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Nielsen: The Masterworks (The Complete Symphonies (Nos. 1-6) And Orchestral Works) Box set, Colour, Hybrid SACD, SACD

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Nielsen: The Masterworks (The Complete Symphonies (Nos. 1-6) And Orchestral Works)
  • +
  • Nielsen: The Masterworks Vol. 2 (Chamber And Instrumental Works 6 Cd Box) (Dacapo: 8206003)
Total price: £53.67
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Product details

  • Conductor: Michael Schønwandt, Thomas Dausgaard
  • Composer: Carl Nielsen
  • Audio CD (30 Aug. 2011)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set, Colour, Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: DACAPO
  • ASIN: B005FF2U2Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,768 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Allegro Espansivo
  2. Andante Pastorale
  3. Allegretto Un Poco
  4. Finale: Allegro
  5. Allegro Collerico
  6. Allegro Comodo E Flemmatico
  7. Andante Malincolico
  8. Allegro Sanguineo

Disc: 2

  1. Allegro
  2. Poco Allegretto
  3. Poco Adagio Quasi Andante
  4. Con Anima - Allegro
  5. Tempo Giusto
  6. Adagio
  7. Allegro
  8. Presto
  9. Andante Poco Tranquillo
  10. Allegro

Disc: 3

  1. Allegro Orgoglioso
  2. Andante
  3. Allegro Comodo - Andante Sostenuto - Tempo 1
  4. Finale: Allegro Con Fuoco
  5. Tempo Giusto
  6. Humoresque - Allegretto
  7. Proposta Seria - Adagio
  8. Theme and Variations

Disc: 4

  1. Overture
  2. Cockerel's Dance
  3. Prelude: Andantino Giusto
  4. Prelude
  5. Andante Quasi Sostenuto
  6. Postlude: Allegro Non Troppo
  7. Snefrid's Sleep: Andante - Quasi Allegretto - Andante
  8. Funeral Music: Andante Sostenuto
  9. Prelude to Act II: Allegro Marziale
  10. Andante Sostenuto - Andante Tranquillo - Allegro Molto
  11. Prelude to Act III: Andantino Espressivo
  12. Andante Tranquillo
  13. Ouverture: Allegretto Con Brio
  14. Andante Tranquillo - Allegro Ma Non Troppo - Presto - Tempo I - Andante Tranquillo

Product Description

Orchestre National Symphonique danois - Michael Schonwandt & Thomas Dausgaard, direction

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This set of orchestral works by Carl Nielsen certainly does what it says on the box - Danish music interpreted by Danish musicians directed by Danish conductors, all in excellent recordings.

There are four generously filled CDs: the symphonies fill the first three, whilst the fourth (SACD) has a good selection of his shorter orchestral pieces, my favourites of these being "Helios", "Pan and Syrinx" and "An Imaginary Journey to the Færoe Islands".

If you are looking for a well-recorded complete set of the symphonies, this will more than fit the bill. With two additional DVDs featuring live performances of all six symphonies included, at this price it's a bargain. Go on - treat yourselves.
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Format: Audio CD
Schonwandt's Nielsen symphonies are pleasingly direct, unmannered, and mostly well-played -- but they're all rather tepid. Given how many other good recordings there are, I'd urge people to seek out other sets.

Blomdstedt used to be often recommended, but while he does extremely well with the 4th, and pretty well with the 5th too, he doesn't 'get' the 1st or 3rd at all -- two of the other most exciting symphonies out of the six.

Oramo's recent recordings on BIS are more recommendable than Blomstedt's. Even if both playing and recording are slightly scrappy at times, there's plenty of excitement, especially in the 4th and 5th. His 3rd is good, too, though no one can match the sheer beauty and spaciousness of Rozhdestvensky in the 'pastorale' of the 3rd. His 1st also falls a little short of the best, but on the whole, it's a better set than Schonwandt.

Rozhdestvensky is perhaps more consistent through all the symphonies than Oramo, and he is competitive with the best in all the ones I love best: the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Whereas Oramo leans slightly toward the dramatic, occasionally at the expense of the more lyrical, beautiful moments, Rozh errs just slightly on the lyrical side.

I think Storgards' recent set on Chandos is not a first choice at all. Playing is scrappy, interpretations reckless, sound merely OK.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Lovely performances and recordings on the CDs - preferred them to Blomstedt, finding them more characterful. I looked forward also to the DVD performances which are available separately elsewhere and described as including PCM stereo. Unfortunately, for some reason, the DVDs included here are not PCM and can only be listened to through the tv. In other words they will not go from my blu ray player through the DAC in my CD player to the amplifier, as most dvds do, so I can only listen to them in poor quality tv sound. So be warned, if you really want the live dvd performances it might be better to pay for the separate dvd set, which apparently also includes a film about Nielsen. Having said that, the CDs here do have magnificent sound and you do get the 4th CD of orchestral pieces, so I suppose one cannot complain - it just seems odd. Has anyone else managed to access the stereo track through blu-ray/CDplayer/amplifier?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistently Excellent 3 Jun. 2012
By Paul Van de Water - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This box contains two sets of Nielsen's symphonies conducted by Michael Schonwandt: one on three CDs and the other on two DVDs. David Hurwitz in Classics Today writes, "On balance Michael Schonwandt's cycle remains the most consistently excellent available. It has no weak links at all, and is expertly recorded." The video performances are equally fine and a pleasure to watch.

