Hyperion Records

29 Little Preludes, FS136
c1929; Op 51

'Organ Dreams, Vol. 3' (CDA67317)
Organ Dreams, Vol. 3
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No 03: Prelude in E major
Track 5 on CDA67317 [1'05] Archive Service
No 11: Prelude in G major
Track 6 on CDA67317 [1'11] Archive Service
No 15: Prelude in A major
Track 7 on CDA67317 [0'45] Archive Service
No 27: Prelude in F sharp minor
Track 8 on CDA67317 [1'32] Archive Service
No 28: Prelude (chromatic)
Track 9 on CDA67317 [2'08] Archive Service

29 Little Preludes, FS136
Throughout his life, Carl Nielsen had a great appetite for learning, striving constantly to improve his knowledge not only of the great Viennese classical tradition but also of earlier music. But his distinctive and individual voice has as much to do with the circumstances of his upbringing near Odense on the island of Funen in Denmark. He grew up in relative poverty, the son of musical parents. From his father he learned the violin and cornet and from his mother he imbibed a love of Danish folksong, which was to remain an important influence throughout his life. The 29 Little Preludes Op 51, along with the Three Motets Op 55, both dating from 1929, are among the fruits of his studies of early vocal polyphony and keyboard music. The Preludes, for organ or harmonium, are for the most part modest in their demands, aiming for clarity of expression and employing a relatively simple harmonic palette. But occasionally, as for instance in the quirky phrase-patterns of the eleventh prelude, or the figuration and distinctive take on chromatic harmony in No 28, one catches a glimpse of the Nielsen of the magnificent Commotio which was to follow two years later.

from notes by Stephen Westrop © 2002

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