Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carl Nielsen - First Symphony in G Minor

Carl August Nielsen was a Danish violinist, conductor and composer. Born on 9th June 1865 and died on 3rd October 1931. His works are very well known in Denmark. Today, I heard his first symphony for the first time and it was impressive. He is admired for his symphonies. He also wrote concerti for violin, flute and clarinet. He appears on the Danish hundred-kroner note.
Nielsen first discovered music while experimenting with the sound and pitch he heard while striking logs in a pile of firewood behind his home. The songs his mother sang and the music at the wedding parties also influenced him. His father played the violin at such wedding parties.
His first symphony is in G Minor. It shows his individuality and progressive tonality. The first movement theme for the second violins, oboe and flute permeates throughout all the movements. He begins the work in one key and ends in another.
The performance I heard was by the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and energetically interpreted by Michael Schonwandt. Beautiful symphony with a haunting first movement theme.

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