Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

NIELSEN: Symphony No. 3, 'Espansiva', Symphony No. 5, Saul and David: Prelude, Act II.   Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra. Erik Tuxen. Dutton CDK1207 76m ADD (Rec 1946/50).

Save around 22% with


At long last, these classic recordings are available again! We have had the early Jensen sets on Dutton for some time now and it was high time that Tuxen's legendary coupling was to see the light of day. I have played this disc over and over again and was consistently bowled over by the dramatic intensity and pungency of the 'Espansiva' in particular. Tuxen's dramatic account is surely the prime recommendation of this work and should hold the standard for some time to come. I compared it with a live 1959 performance by Thomas Jensen and the DSNRO, and the Tuxen came out consistently on top especially in the sublime Andante pastorale, a miracle of refinement with a substantial contribution from the soloists, Inger Lis Hassing and Erik Sjoberg, both singers of ethereal beauty. The Allegro Finale is equivocally thrilling in its intensity and passion, a tribute to the postwar magic of the DNRSO and a memorial to the instinctive feel of Tuxen for Nielsen's music.

The Fifth is another superb performance. Here the competition is quite fierce, one cannot forget Georg Hoberg's far-out 1933 version and Thomas Jensen's superbly recorded 1954 version for Decca (also on Dutton). Tuxen is marginally slower than the latter which is my benchmark recording. He creates a palpable sense of tension and irresistible momentum and the playing of the orchestra is indeed magnificent throughout. The Adagio non troppo benefits from greater clarity and vision particularly in the two big climaxes that conclude the movement, a life-affirming permeation of faith and hope that is the kernel of Nielsen's music. And with the massive Finale, Tuxen and his orchestra are indeed on home ground, their sense of precision is disarming whilst the power and passion of the music carry all before it. I fail to understand EMI's flagrant denigration of this wonderful recording which is indeed a 'Great Recording of the Century'. Well, thanks to Mike Dutton who has done a superb job in remastering these originals and creating recordings that are indeed models of their kind. The short 'Saul and David' Prelude is indeed beautiful and makes a welcome addition to the big guns. You might be buying the new Schonwandt and Bostock cycles but this issue is the missing link to the elusive Danish recordings that blazed the trail for this wondrous composer and which are essential, indeed indispensable additions to the discography of Carl August Nielsen.


Gerald Fenech


Symphony No. 1: Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra: Thomas Jensen. Decca LXT 2748 June 1952 Dutton Laboratories CDLXT 2502.

Symphony No. 2 'The Four Temperaments Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra Thomas Jensen EMI HMV Z 7000-3 October 1947. Dutton Laboratories CDCLP4001

Symphony No. 3 'Espansiva'. Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra Erik Tuxen Decca AK2161-5 October 1946 Dutton Laboratories CDK1207

Symphony No. 4 'The Inextinguishable' Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra Launy Grondahl. EMI HMV DB2015-60 August 1951. Dutton Laboratories CDCLP4001

Symphony No.5. Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra Erik Tuxen/Thomas Jensen EMI HMVZ7022-6 April 1950/Decca LXT 2980 April 1954 Dutton Laboratories CDK1207/CDLXT2502.

Symphony No. 6 'Sinfonia Semplice' Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra Decca LXT 2749 June 1952 Danacord DACOCD 351-53 (Transferred from TONO pressings).


The final recording of the Sixth is somewhat blurred and not as clear as the impeccable Dutton transfers of the contemporary First. One hopes that some Decca pressing or master may be found and used for the transfer of this unique recording. I would also add as supplements, Jensen's pioneering 1944 unpublished 'Four Temperaments' and the 1933 Georg Hoberg version of the Fifth to the awesome shortlist above. Both are available on Danacord Vol 6 of the Historic Carl Nielsen collection. I will also be discussing these recordings in greater detail when publishing a paper on the Nielsen symphonies that will be exclusive to Music on the Web readers.



Rob Barnett

Reviews from previous months

Reviews carry sales links but you can also purchase from:

Return to Index