 89 - Ste: II.
   Aladdin's Dream And Dance Of The Morning Mist
8. Aladdin, FS 89 - Ste: III. Hindu Dance
9. Aladdin, FS 89 - Ste: IV. Chinese Dance
10. Aladdin, FS 89 - Ste: V.
    The Marketplace In Ispahan - 
    San Francisco Sym Chor
11. Aladdin, FS 89 - Ste: VI.
    Dance Of The Prisoners
12. Aladdin, FS 89 - Ste: VII. Negro Dance -
    San Francisco Sym Chor 



resources - Carl Nielsen



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