Friday, June 10, 2016

Carl Nielsen: The Three Concertos - Violin, Clarinet, and Flute - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kees Bakels - Naxos, 2000

Like Carl Nielsen's Symphonies, his three concertos are an important addition to the repertoire and there are several superb recordings to choose from. The pickings are slimmer compared to the symphonies, but that doesn't matter much as what is available ranges from very good to excellent. There are complete sets yet a nutcase collector (like myself) will definitely want to pick up all recordings that feature just one or two of the concerti, often paired with one of the symphonies, or ballet music in some cases. Or coupled with another composer, needless to say. One of the finest I think is Mogens Wöldike leading the Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra on Decca, for the Flute & Clarinet Concertos. From around late 2009 I think. 

This Naxos offering is one of the best available. My long-standing favorite, which I was looking for (but finally gave up because it must be packed in a box still) is the brilliant Chandos disc (1990) with the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Michael Schønwandt. I personally find all three accounts on that disc flawless. When I dig it up I will certainly offer it here!  
The concertos are not as well-known as the symphonies, which is a shame; they should be on concert programs frequently (I have heard the Violin Concerto and the Flute concerto performed live but once in all of my years) yet they really aren't. Nielsen's Violin concerto has always received the highest exposure, and there's no denying that it is an exquisite work. There's a chance I will be considered a heretic among fellow hardcore Nielsen fans but.... I happen to prefer the Flute Concerto and the single-movment quirky Clarinet Concerto. Make no mistake I adore the Violin Concerto as well; it's simply one of the finest penned during the 20th century.

See? Even this butterfly prefers the Flute Concerto. Actual performance..

Enjoy everyone


Marcelo Lasta said...

En efecto el Flute concerto del danes me parece el más lírico,delirante y jocoso,los otros son diferentes(muy pomposo,extenso y no muy convincente la inspiración,aunque las melodías son bellas en Violinkonzert),lindo naxos,no lo tenia,si en otras versiones,con Vengerov,Bernstein,etc,Buen Weekend,amigo Tzadik!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I an glad you are back! All the best to you and your family.


Tzadik said...

Hi Piterets, it's nice to hear from you! Thank you for your kind words my friend.


Tzadik said...

Estimado doctor Marcello, estoy feliz de saber que usted no tiene esta versión Naxos! Veo que está de acuerdo conmigo sobre los conciertos; todos ellos son magistral, esto es, sin duda, pero todavía tengo que estar en el estado de ánimo para el Concierto para Violín - los otros dos que puedo escuchar con más frecuencia.

hermano Tzadik