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Nielsen: Symphonies Nos 2 & 3


Nielsen Symphonies Nos 2 & 3

Nielsen Symphonies Nos 2 & 3

Sir Colin Davis conductor

ICMA Nomination 2014: Symphonic Music

‘Zesty and affectionate, with depth of feeling when required, there is a freshness to this account that makes it worth hearing, and the joyous finale has a bounce that is infectious.’ Classical Source

'The LSO’s playing is irreproachable in this last instalment with Davis.’
BBC Radio 3 CD Review

Nielsen’s Second Symphony was inspired by a naïve but vivid
painting representing the Four Temperaments of the human
personality. Adopting these defining characters for each of the
symphony’s movements Nielsen realised a sonic depiction of
emotion. His Third Symphony, the most openly Danish of his
symphonies, portrays spaciousness, power and vitality and is
considered his greatest international achievement.

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ICMA Nomination 2014: Symphonic Music

***** ‘The newly released Nielsen: Symphonies 2 & 3 is drawn from concerts in December 2011 and showcases authoritative performances that for me are the best in class. Nielsen needs a firm hand, and gets one from Davis; his intellectual grip and rigour is astonishing for a man of his age.’ Mail on Sunday (UK)

***** ‘The sonics on both are up to the high standards of LSO Live SACDs. Individual solos come through clearly and with great spatiality, and the orchestral climaxes are rich and clean, free of the compression effects frequently heard on standard CDs.’ Audiophile Audition (US)

**** Performance‘… this recording is an exhilarating display of the life-force at full blast in both composer and conductor.’ BBC Music Magazine (UK)

**** (max) Classica (France)

Pick of the Week 'Colin Davis establishes himself as a first-class Nielsenian on our pick of the week ... With this coupling, Davis leaves the best for last, too: Nielsen’s most accessible symphony, “The Four Temperaments” (No 2), a work ideally suited to Davis’s volatile humours; and the “Sinfonia Espansiva”, arguably the composer’s greatest and most characteristically nationalist.' The Sunday Times

‘Zesty and affectionate, with depth of feeling when required, there is a freshness to this account that makes it worth hearing, and the joyous finale has a bounce that is infectious.’ Classical Source

‘Sir Colin Davis’s interpretations of the great Dane’s idiosyncratic and tempestuous scores have been revelations.’ The Times (UK)

'With this sublime setting down of Symphonies 2 & 3, Colin Davis brings to a triumphant conclusion his enlightening Nielsen symphony cycle. The first title in the series, Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5, was an instant critical success (with some caveats), while the second, with Symphonies 1 & 6, was similarly acclaimed. Nielsen’s Second Symphony was a result of the composer’s exposure to a naïve painting representing the four temperaments of the human personality. The Third is the most characteristically Danish of his symphonies, and is given a non-pareil reading here in glowing surround sound which tames the Barbican acoustic.' Classical CD Choice (UK)

'Conducting with precision and vitality, Colin Davis completes his survey of all six Nielsen symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra.' NPR (US)

'The whole work is well paced from the choleric outburst of the first movement to the cheerfully sanguine finale. In fact that’s one of the keys to this account – Davis manages to convince you that it is indeed a symphony, and not a set of four character pieces. The LSO’s playing is irreproachable in the last instalment with Davis' BBC Radio 3 CD Review

Concert Reviews

Symphony No 2
***** ‘The LSO displayed a strong sense of movement throughout, coaxed along by Sir Colin with an even and steady hand. The Allegro collerico first movement was spirited, even violent at points … The final movement, Allegro sanguineo, was a tour de force of the brass section, blasting away in wild abandon, totally cowing the strings.’ Bachtrack (UK)

Symphony No 3
‘Davis unleashed the opening allegro with an irresistible swing, fabulously played by the LSO, but he was sufficiently inside Nielsen’s symphonic imagination not to allow the more ruminative inner movements to be overwhelmed. It’s amazing to think that Davis has only recently come to the composer.’ The Guardian (UK)


Sir Colin Davis conductor
Lucy Hall soprano
Marcus Farnsworth baritone
London Symphony Orchestra

Recording Details

James Mallinson producer
Neil Hutchinson and Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineers

DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording, live at the Barbican December 2011
Stereo and multi-channel 5.1

Catalogue number - LSO0722
UPC - 822231172222

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