Nielsen: Aladdin Suite; Maskarade (excerpts); Helios Overture; Pan and Syrinx; Saga-Dream, A Fantastic Journey to the Faroes

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Nielsen
LABELS: DG
WORKS: Aladdin Suite; Maskarade (excerpts); Helios Overture; Pan and Syrinx; Saga-Dream, A Fantastic Journey to the Faroes
PERFORMER: Gothenburg SO/Neeme Järvi
CATALOGUE NO: 447 757-2
Much more than just an entertaining offshoot of the same team’s deeply-felt Nielsen Symphonies cycle, this disc highlights Nielsen’s wide-ranging sense of curiosity. The natural mythologies that make up the central strand of the programme are always unpredictable, but there’s a special magic about Saga-Dream and Pan and Syrinx – the Gothenburg woodwind seem to have an effortless understanding of their elusive roles in both works. Järvi’s ineffable sense of atmosphere goes hand in glove with the Gothenburg Symphony Hall recording (outstanding as always) in dreamscapes and sea-pictures, while the extrovert, human worlds of Maskarade and Aladdin are deliciously pointed. Nielsen’s incidental music to Oehlenschlaeger’s Arabian Nights extravaganza deserves the entire disc devoted to it by Rozhdestvensky (Chandos, reviewed May 1993), though the suite of seven numbers (minus chorus) characterised here by one of Rozhdestvensky’s few equals as a master of the dance does help to colour the rainbow. Who would have credited Nielsen’s healthy, outdoor spirit with a talent for camp exotica of the highest order? David Nice

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