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Rozhdestvensky: Nielsen – Aladdin (FLAC)

Rozhdestvensky: Nielsen - Aladdin (FLAC)

Rozhdestvensky: Nielsen - Aladdin (FLAC)

Performer: Mette Ejsing, Guido Paevatalu, Danish National Radio Chamber Choir
Orchestra: Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
Composer: Carl August Nielsen
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Chandos
Size: 341 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. No. 1. Prologue

Act I
02. No. 2. Flute solo
03. No. 3. Funeral procession
04. No. 4. Andante – Allegretto – Andantino espressivo
05. No. 5. Adagio – Tempo di marcia
Act II
06. No. 7. A beautiful square in Isfahan
07. No. 8. Distant festival music
08. No. 9. Genie of the lamp
09. No. 9i. Gulnare and Aladdin (love scene)

10. No. 10. Genie of the lamp
11. No. 11. Oriental festival march
12. No. 12. Andante
13. No. 13. March
14. No. 14. Chinese dance
15. No. 15. Prisoners’ dance
16. No. 16. Hindu dance
17. No. 17. Blackamoors’ dance
18. No. 18. Dance and chorus

Act IV
19. No. 19. Gulnare’s song
20. No. 20. Poco adagio
21. No. 21. Genie of the lamp
22. No. 22. Aladdin’s dream – dance of the morning mists
23. No. 23. Andantino maestoso
24. No. 24. Aladdin visiting his mother’s grave
25. No. 25. Andante maestoso

Act V
26. No. 26. Andante
27. No. 27. Andante con moto
28. No. 28. Fatime’s song
29. No. 28i. Andantino quasi allegretto
30. No. 29. The struggle between Hindbad and Aladdin
31. No. 30. Eulogy

Finally, a rather complete recording of Nielsen’s incidental score and a healthy glimpse into the other aspects of his oeuvres.

Carl August Nielsen (1865-1931) was already not a stranger to the stage: far from that in fact. By the time he was commissioned to write the music for “Aladdin”, he already had, to his credit, two operas (“Saul and David” and “Maskarade”) as well as music for ten plays. Plus, he was the conductor at the Copenhagen Royal Theater from 1908 through 1914.

Nielsen’s difficult period at the Copenhagen Royal Theater colored his decision to refuse the Theater’s commission for the score for “Aladdin.” However, through persistency and unyielding urgings (if one can call it that), Nielsen was finally convinced to compose the score, thanks to the actor and producer Johannes Poulsen. And by the summer of 1918, the score for “Aladdin” was completed in time for rehearsals.

Like Tchaikovsky, Massenet, Mussorgsky, Nielsen was a psychologically oriented of a composer. His talent for drama and psychological expression allowed him to paint, with great effectiveness, the pictures of the expression of characters (commonly known as musical gestures). Now you see why he was the right man for this work? However, the premiere of the work, on February 15th, 1919, was abridged, with much of the thirty-one musical numbers deleted and their orders changed. Nielsen protested the performance publicly and never witnessed his music performed in accordance to his conceptions. The Aladdin Suite, as so arranged and published by 1940, consists of seven of the thirty-one numbers (mostly from Act III). It became quite popular since then.

Gennady Rozhdestvensky, a giant musical pioneer who first recorded of Glazunov’s “Tsar Iudeyskiy” in its complete edition in 1991, comes up huge here. There is nothing but vision and total commitment to the cause apparent here and with the tempo choices judiciously made, if a tad plodding at spots. But the presentation is superb and the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir respond with plenty of aplomb. And the soloists, Mette Ejsing (alto) and Guido Paevatalu (baritone) contribute very nicely here. Chandos’ recorded sound is, well, Chandos, with its customary atmospheric yet penetrating listening experience it provides. A very enterprising, rewarding issue that listeners should not pass up.

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