Magazine article Gramophone

Nielsen: Symphonies-No 5

Magazine article Gramophone

Nielsen: Symphonies-No 5

Article excerpt

Nielsen

Symphonies--No 5, Op 50; No 6, 'Sinfonia semplice'

New York Philharmonic Orchestra /Alan Gilbert

Dacapo [F] [SACD] 6 220625 (71' * DDD/DSD)

Recorded live at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, October 1-3, 2014

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The concluding volume of Alan Gilbert's Nielsen cycle fully matches up to its predecessors. In fact, taking the first movements alone, it arguably surpasses them. Gilbert hits on an ideal tempo for the apathetic yet vaguely menacing opening of the Fifth Symphony (Tempo giusto the composer marks it, not entirely helpfully); and from here, through the various phases of anguish, self-assertion and earth-shattering conflict, he and his players never lose the dramatic thread. The side-drumming is among the best on disc. In the Sinfonia semplice--psychologically far more challenging to interpret, of course--the varied moods are once again both sharply delineated and satisfyingly integrated. Only the very finest rivals, such as those listed below, show what further horizons can open up, given, for example, a more flamboyant clarinet in the Fifth or weightier strings in the Sixth. …

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