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CD Review

Carl Nielsen

  • 'Commotio'
  • Early Songs
  • Violin Sonata
Odense Symphony Orchestra/Bo Holten
Orchestrations by Bo Holten
Danacord 588 62m DDD
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As Bo Holten says in his introduction to this CD, 'Commotio' indeed requires a full symphony orchestra for its intrinsic qualities of grandeur and deep mysticism to be fully appreciated. Holten himself orchestrates the work with remarkable knowledge of the pressure points that permeate this sprawling composition of genius. The structure of the music is a free fantasia and thus the orchestra revels in the deep sonorous undertones that are an essential element in Nielsen's late works.

The interpretation is as authoritative as one would expect from this Danish team who go to the heart of the matter with inbred confidence. The Seven Early Songs are also confidently sung by Henriette Bonde-Hansen, these are arrangements from the composer's vast oeuvre in this genre. Finally there is a subtle orchestration of the Violin Sonata, FS64, beautifully played by Bjarne Hansen, an outstandingly lucid and clear-headed soloist who understands Nielsen's medium pretty effectively on most counts.

The Danacord recordings are very well engineered and the project is certainly of paramount importance in the Nielsen canon.

Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech