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Scutolo, 'The Marvel of Marvels' (1912) by Henry Brokman-Knudsen (1868-1933)
Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musée du Petit-Palais, France / Lauros / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67591/2
Recording details: February 2007
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Michael George
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: June 2008
Total duration: 15 minutes 47 seconds

'These new recordings are sonically the best yet. Roscoe is famed for his touch and his playing's delicacy and finesse is evident throughout' (Gramophone)

'Apart from Grieg, no Scandinavian composer has written for the piano with more individuality and insight than Nielsen … Martin Roscoe is right inside this music and guides us through its marvels with great subtlety and authority. His is the most eloquent account since the pioneering set by Arne Skjøld Rasmussen. Hyperion gives him vivid and natural recorded sound and there are outstanding notes by Daniel Grimley' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The piano music of Carl Nielsen is notable not only for its striking emotional power and radicalism but also for its transparency—for the writing is always unmistakably Nielsen … the album as a whole is a treasure-chest; it presents an entirely new slant for those not acquainted with Nielsen's music and broadens the field of vision significantly for those who are … this deserves to become a most conspicuous recording, and Hyperion's usual excellence in achieving a full-bodied, crystal-clear sound continues boldly forward' (International Record Review)

'The Symphonic Suite, the Chaconne, the magnificent Theme and Variations … are powerful, poetic, original in both idea and structure, widely varied in mood, impressively organic and as important in their way as any of Nielsens' remarkable symphonies. Martin Roscoe's technique withstands everything that the composer throws at it. He obviously belives in every note, as well he might' (The Sunday Times)

'Martin Roscoe demonstrates throughout this revealing double CD set [that Nielsen's piano music] is a canon of work that desperately needs attention … fantastic playing of compelling authority by one of Britain's finest pianists. A wonderful discovery' (The Herald)

Symfonisk Suite 'Symphonic Suite', Op 8
1894; dedicated to Victor Bendix; FS19

Quasi allegretto  [3'25]
Andante  [6'22]
Finale: Allegro  [3'51]

Other recordings available for download
Mina Miller (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Symphonic Suite Op 8 was composed in 1894, immediately after the successful premiere of his Symphony No 1, and is similarly ambitious in scale and musical scope. David Fanning has discovered that the first movement was inspired by the sight of a sturdy old oak tree at the farm in Gjorslev where the piece was composed. Nielsen wrote: ‘During the period when I was writing the piece I went every day to the tree and received a strong impression, which I then tried to reproduce in a succession of powerful chord progressions in the aforementioned piece.’ The movement is played fortissimo throughout, and the title (‘Intonation’) serves a double purpose: to describe both the act of sounding, or projecting (‘to intone’), and the adoption of a particular mode of expression or tone of musical voice. The second movement is a complete contrast, a gentle pastoral, whose middle section generates a considerable sense of linear contrapuntal energy; while the third movement is an extended Andante with contrasting second subject, whose opening bars are coloured by Nielsen’s characteristic modal melodic interval, the flattened seventh. The finale is a fluid moto perpetuo, which recalls themes from earlier movements in a circular résumé before driving home the closing bars in a decisive coda that anticipates the spirit, and tonality (A major), of the conclusion of the third symphony, composed sixteen years later.

from notes by Daniel Grimley © 2008

Other albums featuring this work
'Nielsen: Complete Piano Music' (CDA66231/2)
Nielsen: Complete Piano Music
CDA66231/2  2CDs Rights no longer controlled by Hyperion  

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