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Nielsen: Symphony No.3

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Frank Cramer
  • Composer: Ludolf Nielsen
  • Audio CD (1 May 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dacapo
  • ASIN: B00004TAS4
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 447,560 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony No. 3 In C Major, Op. 22: Andante con molto. Poco piu moto
2. Symphony No. 3 In C Major, Op. 22: Allegretti agenole
3. Symphony No. 3 In C Major, Op. 22: Adante lento, Pastorale
4. Symphony No. 3 In C Major, Op. 22: Adante lento. Allegro maestoso
5. Hjorthalm. Tone Picture, Op.53

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By someonewhocares2 on 31 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
This, the last of Ludolf Nielsen's symphonies, is close to being great music but, be warned, it is not an easy listen. Although there are many moments of poetry, particularly in the slow movement, the overall impression at a first hearing is of a somewhat densely written, over-orchestrated and even noisy piece. The harmonic vocabulary is also heavily chromatic although Nielsen sometimes clears the air by switching to relatively diatonic writing (the piece is in C major after all!) as in the surprising waltz-like episode in the finale. Persevere, however, and you will find that, once you pick up the themes, this symphony is really very tightly constructed using sonata or other ternary stuctures with greatly elaborated recapitulations.

Nielsen has a habit of introducing new ideas in combination with previously heard ones which sometimes means it is difficult to pick out the main melodic line. However, he does provide structural signposts. Like Bruckner, for example, he often stops dead after a dense section of tutti writing before introducing a new (often woodwind) idea. The symphony is, as you might expect, cyclic with the final movement reintroducing material from the previous movements most notably from 9m 30secs onwards. There is a lovely coda (beginning at 12m 50secs) built on the symphony's aspiring opening theme and combining it with ideas from earlier movements, in particular the scherzo.

This is a fine performance. If you fancy a challenge, try this symphony. I don't think, by the way, that Norman Lebrecht could ever have heard this piece when he condescendingly called Ludolf Nielsen in his "Complete Companion to 20th Century Music" a "Danish farmboy[who]wrote three pleasant symphonies"!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The greatest Scandinavian Symphony 11 Jan. 2001
By Steve Fogleman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ludolf Nielsen (1876-1939, and who was not directly related to Carl Nielsen) was basically a self-taught composer. He was a master at orchestration and melody. His third and last symphony is undoubtedly his greatest, which is included on this recording. It is hard to believe that this wonderful work was not accepted by the audiences or the critics at the time of it's premiere. The music itself seems to describe the joy of life, and with the monumental forces of the orchestra, the power of the music just soars. This is the first recording of this symphony, which is in it's original scoring.The tone poem Hjortholm was written 10 years after the symphony was (1923), and also contains some astounding music (the brass section plays marvelously to note). Though it does not rank with his third symphony, it is still worth hearing. To mention, Ludolf Nielsen composed about 200 works, which I'm sure are worth recording, so we've only tapped into his musical reserves. Enjoy!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Repertory ready 16 Mar. 2010
By Chris C. Hill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ludolf Nielsen has an original voice, rooted in folk idioms like the British pastoralists who were emerging in the same period, but by no means phlegmatic or unimaginative. His Third Symphony is bold, dramatic music, suffused with a spiritual atmosphere and aesthetic derived from Bruckner, though not dependent on Bruckner's musical vocabulary. The work has an early 20th-century flavor, is deeply felt and expertly written, in my view a worthy companion to Carl Nielsen's Third Symphony and Stenhammar's Second Symphony, two other works from about the same time (1911-13). It is unquestionably Ludolf Nielsen's finest symphony (albeit the only one yet unpublished). The finale leaves an indelible impression, rising out of smoldering embers to a remarkable climax. By the time it's over you know you've just heard the genuine article -- not a suite, not tunes shoe-horned into academic sonata forms, not a collection of tone poems, but a symphony.

After this work and his extraordinary cantata The Tower of Babel, Nielsen fell silent for a time, stunned by the Great War's seeming mockery of spiritual ideals he and other contemporaries had been trying to follow and promulgate. The tone poem Hjortjolm was written after he recovered his urge to create following the war. It's a rich work in its own right, sounding as much at home in the early 1920s as the symphony does in the early 1910s.

The performances by the Bamberg SO under Frank Cramer are excellent, and Da Capo's engineering sounds marvelous on a good system.

If Ludolf Nielsen does not quite rise to the heights of Carl Nielsen in the latter's Fourth or Fifth Symphonies or to the level of Sibelius at his symphonic best, his orchestral music nevertheless bears the stamp of a richly gifted and serious artist with a journey to share -- perhaps a bit cheerier than CN or Sibelius and for me a worthy musical companion. I wouldn't want to be without the best works of Stenhammar, Sibelius, or either Nielsen. This disc has two of LN's best.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The state of the arrival of the commodity in a short term, and the commodity was excellent. I think that it is a good exhibitor. 2 Mar. 2009
By S. Kurokawa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It is easy for the tune collected to this CD to have listened very much.
Moreover, a beautiful melody will appear, too and I value it as favorite one.
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