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Track(s) taken from CDA67591/2

Fem Klaverstykker 'Five Piano Pieces', Op 3

Nos 2 & 5: ? 1887/9; set compiled 1890/1; dedicated to Orpheline Olsen; FS10

Martin Roscoe (piano)
Recording details: February 2007
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Michael George
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: June 2008
Total duration: 7 minutes 14 seconds

Cover artwork: 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

Other recordings available for download

Mina Miller (piano)


'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)
It is not surprising, perhaps, that Nielsen’s first published work for the piano, the Five Piano Pieces Op 3, belongs essentially in the earlier category. Nielsen may have composed two of the pieces, Nos 2 and 5, as early as 1887–9, although the complete set was not assembled until 1890–91, while he was away from Denmark on his first trip abroad. The set is characteristically diverse in mood and expression. The opening number, ‘Folk Tune’, is in a somewhat stylized Jugendstil vein, although Nielsen adds the Danish direction ‘nynnende’ (‘humming’) to the opening bar. The third number, ‘Arabesque’, is remarkable for its sense of harmonic waywardness—a significant foreshadow of his later compositional idiom. Before publication, Nielsen referred to the piece as ‘Fanden’ (‘The Devil’), and the music is prefaced by a quotation from the symbolist poet Jens Peter Jacobsen: ‘Har Du faret vild i dunkle Skove? Kjender Du Pan?’ (‘Have you lost your way in the dark forest? Do you know Pan?’).

from notes by Daniel Grimley © 2008

Peut-être ne faut-il pas s’étonner que les Cinq pièces pour piano, op. 3—la première partition pianistique de Nielsen à avoir été publiée—relèvent essentiellement de la première catégorie. Deux (les nos 2 et 5) purent être composées dès 1887–9, mais Nielsen ne les réunit toutes qu’en 1890–91, lors de son premier voyage hors du Danemark. Ces pièces présentent une diversité de climat et d’expression caractéristique. Le premier numéro, «Folk Tune» («Air populaire»), est dans une veine Jugendstil quelque peu stylisée, malgré l’indication danoise «nynnende» («bourdonnant») ajoutée à la mesure d’ouverture. Le troisième numéro, «Arabesque», vaut par son imprévisibilité harmonique—une importante préfiguration de ce que sera l’idiome de Nielsen. Avant la publication, ce dernier appelait «Fanden» («Le Diable») cette pièce précédée d’une citation du poète symboliste Jens Peter Jacobsen: «Har Du faret vild i dunkle Skove? Kjender Du Pan?» («T’est-tu égaré dans la sombre forêt? Connais-tu Pan?»).

extrait des notes rédigées par Daniel Grimley © 2008
Français: Hypérion

Es überrascht wohl kaum, dass Nielsens erstes veröffentlichtes Werk für Klavier, die Fünf Klavierstücke op. 3, im Wesentlichen zur ersten Kategorie gehört. Nielsen mag zwei der Stücke, Nr. 2 und Nr. 5, schon 1887–89 komponiert haben. Die vollständige Sammlung wurde allerdings erst 1890–91 zusammengestellt, als sich Nielsen zum ersten Mal außerhalb Dänemarks, auf einer Auslandsreise, befand. Die Sammlung ist hinsichtlich der Stimmung und des Ausdrucks charakteristisch vielseitig. Das erste Stück, „Folk Tune“ („Volkslied“) lässt einen etwas schematisierten Jugendstil erkennen. Nielsen fügte im ersten Takt die dänische Anweisung „nynnende“ („summend“) hinzu. Im dritten Stück, „Arabesque“, fällt die harmonische Unschlüssigkeit auf—eine bedeutende Vorwegnahme von Nielsens späterer Musiksprache. Vor der Drucklegung hatte Nielsen dem Stück den Titel „Fanden“ („Der Teufel“) gegeben. Der Musik ist ein Zitat des symbolistischen Dichters Jens Peter Jacobsen vorangestellt: „Har Du faret vild i dunkle Skove? Kjender Du Pan?“ („Hast Du dich im dunklen Wald verirrt? Kennst Du Pan?“).

aus dem Begleittext von Daniel Grimley © 2008
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

Other albums featuring this work

Nielsen: Complete Piano Music
CDA66231/22CDs Rights no longer controlled by Hyperion
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