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Tamara Takacs

The principal post-Romantic Danish composer, Carl Nielsen, was born in 1865, the son of a painter and village musician. Childhood experience as an amateur performer led to subsidised study at the Copenhagen Conservatory and a long career during which he developed his own personal style of composition, in particular in a series of important symphonies.

Orchestral Music

Nielsen wrote six symphonies, distinguished by the titles given them as well as in numbering. Of these the best known are Symphony No. 2, The Four Temperaments, and Symphony No. 4, The Inextinguishable. Symphony No. 5, written after the 1914-18 war, represents, in its two movements, the composer's struggle to develop new and stronger rhythms and more advanced harmony. His concertos for clarinet, for flute and for violin have also found a place, as has the overture taken from the opera Maskarade.

Chamber Music

Nielsen's 1922 Wind Quintet is a particularly pleasing element in wind chamber music repertoire, of greater interest than the composer's earlier string quartets.


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