A Close to the Nielsen Project

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Danish composer Carl Nielsen. Danish composer Carl Nielsen. (Carlnielsen.org)

In the final week of June broadcasts, the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert conclude The Nielsen Project — the orchestra's multi-season survey of the six symphonies and three concertos by Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) — with Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto, featuring principal clarinet Anthony McGill in his debut.

The program also includes Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales and selections from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

Program playlist:
Ravel: Valses Nobles et Sentimentales
Nielsen: Clarinet Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Excerpts from Swan Lake

Comments [1]

Les from Miami, Florida

Ravel's "Valses Nobles et Sentimentales", orchestrated from piano pieces by the composer, I've nicknamed "Elegantly Aristocratic and Beautifully Wistful", though the Dover edition translates them as "elegant and Lyrical Waltzes". Numbers I and II exemplify the former and latter to a "t". The one-movement Nielsen Clarinet Concerto for solo clarinet, bassoons, horns, snare drum and strings contains four sections "Allegretto un poco", "Poco Adagio", "Allegro non troppo" and "Allegro Vivace" and two cadenzas. Elegant chamber music writing this is, I think and ingenious scoring allowing "dialogues" between solo and snare drum and solo and bassoons in one instance. Liquid and mellifluous playing was heard throughout in the solo as in the cadenzas. Tchaikovsky's excerpts from "Swan Lake", an imperishable score throughout, were from Acts II, III and IV. Selections heard were the iconic b minor "main theme", (Act II conclusion), Czardas, Spanish Dance, Mazurka, and supplemental Russian Dance and abbreviated Act IV conclusion.

Jun. 30 2015 04:04 PM

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