Danish composer Carl Nielsen, is very difficult to categorise, due to the wide diversity of his output. He has been variously described as a composer of Romantic, anti-Romantic, nationalist, traditionalist, and even experimentalist tendencies. His six symphonies collectively-form his best-known body of work.
Born in extreme rural isolation and poverty in Funen, in 1865, he was reportedly a very shy and immature country boy, when he travelled, at the age of eighteen, to Copenhagen, he thankfully gained admittance to the Academy of Music, on the strength of a freshly composed string quartet. It was not until his 29th year, that he completed his First Symphony, which was greeted with rapturous enthusiasm, upon its first performance, in 1894.
Symphony No.1 in G minor Op.75 , by Nielsen (time 32:10) :-
1) I Allegro orgoglioso 2) II Andante 3) III Allegro comodo 4) IV Finale : Allegro con fuoco
Carl Nielsen's Second Symphony 'The Four Temperaments' emerged during a time when the Danish composer's music was consciously depicting human moods and temperaments ; musical themes and instruments would form personalities. Nielsen's final inspiration for the Second Symphony, came from a set of four cartoon caricatures illustrating the four medieval temperaments : Choleric ; Phlegmatic ; Melancholic ; and Sanguine.
Symphony No.2 in B minor 'Four Temperaments' Op.16, by Nielsen (time 30:15) :-
5) I Allegro collerico 6) II Allegro comodo e flemmatico 7) III Andante malincolico 8) IV Allegro sanguineo - Marziale
The CD is in EX+ condition.
photo two : Carl Nielsen as a young man.