Mostly Carl Nielsen

« previous episode | next episode »

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Nikolaj Znaider. Nikolaj Znaider. (Lars Gundersen)

Alan Gilbert leads The New York Philharmonic in Nielsen’s Flute Concerto, with principal flute Robert Langevin as soloist; and Nielsen’s Violin Concerto with soloist Nikolaj Znaider. The program is presented as part of The Nielsen Project — the orchestra's multi-season survey of the six symphonies and three concertos by Danish composer Carl Nielsen.

The program concludes with Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony, which incorporated Ukrainian folk songs and is known as “The Little Russian.” Listen to the full show below:

Program playlist:
Nielsen: Flute Concerto
Nielsen: Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor

Comments [2]

Les from Miami, Florida

Listening again to this re-broadcast, originally aired 12 October 2012, I'm again delighted by the immediate accessibility of Nielsen's Flute Concerto. Scored for double oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns, with solo trombone and strings, there's careful and never overwhelming orchestral accompaniment to the soloist, in this performance, the Orchestra's first chair Robert Longevin, in this neo-classical-sounding concerto. The Violin Concerto, scored for full orchestra with two cadenzas, remains difficult for me to warm to. Though Nicolaj Znaider is excellent throughout, my aversion to cadenzas in general (wih the exception of those by Mozart and Beethoven), prevents to a great degree my appreciation of this concerto, the first being at the onset and the second appearing in the "Allegro cavalleresco" section. The syncopated main theme is very engaging; and there is much interplay between soloist and orchestra throughout. The Adagio still baffles me insofar as the direction of the argument is anything but definite. The concluding Rondo I found boring and therefore overly lengthy. Again, hearing the Tchaikovsky Second Symphony elicited nothing but enjoyment: the tempi of the movements and the balance, especially of the woodwinds in the second movement and the brass in the last movement brought many smiles of satisfaction and appreciation for the efforts of one and all.

Apr. 12 2015 06:05 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

Compliments are given to Alan Gilbert for programming Tchaikovsky's Second Symphony which is so often obscured in the wake of the admittedly more emotionally gripping Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. The second movement (Andantino marziale, quasi moderato) with its theme from the uncompleted "Undine", manages to elicit happiness and melancholy at the same time, I think. And I think Nielsen's music "blends" well on a program with Tchaikovsky.

Apr. 09 2015 06:14 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.