Nielsen: Symphony No. 3 (Sinfonia espansiva); Symphony No. 4 (Inextinguishable); At the Bier of a Young Artist

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Nielsen
LABELS: EMI Matrix
WORKS: Symphony No. 3 (Sinfonia espansiva); Symphony No. 4 (Inextinguishable); At the Bier of a Young Artist
PERFORMER: Kirsten Schultz (soprano)Peter Rasmussen (baritone)Danish RSO/Herbert Blomstedt
CATALOGUE NO: CDM 5 65415 2 ADD (1975)
Blomstedt’s first Nielsen symphony cycle for EMI is less well behaved than his second for Decca (see last January’s BBCMusic Magazine) – positively so in the case of this rough and passionate Inextinguishable. The conductor’s customary sense of direction is complemented by fiery, forward string playing; only the finale proves, at points, beyond the abilities of the Danish Radio players. The Espansiva, recorded slightly earlier, suffers from inconsistent recording balances – first flute looms large one moment, only to retreat the next – and a characteristic playing-safe from Blomstedt. The middle movements lack the dynamic shocks needed to power them. Still, worth investigating for the freshest of Inextinguishables and a far from trifling filler, the lacerating At the Bier of a Young Artist. David Nice

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