MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931)
Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 7 (FS16) [32:54]
Symphony No. 5, Op. 50 (FS97) [33:31]
Helios Overture, Op. 17 (FS32) [11:50]
Flute Concerto (FS119) [18:37]
Clarinet Concerto, Op. 57 (FS129) (26:46)
Maskarade (excerpts: Overture [4:00]; Magdelone’s Dance Scene (Act I) [3:05]; Prelude (Act II) [4:10]; Hanedansen (Dance of the Cockerels) [4:41])) (FS39)
Svend Simon SCHULTZ (1913-1998)
Serenade for Strings [15:55]
Gilbert Jespersen (flute)
Ib Erikson (clarinet)
Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Jensen (symphonies, flute concerto, Maskarade) Erik Tuxen (Helios), Schultz) Mogens Wöldike (clarinet concerto)
rec. Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen, June 1952; (Helios, Schultz), July 1952 (Symphony No. 1), April 1954 (Symphony No. 5, Flute Concerto, Clarinet Concerto, Maskarade). Mono. ADD
DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 1858 [78:46 + 77:56]

Experience Classicsonline

The regulars of the Decca Nielsen project of the 1940s and 1950s were Mogens Wöldike (1897-1988), John Frandsen (1918-1995), Launy Grøndahl (1886-1960), Emil Reesen (1887-1964), Erik Tuxen (1902-1957) and Thomas Jensen (1898-1963). We meet several of them here amid these very well packed discs.
There was a time when this pioneering Danish Nielsen material was the sole province of Decca LPs Rather bleached and attentuated they sounded too. They palled against the vibrancy of Bernstein and Ormandy before the 1970s new dawn represented by two grand LP projects: Blomstedt and Danish Radio and the still superb Ole Schmidt and LSO (Unicorn and now Regis). Dutton and Danacord have issued these 1950s recordings before and many others of Danish 1950s provenance. Here they sound as good as they are ever likely to sound. They are in mono and their audio quality leans ever so slightly towards the thin and reedy at the upper end. There’s also a degree of congestion in the denser louder episodes. The ear quickly becomes attuned to this and for the most part the mind filters them out of the experience.
Jensen is slower and introspective in the two central movements of the First Symphony. The outer movements are turbulent and exult in the powerful charge of joy so often carried by Nielsen's music. After a sensibly long silence we move from the crashes of the finale's last pages of Symphony 1 to the mysteries and the clamorous Nordic conflicts of the Fifth Symphony. Recorded two years later it instantly sounds in better heart than Jensen's First. Its dynamic range, from tense intimacy to the brutality of what always seemed to me to be illustrative of the Roman legions, is wider. Tuxen's Helios is from 1952 and you have to listen through the modestly noticeable hiss to follow this work from auburn dawn to dazzling Mediterranean sunshine carried by those rowdy trumpets searing their way over a hymnal paean. Again the strings tend towards shrillness but other instruments, especially the woodwind, are strongly rendered.
The second disc in this slimline single-width package is almost as tightly packed as the first. The Flute Concerto moves from innocent pastoral scamp, piping away in delight, to knowing what it is to gaze into the void. The soloist takes the role of an Orpheus and even then tries to charm the ill-willed fates. This strikes me as one of the sweetest versions to be contrasted with that of Julius Baker on Sony who made of it a more anarchic contest. The Clarinet Concerto is chillier still; yes, with moments of pastoral calm but more often with raw abrasion. It comes across as more humane than the portrayal by Kjell-Inge Stevensson, Blomstedt and the DRSO on EMI Classics. Not that this stops Eriksen finding gawky upheaval in the gusty finale.
Jensen returns to the podium for an inspiring and storm-driven Maskarade. Magdelone's Dance is the height of ineffable elegance with a touch or two of Viennese-pointed playing superbly put across. Jensen really revelled in this. It’s the prize track of the disc. It is followed by the Prelude to Act II which is ruminative and atmospheric. In the Hen's Dance we return to something similar to the Magdelone piece but Smetana and the czardas was an influence in a work with some extremely imaginative writing.
Svend Schulz's Serenade for Strings concludes the second disc. This lithe and compact little piece is from 1940. It sports a thudding bass with the manner seeming to be a slightly updated version of the Suite by Frank Bridge. The finale finds Schulz fully up and running with a nice line in melody and streaming panache. It’s not quite up there in the popularity stakes with the Wirén Serenade but it is still good to make its acquaintance.
Lyndon Jenkins' note is full of interest especially in his tackling of the panorama of conductors associated with the Danish Radio Orchestra and with Nielsen's music and its ascent to favour.
The disc booklet is stylishly completed by miniature reproductions of the original Nielsen Decca LP covers from the 1950s.
On this encouraging evidence I look forward to more in this series from Tuxen and the others.  

Rob Barnett
Masterwork Index: Nielsen Symphonies



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.