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#2080208 - 05/10/13 08:15 AM Carl Nielsen - Suite op. 45, live
fnork Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 2070
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Had my first live performance of this piece yesterday - hope you'll enjoy this very peculiar piece of music as much as I do. Nielsen's output for piano hasn't gotten the recognition it deserves IMO - it's highly individual and original music. This suite is his most large-scale work, with most performances lasting around 20-25 minutes. It was dedicated to Arthur Schnabel, and as many pieces by Nielsen were written with a particular performer in mind (goes for the concertos, wind quintet etc) then we can perhaps assume that he had Schnabel's characteristics as a performer in mind when writing this suite.

It's not a completely flawless performance, and I should've taken a few things somewhat slower - the last movement in particular was maybe too rushed in some places.


1. Allegretto un pochettino
2. Poco moderato
3. Molto adagio e patetico
4. Allegretto innocente
5. Allegretto vivo
6. Allegro non troppo ma vigoroso

Edited by fnork (05/10/13 08:29 AM)

#2080213 - 05/10/13 08:26 AM Re: Carl Nielsen - Suite op. 45, live [Re: fnork]
fnork Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 2070
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Here's the score if anyone is interested:


#2080442 - 05/10/13 05:15 PM Re: Carl Nielsen - Suite op. 45, live [Re: fnork]
Tim Adrianson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1577
Indeed an interesting set of peces, fnork! Was this the composition that Lief Ove Andsnes considers the finest 20th Century Scandinavian solo piano contribution? For some reason, some of Robert Schumann's extended piano works came to mind -- the Noveletten and Kreisleriana in particular -- in the sense that there were lots of coloristic splashes, free fantasy, and endless surprises in direction.

Thanks for sharing this! My very first exposure to this music.

#2080781 - 05/11/13 11:55 AM Re: Carl Nielsen - Suite op. 45, live [Re: fnork]
fnork Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 2070
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Thanks for the comment! It wouldn't surprise me if Andsnes thinks so about the music, as he made a very fine Nielsen CD early on in his career, which included a very fine interpretation of this suite. I do feel some sort of kinship to the spirit of Schumann's music as well, though Nielsen is "weird" in a different kind of way. Like a friend remarked, the first movement keeps changing focus so often - she was thinking at first, "ah, it's THIS kind of piece", but by the end of it, it has been shifting from one thing to another so many times that one doesn't know what to think. A couple of times I played a movement or two for friends, and the music seemed strange to most - but when you hear it as a whole, it comes across as a interesting, diverse and colourful set to my mind. The finest 20th century scandinavian solo contribution? It ranks fairly high for sure - as do some other piano pieces by Nielsen.

#2081185 - 05/12/13 03:49 AM Re: Carl Nielsen - Suite op. 45, live [Re: fnork]
D. S. F. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/10
Posts: 200
I just listened to your performance and greatly enjoyed it. Against the backdrop of everything taking place in the music world at Nielsen's time I'm amazed at how he was able to stand alone in his style - words are really escaping me right now - there is just something unique and transcendent about his compositional skill, and how he seemed so comfortable with whatever instruments or ensembles he was writing for (truly some of the greatest woodwind writing ever, for example). Yet his piano music is odd, but highly addictive in its oddness. I think the same of something like Shostakovich's Aphorisms which I'd be compelled to put along side this Suite as an experiment in compliments if you have the right crowd.

BTW, I was recently trying to get a friend of mine interested in playing some Nielsen and sent a youtube link to your recording of the Chaconne as a taste, which he really enjoyed.
Music does not have to be understood;
It has to be listened to.
- Hermann Scherchen.

#2083535 - 05/16/13 06:45 AM Re: Carl Nielsen - Suite op. 45, live [Re: fnork]
fnork Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 2070
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Thanks for commenting, and yes, I feel very similarly about his unique style that mixes a lot of different elements (elements of baroque, classicism, "atonality" etc) but sounds entirely his own. I had fun reading the rather mixed reviews of this and other Nielsen piano works when they were premiered...one thing all reviewers seemed to agree with was that, for better or worse (depending on the person reviewing), the music didn't quite sound like anything else.

2nd performance of this coming up tomorrow. Did the first movement with score last time, not it'll be entirely by heart - my teacher said he ended up using score for his own first performance of the suite, as it was just so different from everything else somehow, and thats the words of an extremely experienced performer...


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