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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: 25 minutes 34 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)

Klavermusik for små og store 'Piano music for young and old', Op 53
1929/30; Book 1: The Sharp Keys; Book 2: The Flat Keys; first performed by Herman D Koppel in Copenhagen on 27 October 1930; FS148

Other recordings available for download
Mina Miller (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
It seems fitting, somehow, that Nielsen’s final piano composition should belong to the first category of works—pieces composed for children or amateur players. Despite his status, at the end of his professional career, as Denmark’s most important and internationally celebrated composer, Nielsen maintained a strong sense of social commitment to the wider musical community. The collection of short pieces, Piano Music for Young and Old (Klavermusik for små og store) Op 53, which Nielsen wrote in 1930 can be heard as his ultimate contribution to a genre that stretches as far back as Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier. The collection consists of two books, of twelve numbers each, arranged in tonal pairs (major and relative minor) according to the cycle of fifths. Some of the pieces, including the first, are based on five-finger exercises or other patterns, whereas others, such as the seventh (a bright A major toy march) are miniature character pieces. At times it is possible to identify echoes of larger works—the twelfth piece (Adagio drammatico) in G sharp minor which closes the first book, for example, resembles a scaled-down version of the Molto adagio from the Suite Op 45. But more often there is a sense of originality and uniqueness—of ideas perfectly suited to their size and venue. The eminent Danish pianist Herman D Koppel performed the complete set in Copenhagen on 27 October 1930. In a review of the concert, one critic wrote: ‘His educational pieces, just as evidently as his larger works, reveal the range of his genius, because they exemplify the most difficult thing of all—greatness in miniature.’

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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