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Derek Lim
The Flying Inkpot, November 2004

"Listening to these performances, one is convinced that King Frederik IX was much more than just an amateur. The detailed and interesting booklet notes, beautifully written by Claus Rollum-Larsen, describes how he set his heart on conducting at a very early stage. ... The "band" he conducts in these discs is the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, and they play very well for their King. King Frederik IX preferred symphonic repertoire and works such as the mighty Tannhauser overture, featured here, show just how committed he was to them. The overture may not be the most polished in execution, but it is stylishly played, which is more important, impeccably paced and indeed worthy of some of the great Wagnerians. An irresistible swagger informs the performance and the musicians play their hearts out. Fredrik IX proves himself to be quite at home with rubato as well, never sounding forced or artificial - a hugely enjoyable performance. ... The Beethoven Seventh begins with a weightiness worthy of a Furtwangler and remains remarkably in that general mold, albeit with more thrust. His sense of logic and drama is strong and the way the symphony unfolds is a delight. Add this to the fact that the musicians clearly enjoy working with their King and you have a recipe for a performance all can enjoy. ... Recommended to all, not just the Danes!"





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