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The Conclusion of a Fine Set of Nielsen Symphonies,
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This review is from: Nielsen: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 (LSO/Colin Davis) (Audio CD)
Perhaps because I am less knowledgable than the two reviewers who precede this one, I have less to grumble about. No sarcasm is intended here: quite simply I am a music lover and not any sort of musician or authority. However, I have long loved the Nielsen symphonies having been first introduced to them by a Radio 3 broadcast of No4 conducted by Sir John Barbirolli at the Proms in nineteen sixty something. In recent years my benchmark has been ... and still is ... the Decca set by Herbert Blomstedt and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. To be honest I can hardly claim to have made an extensive exploration of other recordings but those I have encountered on CD review programs etc have never made me want to dash out and buy. That was changed immediately when I encountered the first of hese LSO Live recording with Sir Colin Davis. The little taste-and-try excerpts available on Amazon ... always irritatingly brief but a useful guide nonetheless ... were enough to have me ordering at once. I was not disappointed nor have I been disappointed by the two subsequnt issues. This latest, consisting of Nos2&3 I find makes very satisfying listening. No3 is my favourite of the six and maybe, here and there, Davis is a tad restrained in the final movement but this is a minor niggle.
All in all these symphonies are extremely well performed here and the recorded sound is excellent. (With regards my opinion of the recorded sound I should in fairness point out that my sound system is hardly top end hi-fi: neither, however, is it bottom end!)
For anyone unfamiliar with the Nielsen symphonies this, surely, is an ideal starting point and you could do a lot worse that begin with this cd of Nos 2&3. Nielsen's sound world is unique: dramatic, wistful, emergetic and, very often, bursting with the sheer joy of life.
As for those who are already lovers of Nielsen, pick one of these recordings and give it a go. One thing is certain, Sir Colin and the LSO deserve a broad minded loan of your ears!