Dacapo releases Nielsen String Quartets, Volume Two and Langgaard’s Symphony No. 1, “Klippepastoraler”

Symphony No. 1 C (Mountain Pastorals), BVN 32
Danish National Symphony Orchestra; Thomas Dausgaard

Naxos releases two new recordings from the Danish label Dacapo: Rued Langgaard’s Symphony No. 1 “Klippepastoraler” (Mountain Pastorals), BVN 32, featuring conductor Thomas Dausgaard and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Dacapo 6220525); and Volume 2 of the String Quartets of Carl Nielsen, performed by The Young Danish String Quartet (Dacapo 6220522).

Rued Langgaard (1893-1952) completed his first symphony at 17. No Danish composer had written such an ambitious, demanding, lengthy symphony, and his was described as unplayable. But in 1913, the work received its first performance with great success by the Berlin Philharmonic under Max Fiedler. Langgaard’s models were Tchaikovsky, Wagner and Bruckner, but the work exhibits striking originality, illustrating a journey from the foot of a mountain where the surf breaks against the rocks to the magnificent, wide view at the summit.

String Quartets, Volume 2
The Young Danish String Quartet

In this prizewinning miniseries, Nielsen’s quartets are brought to new life by the gifted Young Danish String Quartet. Gramophone Magazine named Volume 1 of the Complete String Quartets of Carl Nielsen as an “Editor’s Choice,” asking “Has Nielsen been played better? These young Danes set benchmark standards.” Volume 2 features String Quartet in F Minor, Op. 5 and String Quartet in E-Flat major, Op. 14.

Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) brought Danish music into the 20th century; his chamber music holds a prominent position in the international repertoire. The String Quartet in F Minor was first performed during the composer’s visit to Berlin in 1890, and it impressed the most influential musical personalities of the time. The E-flat Major Quartet was published in Copenhagen 10 years later with a dedication to Edvard Grieg.