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Nielsen/Syms 2 And 4

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Benchmark Performances In Mono Sound 17 July 2004
By Jeffrey Lipscomb - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This CD may be hard to find but it is most definitely worth a search. Jensen's classic Symphony #2 "The Four Temperaments" hails from 1947 (an even earlier test pressing from 1944 can be found in Danacord's "Carl Nielsen Collection: Volume 6," which I have not heard). Jensen gives a powerfully-controlled, extremely expressive reading that is tops in my books, although it is challenged by a great "live" 1956 reading from Grondahl (this was the latter's "farewell" concert and can be heard on a superb collection of all 6 symphonies on Danacord 351-353). It's almost a toss-up, but Jensen's account is my favorite.
Grondahl's pathbreaking account of the "Inextinguishable" is from 1951. To my ears, this is one of the greatest performances of ANY Nielsen symphony - I think it is mandatory listening for anyone who loves Nielsen's works. The transfers of both symphonies are excellent - they are pretty much identical to my original Odeon LPs.
Needless to say, most listeners will want to have stereo accounts of these works as well, particularly of the 4th with its dueling tympani. There is an astonishingly fine "live" 1967 2nd by Stokowski and the Danish State Radio: it is available on Stokowski's volume of "Great Conductors of the 20th Century" on IMG/EMI 75480. I find it quite astounding that Stokowski took up this work at age 85 and in this, his only performance, he simply blows past all the readings in current complete sets and comes very close to matching both Jensen and Grondahl. Amazing!
The only stereo 4th to rival Grondahl's in my affections is the extraordinarily white-hot Martinon/Chicago Symphony on an RCA LP that remains in limbo. What a travesty that such a brilliant, well-recorded account still is waiting for a CD transfer.
Fine as both Stokowski's 2nd and Martinon's 4th are, I think anyone who loves Nielsen will want to have this excellent Dutton CD as well. Its performances really established the interpretive touchstone for each work.
Strongly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Carl Nielsen 's legacy! 26 Sept. 2005
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The Four temperaments is one of the most emblematic Symphonies wirtten in the XX Century. It describes accurately the anguish, fears and hopeless of the actual man.
The Fourth Symphony is possibly the most solid Symphony written by Nielsen. Its complex dramatic structure and its frenetic atmosphere makes a must for any lover music to know about it.
This set maintains the historic interets of having been World Premeire Recordings.
If I was required to recommend some othe optiuons, go for Bernstein New York for the Second Symphony and four sumptuous and very different approach for the Fourth: in this strict order: the most complete and dense version I have ever listended, it has not released yet on CD format, but fortunately I have it in vinyl: Igor Markevitch and Danish Orchestra; the very famous Zubin Metha and L.A.Philharmonic in the early Seventies, Herbert Blomsted and the Danish Orchestra and finally Ekka Pekka Salonen in the middle Seventies.
This CD conyains my favorite performances of each symphony 31 Mar. 2015
By Frederick Rodgers - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD conyains my favorite performances of each symphony. As noted in other reviews here the Jensen recording of Symphony #2 "The Four Temperaments" was made in 1947; Jensen's preformance is the most powerfully expressive I have heard of this work. I agree with Mr Lipscombe that Grondahl's "Inextinguishable" from 1951 is "one of the greatest performances of ANY Nielsen symphony". This is a driving powerful perfomance that shows the greatness of the symphony and Nielsen like no other in my experience. Other performances of these works I prize include Stokowski in "The Four Temperaments", a spectacular performance in great mono sound on IMG/EMI 75480; and Markevitch (when will this be on cd?) and Martinon (RCA) in "The Inextinguishable".
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