One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider


.
La Mer Ticciati

Eriks EŠENVALDS

Detlev GLANERT

Jaw-dropping

simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin


Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive


Cantatas for Soprano

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this from
Carl NIELSEN (1865-1931)
Songs for choir
Ars Nova Copenhagen/Michael Bojesen
rec. Old Church of Our Lady, Roskilde, Denmark, 2014
Hybrid Surround 5.0 and Stereo
DACAPO 6.220569 SACD [63.31]

These songs are arrangements by Michael Bojesen for four-part choir from Nielsen's original settings for voice and piano. The exceptions are the items marked * which are Nielsen's own choral settings. The extensive notes explain how Nielsen came to have a role in Danish song not dissimilar to Vaughan Williams' role in the English hymnal, that is to become the composer of some of the best known tunes in the nation's culture. Danes have a long history of using every occasion as one for a song. The items here are simple strophic songs, of which Nielsen wrote well over two hundred. Here we have just twenty in arrangements for the small Ars Nova choir. Those expecting the Nielsen of the symphonies or even the two operas will be greatly surprised because these are simple, tuneful and very easy listening indeed. None last more than a few minutes and have no pretensions to profundity whatever. They are just good tunes. It is no exaggeration to say that several are positively famous in Denmark, even today, even amongst people who wouldn't recognise a note of Nielsen's orchestral music.

One cannot imagine them sung better than this, except in some cases when heard in the original form and sung by, particularly, the likes of Aksel Schiøtz. The expectation at the time was that a single voice or a choir in unison would sing the words accompanied by a written-out piano part. The originals have thus either four or five parts including the keyboard. Michael Bojesen has used Nielsen's small number of choral settings as a guide and adapted seventeen more for four-part choir without accompaniment. It works well, though it might prove a bit too sophisticated to experienced listeners, particularly Danes.

The recording in surround is basically very good but the current batch has a production fault that also occurs on the Nielsen Fifth and Sixth Symphonies recently issued by Dacapo; namely, the Centre and Right channels are reversed. On my set-up this can be corrected fairly easily, after which the excellent 5.0 sound is available to enjoy. The stereo does not suffer from any problem so if stereo, either CD or SACD, is your usual listening mode you may buy this excellent disc with confidence.

Dave Billinge

Attractive performances of easily enjoyed songs.

Previous review: Dan Morgan

Track listing
Nu er dagen fuld af sang [2.17]
Frydeligt med jubelkor [2.26]
Påskeblomst! hvad vil du her? [4.58]
Vi sletternes sønner har drømme i sind [4.20]
Havet omkring Danmark [2.42]
I solen går jeg bag min plov [2.32]
Nu skal det åbenbares [3.20]
Nu lyser løv [2.28]
Se dig ud en Sommerdag [2.23]
Frihed er det bedste guld [3.56]
Som en rejselysten flåde from Moderen Op. 41 [5.30]*
Udrundne er de gamle dage [2.05]*
Der sad en fisker så tankefuld [4.44]
Du danske mand! af al din magt [2.30]*
På det jævne [4.18]
Derfor kan vort øje glædes [2.20]
Tunge, mørke natteskyer [3.04]
Hvem sidder der bag skærmen [3.49]
Betragt mit svage spind [1.26]
Den danske sang [2.24]