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Encyclopedia > Carl Nielsen
Carl Nielsen
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Carl Nielsen

Carl August Nielsen (June 9, 1865, Sortelung – October 3, 1931, Copenhagen) was a conductor, violinist, and the most internationally known composer from Denmark. He is especially admired for his six symphonies. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (359x652, 124 KB) Carl Nielsen (1865-1931), Danish composer. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (359x652, 124 KB) Carl Nielsen (1865-1931), Danish composer. ... June 9 is the 160th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (161st in leap years), with 205 days remaining. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ... October 3 is the 276th day of the year (277th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ... Copenhagen (IPA: , rhyming with pagan, or , with a as in spa; Danish IPA: ) is the capital of Denmark and the countrys largest city (metropolitan population 1,115,035 (2006), at present made up of 16 municipalities. ... Look up conductor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A violinist is an instrumentalist who plays the violin. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... A symphony is an extended composition usually for orchestra and usually comprising several movements. ...

Contents


Life

Nielsen was born in Sortelung, not far from the city of Odense. His father was a housepainter and amateur musician. Carl first discovered music by experimenting with the different sounds and pitches he heard when striking the logs in a pile of firewood behind his home. His family was relatively poor, but he was still able to learn the violin and piano as a child. Odense Palace Odense Railroad Centre Odense is the third largest city in Denmark with 145,554 inhabitants (Odense city January 1, 2004) and the capital of the island of Funen. ... A violin The violin is a bowed stringed musical instrument that has four strings tuned a perfect fifth apart. ... A baby grand piano, with the lid up. ...

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Carl Nielsen's childhood home

He also learned how to play brass instruments, which led to a job as a bugler in a military band in Odense. He later studied violin and music theory at the Copenhagen Conservatory, but never took formal lessons in composition. Nonetheless, he began to compose. At first, he did not gain enough recognition for his works to support him. During the concert which saw the premiere of his first symphony on March 14, 1894 (conducted by Johan Svendsen), Nielsen played in the second violin section. However, the same symphony was a great success when played in Berlin in 1896, and from then his fame grew. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1486 KB) Summary Composer of classical music Carl Nielsens Childhood Home, now a museum, in the town Nr. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1486 KB) Summary Composer of classical music Carl Nielsens Childhood Home, now a museum, in the town Nr. ... Image of a trumpet. ... Military bugle in Bb The bugle is one of the simplest brass instruments; it is essentially a small natural horn with no valves. ... Military Band marching A military band is a group of soldiers assigned to musical duties. ... Odense Palace Odense Railroad Centre Odense is the third largest city in Denmark with 145,554 inhabitants (Odense city January 1, 2004) and the capital of the island of Funen. ... Music theory is a field of study that involves an investigation of the many diverse elements of a music, including the development and methodology for analyzing, hearing, understanding, and composing music. ... Copenhagen (IPA: , rhyming with pagan, or , with a as in spa; Danish IPA: ) is the capital of Denmark and the countrys largest city (metropolitan population 1,115,035 (2006), at present made up of 16 municipalities. ... A symphony is an extended composition usually for orchestra and usually comprising several movements. ... Johan Svendsen (September 30, 1840–June 14, 1911) was a Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist. ... A violin The violin is a bowed stringed musical instrument that has four strings tuned a perfect fifth apart. ... Berlin is the capital city and a state of Germany. ...


He continued to play the violin at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen until 1905, by which time he had found a publisher for his compositions. In 1916 he took a post teaching at the Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen, and continued to work there until his death. Copenhagen (IPA: , rhyming with pagan, or , with a as in spa; Danish IPA: ) is the capital of Denmark and the countrys largest city (metropolitan population 1,115,035 (2006), at present made up of 16 municipalities. ...


On April 10, 1891 Nielsen married the Danish sculptress Anne Marie Brodersen. They had met just a month before in Paris. The couple spent their honeymoon in Italy. They remained married until Nielsen's death, despite a long period of marital strife including a lengthy separation and mutual accusations of infidelity.


He suffered a serious heart attack in 1925 and from that time on he was forced to curtail much of his activity, although he continued to compose until his death. Also during this period he wrote a delightful memoir of his childhood called My Childhood on Funen. He also wrote a short book entitled Living Music.


