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  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

NIELSEN, Carl
b Norre Lyndelse, Denmark, 9 June 1865
d Copenhagen, 3 October 1931, aged sixty-six

He was born into a peasant family; his father played violin and cornet. At the age of fourteen he became a military bandsman in Odense, and soon began to compose chamber music. In 1884 he entered the Copenhagen Conservatory, and from 1889 to 1905 played second violin in the Royal Theatre Orchestra, of which he was later conductor from 1908 to 1914. He was appointed to the governing body of the Conservatory in 1915, remaining there until 1927, and teaching theory there from 1916 to 1919. Heart trouble affected him increasingly from 1922. He became director of the Conservatory in 1931 and died of a heart attack later that same year. In his first symphony he showed the influence of the orchestral style of Brahms, but though his form and harmony were classical he was showing contemporary developments in chromaticism and tone colour. By his fifth symphony he was using progressive tonality, and was demonstrating the reformulation of traditional symphonic form.

1881-2 (16-17)

Sonata No 1

in G for violin and piano (unpublished)

1882-3 (17-18)

Two Character Pieces for piano (unpublished)

String Quartet in Dm (unpublished)

Duet in A, for two violins (unpublished)

1883 (18)

Piano Trio in G (unpublished)

1883-7 (18-22)

Various string quartet movements (unpublished)

1887-8 (22-3)

String Quartet in Gm

1888 (23)

String Quintet in G

Little Suite for strings

Symphonic Rhapsody (unpublished)

1889 (24)

Fantasistykker, for oboe and piano

890 (25)

String Quartet in Fm

Five Pieces for piano

1889-92 (25-7)

Symphony No 1

1893 (28)

Snofrid, melodrama (unpublished)

1894 (29)

Symphonic Suite for piano

1894-7 (29-32)

Humoreske-bagateller, for piano

1895 (30)

Sonata in A for violin and piano

1896-7 (31-2)

Hymnus amoris, for baritone, bass, chorus and orchestra

1897-8 (32-3)

String Quartet in Eb

1900 (35)

Fest-praeludium, for piano

Cantata for the Lorens Frelich Festival (unpublished)

1901 (36)

Cantata for the Students' Association (unpublished)

1901-2 (36-7)

Symphony No 2, The Four Temperaments

1902 (37)

Saul and David, opera

1903 (38)

Helios, overture

1903-4 (38-9)

Søvnen, for chorus and orchestra

1905 (40)

Drømmen om 'Glade Jul', for piano 1

906 (41)

fp Maskarade, opera

String Quartet in F

1907-8 (42-3)

Saga-drom, for orchestra

1908 (43)

Cantata for the Anniversary of Copenhagen University

1909 (44)

Cantata for a Commemoration (unpublished)

Cantata for the National Exhibition at Arhus (unpublished)

1910 (45)

At the Young Artist's Bier, for string quartet

1910-11 (45-6)

Symphony No 3, Espansiva

1911 (46)

Violin Concerto

1912 (47)

Sonata No 2 for violin and piano

Paraphrase on 'Nearer My God to Thee', for wind (unpublished)

1913-48)

Canto Serioso, for horn and piano

1914 (49)

Serenata in vano, for clarinet, bassoon, horn, cello and double-bass

1914-16 (49-51)

Symphony No 4, The Inextinguishable

1916 (51)

Chaconne for piano

1917 (52)

Theme and Variations for piano

Cantata for the Centenary of the Merchants' Committee

1917-18 (52-3)

Pan and Syrinx, for orchestra

1918 (53)

Three Compositions for piano

1919-20 (54-5)

Suite, Den Luciferiske, for piano

1921 (56)

Springtime in Fyn, for soprano, tenor, bass, chorus and orchestra

1921-2 (56-7)

Symphony No 5

1922 (57)

Hyldest til Holberg, for solo voices, chorus and orchestra (unpublished)

Wind Quintet

1923 (58)

Prelude and Theme with Variations for violin

1924-5 (59-60)

Symphony No 6, The Simple

1926 (61)

Flute Concerto

1927 (62)

En Fantasirejse til Faeroerne, rhapsodic overture

1927-8 (62-3)

Prelude and Presto for violin

1928 (63)

Clarinet Concerto

Bohmisk-dansk folketom, for strings

Three Pieces for piano

1929 (64)

Cantata for the Centenary of the Polytechnic High School

(unpublished)

Hymne til Kunsten, for soprano, tenor, chorus and wind

(unpublished)

Twenty-nine Little Preludes for organ

1930 (65)

Cantata for the 50th Anniversary of the Danish Cremation Union

(unpublished)

Cantata for the 50th Anniversary of the Young Merchants'

Educational Association (unpublished)

Klaviermusik for Smaa og Store, two volumes

Two Preludes for organ

1931 (66)

Allegretto in F, for two recorders

Commotio, for organ

Nielsen also wrote much incidental music, unaccompanied choral works, and many songs.

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