In case there is any confusion, this symphony is not by the great Danish composer Carl Nielsen but by a lesser known Carl Nielsen who, to avoid confusion, is always known as Ludolf. This Nielsen has nothing like the personality of his great namesake, of course, but he is a very worthwhile composer who writes in a style reminiscent of Grieg or Tchaikovsky.
I have an enormous soft spot for this symphony which dates from 1907-09. Sometimes known as the "Symphony of Joy" it makes a welcome change from the angst ridden symphonies so characteristic of the 20th century. That is not to say that Nielsen completely avoids all darker emotions. Listen to the surprising climactic pages of the first movement,the middle section of the slow movement and the opening of the finale, for example. However, the tone of the work is generally light-hearted. This is an extremely tuneful and, above all, lucid symphony but it is not at all trivial. Nielsen has a way of combining his tunes, which often feature triplet rhythms, in a completely natural and spontaneous way and the symphony is very tightly argued with many references between movements. Notice,for example,how the marchlike main theme of the opening allegro becomes the running main theme of the finale. The symphony has a wonderful optimistic conclusion.
Excellent performance and recording.