Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 4 - IV. Finale

Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Michael Schønwandt

A great live performance of the finale. Listen to those tympani! The thematic material that pours out at the end is first stated in the opening movement.

Nielsen wrote the following summary of his 4th Symphony (subtitled "The Inextinguishable") after the premier of the work in 1916, while the First World War was still raging:

The title 'Inextinguishable' suggests something that only music can express fully: the elementary will of life. Only music can give an abstract expression of life, in contrast to the other arts which must construct models and symbolize. Music solves this problem only by remaining itself; for music IS life whereas the other arts only depict life. Life is unquenchable and inextinguishable. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, life was, is, and will be in struggle, conflict, procreation and destruction; and everything returns. Music is life, and as such, inextinguishable.

You can hear these thoughts at work in the music.

If you would like to learn more about Nielsen, I highly recommend these recordings by Herbert Blomstedt: click here and here. Again, my alter ego (Ed Luhrs) has more to say in the customer reviews.


No comments: