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Anthony Tommasini
The New York Times, November 2015

For the past few seasons at the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert has emerged as an exceptional conductor of the visionary Danish composer Carl Nielsen, leading performances of his six symphonies and three concertos, all recorded live. In time for Nielsen’s 150th birthday this year, Dacapo has issued the individual installments as a four-CD boxed set. Mr. Gilbert balances the late-Romantic and searching contemporary elements of the symphonies in these spontaneous seeming yet organic performances. Three superb soloists join him for the concertos: the violinist Nikolaj Znaider, the flutist Robert Langevin and the clarinetist Anthony McGill. © 2015 The New York Times



Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, November 2015

New York Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert has made it his mission to record the most important orchestral works of Danish composer Carl Nielsen, and this four-disc set brings together his six symphonies and concertos for violin, flute and clarinet. The orchestra’s playing on the symphonies—especially the masterly Fourth, the Indistinguishable—is energetic and expressive, and the concerto soloists—violinist Nikolaj Znaider, flutist Robert Langevin and clarinetist Anthony McGill—acquit themselves admirably; these live performances provide a valuable glimpse of a composer often overshadowed by his Nordic contemporary Jean Sibelius. © 2015 The Flip Side



Phillip Scott
Fanfare, November 2015

…performances are exceptionally well played and balanced, the composer’s scoring clarified to an unprecedented extent, especially in tuttis…

One thing Gilbert does is to bring overall continuity to six highly individual works. Thanks to his clarity, the textures of the First Symphony sound like Nielsen rather than secondhand Brahms. The idiosyncratic wind writing of “The Inextinguishable” is already clearly present in the earlier symphonies…and by toning down the sarcasm of the Sixth, Gilbert brings that troubled work more firmly into the world of the preceding five. The Sixth’s peculiar scherzo seems playful rather than sardonic, its trombone glissandos coming across simply as a textural effect. For once, “semplice” is not an ironic misnomer. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, November 2015

I was…very impressed by the Philharmonic’s remarkably clean playing of the tricky low string figures in the first movement of the “Inextinguishable,” No. 4. Perhaps because Nielsen’s symphonies lack “hooks” for the mind to hang on to, some listeners fail to recognize the many creative and interesting passages in his music, but to me Nielsen is as much about originality in orchestration and orchestral color as in originality of musical progression. Gilbert gets this, and brings out all of Nielsen’s wonderful colors. The brass chorale at 3:40 is played with superb breadth by the Philharmonic. As I say, these are certainly among Gilbert’s finest efforts on disc… © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



James H. North
Fanfare, November 2015

…Robert Langevin’s fluent, gossamer playing and ecstatic reading are wonderful; Gilbert’s accompaniment hits the contrasting, bombastic tutti passages just right. This is the highlight of the concerto disc, even of the entire set. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Robert Cummings
Classical Net, August 2015

If I have to characterize Gilbert’s approach in these live performances of the Nielsen symphonies and concertos, I would say he is very energetic and muscular, alert to meaningful detail and quite proficient at obtaining proper instrumental balances. Gilbert’s readings are never unexciting or dull in any way: the dramatic, climactic passages have plenty of impact and spirit, and everything else comes across convincingly.

Fine sound and excellent album notes round out this Dacapo release. Highly recommended. © 2015 Classical Net Read complete review



Infodad.com, July 2015

The concertos are very well played by violinist Nikolaj Znaider and two first chairs of the New York Philharmonic, Robert Langevin and Anthony McGill. And the orchestra itself performs with excellent responsiveness and a very warm tone for conductor Alan Gilbert…

…the recordings of all [the] symphonies deserve recognition for the very fine playing of the ensemble and the excellent sound with which the discs are endowed. And the concerto performances show how much Gilbert is capable of doing with Nielsen’s music when he really sets his mind to it and complements the orchestra’s performance with excellent interpretations by first-rate soloists. © 2015 Infodad.com Read complete review




Blair Sanderson
AllMusic.com, July 2015

Gilbert has made definitive statements of Nielsen’s most important orchestral works, preserved in the multichannel presentation that does them justice, both for their exquisite details and spacious sound. This set is sure to appeal to Nielsen buffs and audiophiles, and is recommended to any who missed the individual releases. © 2015 Allmusic.com Read complete review



Robert Benson
ClassicalCDReview.com, June 2015

These are all near-perfect performances recorded with utmost realism, highly recommended. © 2015 ClassicalCDReview.com Read complete review





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