CD Reviews | CTD (Briefly Noted) | JFL (Dip Your Ears) | DVD Reviews


Dip Your Ears: No. 271 (Danish Choral Gems)

available at Amazon
Carl Nielsen
sung by
Danish National Choral Ensembles
Conductors: Michael Schonwandt, Phillip Feber, Susanne Wendt
(dacapo 8.226112)

Easy-on-the-Ears Choral Nielsen

The song vocabulary of Denmark was created in large part by Carl Nielsen, who has some 300 songs and about 100 choral compositions to his name. It’s an occurrence that – in the listening and better yet in the singing! – fuses high art with popularity in the literal meaning of the word. If you like choral music, easy-on-the-ear tunes, then these 25 hymns and choral songs of Carl Nielsen’s in wonderful, mostly calm, occasionally bracing performances by the various Danish National Choruses, are just the ticket. The selections are evenly distributed between pieces for mixed, male, and childrens’ (including girls’) choirs. The adult ensembles are splendid; the kids are very good but not quite as exceptional. With “Kom Gudsengel, stille død (“Come, God’s angel, silent Death”) a more complex, particularly dark but exquisite and clouded gem, for alto, tenor and bass, is at the center of the program. The Nordic, ever so slightly wistful air, lingers amid these works as it does – albeit more subtly – with similar pieces by Grieg. Lightly stirring and gently swaying – with the mist of a nostalgic past, where singing still united congregations and generations wafting by – Carl Nielsen shows himself with a popular and deft touch that adds to the perception we may have of him as a symphonist.

No comments: