I just checked to see how many Nielsen discs I have shared on here and I am almost astonished to see that I have only posted ONE all-Nielsen disc, and then Nielsen appears on a couple compilations. And that's it. As he's one of my favorite composers I am almost ashamed - almost - I do after all have quite a healthy Nielsen collection and, I know Nielsen himself would approve of that. Pretty sure he would be really flattered as well. All in all I think the great symphonist would want to be my pal. Ok maybe not, but he is indeed one of many many figures that I wish I could have met in this lifetime. I'd put the Great Dane (or Great Dean of Danish music) near the top of the list.
This was the first recording cycle of all six symphonies (1974) and it is still one of the finest around. The original Unicorn LP was issued later on cd by Unicorn, but the sound is even better on this Regis disc as it has been marginally cleaned up. Ole Schmidt is spot-on throughout, and his take on Symphony No. 4 ("Inextinguishable") and Symphony No. 6 ("Sinfonia semplice") in particular are candidates for best recorded versions around I think. I have many other favorite accounts, including (but not limited to) Bryden Thomson on Chandos, Gennady Rozhdestvensky also on Chandos, Herbert Blomstedt on Decca, and Michael Schønwandt on Dacapo being my next top picks. Actually, I will add Adrian Leaper's accounts with the NSO of Ireland from the mid-1990s on Naxos too; I used to play those versions all the time and they are quite fine - and I need to locate them now that I'm thinking of it!
|One of the original Unicorn LPs|
|Complete symphony cycle gets its premiere - this is one of two diff. covers|
(I confess that it's now half past midnight - but still I stand behind this Bday post's authenticity ;)
Gramophone had this to say about the cycle:
'The Inextinguishable' and No.5 are amongst the best-paced on record, No. 4 preferable to Karajan on DG... devastating account of Sinfonia Semplice (No. 6) is surely Schmidt's greatest achievement... No-one should jump to conclusions about this symphony before having heard the burning intensity Ole Schmidt brings to it. --Gramophone