Music

Internationally, Nielsen is best known for his six symphonies. Other well-known pieces of his are the incidental music for Oehlenschläger's drama Aladdin, the operas Saul og David and Maskarade, the concerti for flute, violin and for clarinet, and the wind quintet. In Denmark, everybody knows and sings the numerous songs by various poets, set to music by Carl Nielsen. A symphony is an extended composition usually for orchestra and usually comprising several movements. ... Incidental music is music in a play, television program, radio program or some other form not primarily musical. ... Statue of Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger in Frederiksberg Gardens (Copenhagen) Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger* (November 14, 1779-January 20, 1850) was a Danish poet and playwright. ... Aladdin in the Magic Garden, an illustration by Max Liebert from Ludwig Fuldas Aladdin und die Wunderlampe Aladdin (a corruption of the Arabic name Alauddin/Ê¿Alāʾu d-DÄ«n, Arabic: علاء الدين, Chinese: 阿拉丁) is one of the tales with a Syrian origin in the collection 1001 Nights and one of... Sydney Opera House: one of the worlds most recognisable opera houses and landmarks. ... Masquerade (Danish: Maskarade) is an opera in three acts by Carl Nielsen to a Danish libretto by Wilhelm Andersen, based on the comedy by Ludvig Holberg. ... In classical music, the word concerto (pl. ... The Flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. ... A violin The violin is a bowed stringed musical instrument that has four strings tuned a perfect fifth apart. ... Two soprano clarinets: a Bâ™­ clarinet (left) and an A clarinet (right, with no mouthpiece). ... A wind quintet, also sometimes known as a woodwind quintet, is a group of five wind players (most commonly flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon). ...


Like his contemporary, the Finn Jean Sibelius, he studied Renaissance polyphony closely, which accounts for much of the melodic and harmonic "feel" of his music. Sibelius redirects to this article. ... Polyphony is a musical texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords (homophony). ...


Nielsen's works are sometimes referred to by FS numbers, from the 1965 catalog compiled by Dan Fog and Torben Schousboe.


Symphonies

Nielsen wrote six symphonies. His approach to sonata form, as seen in his symphonies, is one of gradual abandonment. In considering the first movements of each symphony in turn, the first two reveal Nielsen working fairly comfortably within the confines of sonata form as later 19th century composers saw it; the middle two include certain high-level references to sonata form but little of the detail, and the last two inhabit a completely new world of Nielsen's own devising, wherein the structure of the movement can only be understood within the context of the material he is working with. By that point in his output there are no more parallels with any other forms or past traditions of musical construction. Sonata form is a musical form that has been widely used since the early classical period. ...


Symphony No. 1: Nielsen's early Symphony No. 1 in G minor already shows his individuality and hints at what Robert Simpson calls "progressive tonality", by which he refers to Nielsen's habit of beginning a work in one key and ending in another. It was written during, and shares some qualities with, the Holstein songs of opus 10. Robert (Wilfred Levick) Simpson (March 2, 1921 - December 21, 1997) was an English musicologist and composer best known for his symphonies and string quartets. ...


Symphony No. 2: A painting Nielsen saw at an inn, depicting the four temperaments (choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic and sanguine), inspired him to write Symphony No. 2, "The Four Temperaments". It is in four movements, each illuminating one of the temperaments, but despite this apparent tendency toward being a suite of tone poems, it is a fully integrated symphony. It is not true "program music" but rather a group of general character sketches, and one need not know which temperament Nielsen is considering in order to appreciate the work as a whole. The four temperaments (Clockwise from top right; choleric; melancholic; sanguine; phlegmatic). ...


Symphony No. 3: Symphony No. 3, "Espansiva" was premiered in the same concert as the Violin Concerto. The second movement contains wordless solos for soprano and baritone voices (which can be alternatively played by clarinet and trombone). Carl Nielsens Symphony No. ... Look up Soprano in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Sherrill Milnes as Toscas Baron Scarpia Baritone (French: baryton; German: Bariton; Italian: baritono) is most commonly the type of male voice that lies between bass and tenor. ... Two soprano clarinets: a Bâ™­ clarinet (left) and an A clarinet (right, with no mouthpiece). ... A lip-reed aerophone with a predominantly cylindrical bore, the trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. ...


Symphony No. 4: Perhaps the best known of Nielsen's Symphonies is Symphony No. 4, "Inextinguishable". It is in four connected movements and is the most dramatic Nielsen had written to date. In the last movement two sets of timpani are placed on opposite sides of the stage for a sort of musical duel. The Symphony No. ... A timpanist in the United States Air Forces in Europe Band. ...


Symphony No. 5: Symphony No. 5 is one of only two of Nielsen's symphonies that lack a subtitle (which for Nielsen in any case are only very general signposts of intent, not indicating specific story-telling qualities). Like No. 4, it has very dramatic use of percussion: at one point in the first movement – which itself consists of two large structures joined to one another – the snare drummer is instructed to improvise "as if at all costs to stop the progress of the orchestra." This symphony is the one by which Nielsen's music made its first significant post-war impact outside Scandinavia, when the Danish Radio Symphony performed it at the 1950 Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland where it caused a sensation. The Symphony No. ... Percussion instruments are played by being struck, shaken, rubbed or scraped. ... The Edinburgh International Festival is a festival of performing arts that takes place in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland over three weeks from around the middle of August. ...