The box also contains an SACD with Thomas Dausgaard conducting other Nielsen orchestral music, including the wonderful Helios Overture, with which Danish Broadcasting begins each new year. As Hurwitz says, it "remains the finest recording of these works yet issued. It is stunning in every respect."

So if you're looking for these works, or would just like to see the DVDs, this set is a must. And while you're at it, be sure to consider the DaCapo box of Nielsen's chamber music Nielsen: The Masterworks - Chamber & Instrumental Works, Vol. 2--more fine performances at an even lower price.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb bargain 11 Dec. 2011
By Laszlo - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a marvellous offer.
Even though I already have three of these discs in their original release, I purchased it tempted by its value and curious by those mentioned extra 2DVD discs, whose details are somewhat passed by on this site (consequence, perhaps, of the very slight mention in booklet).
So, for those still dubious as I was, the last two of the six discs are DVDs of actual live performances at the Danish Radio Concert Hall, recorded November 2000. Great to watch.
The whole thing is just marvellous for the price asked and the performances and recordings are state-of-the art.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine Nielsen cycle to own 6 Oct. 2013
By Firebrand - Published on
Format: Audio CD
4.5 stars

The 1999-2001 Nielsen symphony cycle by Michael Schonwandt and the Danish is one of the most consistently good full Nielsen set recorded. Consistency and clarity are the big strengths of this set. Schonwandt's approach is well-judged and approachable. He brings out lyricism and warmth better than many, and a full, rounded sound is very appealing.

With the exception of the First symphony that is quick, Schonwandt's tempos are in the middle---not too fast, not slow. Contrary to the views of some, Schonwandt's tempos are emphatically not "slower than usual". If anything, Schonwandt has a slight bias to the quicker side of center, by just a shade. By comparison, Blomstedt (with the exception of his First and Second symphonies with the Danish Radio) is hyper-fast, blowing by the details and nuances that Schonwandt more often nails.

In terms of complete cycles, the sets of Bryden Thomson and Ole Schmidt (and the recordings of earlier Nielsen interpreters such as Tuxen, Jensen and Grondahl) are stronger, with more cragginess, character and intensity and memorable viewpoints. But Schonwandt's smooth, somewhat classical centrist approach will appeal to many. Even next to great recordings by the previously mentioned, plus Horenstein (the Third and Fifth), Bernstein, Stokowski (the Second), Previn's First, and Rozhdestvensky, Schonwandt is competitive. Some are truly topnotch. This set is superior to those of Blomstedt/SF, Vanska, Gilbert, etc. which are of the "runaway train" variety. His strongest performances come with the Second, where Schonwandt's lyricism is evident, and in an outstanding Fifth that gets everything right. The waltz rhythm in the Third (a clumsy affair for many interpreters), is handled smoothly, tastefully, retaining the melodic line better than most. The Fourth is an example of both plus and minus, smooth but lacking fire, the wicked bite of Thomson and Schmidt. Schonwandt's Sixth is outstanding.

As of this writing, this cycle has been issued three times. First on DaCapo, then on Naxos, and a third time on Naxos, packaged here generously with Nielsen orchestrals conducted by Thomas Dausgaard.

Adding to the wealth of material is a set of live concert DVDs of Schonwandt on the symphonies. These performances are slightly different than the CD recordings, but similar.

I recommend this core set, a safe all-around choice. (And don't just do it because David Hurwitz said one thing right for a change.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Nielsen collection! 7 Feb. 2013
By Brian C - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These are the best Nielsen symphony recordings available. Excellent playing, sound quality, very exciting performances. You also get DVDs of all the symphonies, and a SACD of miscellaneous orchestral works. Highly recommended!
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, this seems like second-tier Nielsen to me 10 July 2013
By Long-Time Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Having heard every complete set of Nielsen symphonies that I'm aware of--Blomstedt, Rhostdestvensky, Ole Schmidt, Berglund, Vanska, Salonen, Jarvi, and others--I have to say that for me this falls slightly short. While these are basically pretty good, relatively straightforward readings, they often lack both the intensity of the best readings as well as the more polished execution heard elsewhere. And this set doesn't contain any readings that I could consider the best for any given symphony. My first choice for a complete set would be Rhostdestvensky's. His performances are, in each case, competitive with those of any other conductor, and his 3rd is unmatched. His 1st reflects what has been called the "pastoral wonder" of the piece, which some conductors such as Blomstedt miss. Blomstedt is often a standard recommendation for Nielsen, and while his 4th is probably unmatched, I feel Rhostdestvensky's set is more consistent in quality since he does so much better in the 1st and 3rd.

Some recommendations for individual Nielsen symphonies:

1st: Vanska; Chung
3rd: Rhostdestvensky(!); Chung
4th: Blomstedt; Gibson; Thomson
5th: Chung(!); Rhostdestvensky; Gibson; Blomstedt.
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