Symphony No. 6: Even Robert Simpson was at first confused by Nielsen's Symphony No. 6, "Semplice". It is not as obviously dramatic as the previous two and in some ways it strikes listeners as strange. For instance, the second movement is only scored for nine instruments of the orchestra (piccolo, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, trombone, and percussion) and represents Nielsen's commentary on trends in modern musical composition at the time (the mid-1920's). It is by far the most elusive of his symphonies to grasp, yet its very subtle architectural structure coupled with its enigmatic emotional tone make it a challenging, fascinating, and ultimately rewarding listening experience. Robert Simpson may refer to: Robert Simpson, Canadian founder of Simpsons Department Store Robert Simpson, English musician Bob Simpson, American meteorologist and co-developer of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale Robert Simson, Scottish mathematician This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise... The Symphony No. ...


List of works

Carl Nielsen's works include the following:

  • Operas
    • Snefrid, melodrama (1893)
    • Saul and David (1902)
    • Maskarade (1906)
  • Orchestral music
    • Little Suite (1888)
    • Symphony No. 1 in G minor (1892)
    • Symphony No. 2, "The Four Temperaments" (1902)
    • Symphony No. 3, "Espansiva" (1911)
    • Symphony No. 4, "Inextinguishable" (1916)
    • Symphony No. 5 (1922)
    • Symphony No. 6, "Semplice" (1925)
    • Helios (1903)
    • Sagadrom (The Dream of Gunnar) (1908)
    • Violin Concerto (1911)
    • Pan and Syrinx (1918)
    • Franz Neruda in memoriam (1918)
    • 7 Pieces from "Aladdin" (1919)
    • Flute Concerto (1926)
    • An Imaginary Journey to the Faeroes (1927)
    • Clarinet Concerto (1928)
    • Bohmisk-dansk folketone (1928)
  • Choral music
    • Hymnus amoris (1897)
    • Søvnen (Sleep) (1904)
    • Fynsk foraar (Springtime on Fyn) (1921)
    • Hyldest til Holberg (Homage to Holberg) (1922)
    • 3 motets (1929)
    • Hymne til Kunsten (Hymn to Art) (1929)
    • Occasional cantatas, including one for 50th anniversary of Danish Cremation Union (1931)
  • Solo vocal music
    • 40 Danish songs (1914, 1917), collab. T. Laub
    • 20 Popular Melodies (1921)
    • 10 Little Danish Songs (1924)
  • Chamber music
    • String Quartet in G minor (1888)
    • String Quartet in G major (1888)
    • String Quartet in F minor (1890)
    • String Quartet in E flat (1898)
    • String Quartet in F major (1919)
    • Violin Sonata in G (1882)
    • Violin Sonata No. 1 (1895)
    • Violin Sonata No. 2 (1919)
    • Ved en ung Kunstners Baare (At the bier of a young artist) (1910)
    • Serenata In Vano for Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, Cello and Double Bass (1914)
    • Wind Quintet (1922)
    • Prelude and Theme with Variations (1923)
  • Piano music
    • 2 Characteristic Pieces (c.1882-3)
    • 5 Pieces (1890)
    • Symphonic Suite (1894)
    • 6 Humoresque-Bagatelles (1894-7)
    • Festive Prelude to the New Century (1899)
    • Chaconne (1916)
    • Theme and Variations (1917)
    • Suite (1920)
    • Tre Klaverstykker (Three Pieces) (1928)
    • Piano Music for Young and Old, 24 5-finger pieces (1930)
  • Organ music
    • 29 Short Preludes (1929)
    • 2 Preludes (1930)
    • Commotio (1931)

Sources

  • Entry to Carl Nielsen in The Grove Concise Dictionary of Music, published (1994) by Oxford University Press
  • Entry to Carl Nielsen in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, 4th edition, by Michael Kennedy and Joyce Bourne, published (1996) by Oxford University Press

External links

  • Carl Nielsen, Danish Composer (1865-1931) by Knud Ketting. An excellent web adaptation of a travelling exhibition originally produced by the Danish Music Information Centre (Copenhagen) in co-operation with the Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • The Danish Carl Nielsen Society (in Danish)

  Results from FactBites:
 
John Fellow (828 words)
At udforske og erkende det fulde omfang og betydningen af skribenten og ordmageren Carl Nielsen er derimod forbeholdt vor tid.
Grundstammen er de knap 3500 bevarede breve fra Carl Nielsen til lav og høj i det danske samfund, i Skandinavien og det øvrige Europa.
Der Wert der Carl Nielsen Briefausgabe begrenzt sich nicht auf die erstmalige Möglichkeit einer qualifizierten Auseinandersetzung mit dem Werk und Leben Carl Nielsens auf Grundlage des existierenden Quellenmaterials, sondern ist auch ein in weiterem Sinne unumgängliches Quellenmaterial einer wichtigen und neueren Periode der dänischen (Kultur)Geschichte.
Nielsen, Carl Leopold | Galvest Fine Arts (152 words)
Painting primarily in his native Denmark, Carl Leopold Nielsen is known for his exquisite portraits and landscapes.
Nielsen's captivating and lively style attracted well-known Danish actors and writers, who frequently requested that the artist paint their portraits.
Nielsen's exhibitions include Charlottenborg from 1925-1959; the Art Union from 1927-1952; and the Frederiksberg Garden in 1940.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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