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Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, December 2015

Sibelius was not the only major composer to have his 150th Anniversary celebrated and it was good news indeed that Nielsen received equally deserved attention from the record companies. The disc here of the concertos supplements Alan Gilbert’s Nielsen symphony cycle and the performances are all first rate. New York Philharmonic principals are the soloists for the wind concertos and Nikolaj Znaider is magisterial in the Violin Concerto. © 2015 MusicWeb International



Patrick Hanudel
American Record Guide, November 2015

As expected, the performances are highly professional. Znaider, Langevin, McGill, Gilbert, and the Philharmonic are in complete command of Nielsen’s scores, rendering each with sonic elegance, technical brilliance, and expressive insight. Znaider is magnificent in the Violin Concerto, pouring his soul into every note and phrase, and he crafts an enthralling double identity as a world class virtuoso and down-to-earth folk fiddler. Not to be outdone, Langevin plays the Flute Concerto with great conviction and color, leading the narrative with perfect pretentiousness and engaging the orchestra with authentic yearning. Gilbert and the Philharmonic adapt well to each side of Nielsen’s persona, digging into the Violin Concerto with romantic spirit and shaping the Flute Concerto with neo-classical charm and wit. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Graham Rickson
The Arts Desk, September 2015

Nielsen’s Violin Concerto…gets an excellent performance from Nikolaj Znaider. Rarely has such an expansive piece felt so compact and finely-wrought, Znaider never letting Nielsen’s stream of ideas ramble. He’s handsomely supported by Alan Gilbert’s New York Philharmonic, the live recording well balanced.

Flautist Robert Langevin displays impressive agility in the delectable Flute Concerto… Anthony McGill captures the [Clarinet Concerto’s] furious intensity to perfection, never forgetting the need to relax in those fleeting moments of calm. A fabulous disc, and essential listening if you’ve enjoyed Gilbert’s cycle of the symphonies. © 2015 The Arts Desk Read complete review



Edward Seckerson
Gramophone, August 2015

Throughout this disc Alan Gilbert and the NYPO play on the kinship that exists between the symphonies that effectively gave the Flute and Clarinet Concertos breath. The latter is a substantial chip off the block that is the Fifth Symphony—and even has the clarinettist bring his old sparring partner, the side drum, with him. NYPO principal Anthony McGill revels effortlessly in its wild improvisatory nature and those elemental pyrotechnics. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, July 2015

[In the Violin Concerto] Znaider takes command and doesn’t let go. He varies his tone, as the music requires, from big and fruity to soft and silvery.

By turns witty and mordant with contrasting lyrical and stormier, march-like passages, the [Flute Concerto] finds flutist Robert Langevin and Gilbert’s orchestra fully engaged throughout the concerto. …the sound is terrific and one can hear all kinds of details in the orchestra that would otherwise go unnoticed.

[For the Clarinet Concerto]…One couldn’t ask for a better soloist than Anthony McGill. His performance is awe-inspiring and he plays with a penetrating, woody tone that he varies as the score requires.

Dacapo’s production is fully in the luxury class. In every way this SACD is a winner and a fine conclusion to Alan Gilbert’s Nielsen cycle. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Stephen Smoliar
Examiner.com, July 2015

Whether Nielsen is taking a retrospective or a prospective stance, Gilbert always seems to find the right approach to phrasing his thematic content, coloring it with just the right balance of instrumental resources, and managing the give-and-take between soloist and ensemble. …this recent release is definitely an excellent way for the attentive listener to get to know the concertos. © 2015 Examiner.com Read complete review




Adrian Quanjer
SA-CD.net, July 2015

The violin concerto alone makes this disk an absolute must, with, as a bonus, getting the other two, expertly and convincingly played […] Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic play and sound, with the help of excellent engineering…gorgeous. Bravissimo! © 2015 SA-CD.net Read complete review



Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, July 2015

In the ranks of recordings of Nielsen’s remarkable (and often spiky) concertos, competition is stiff, and it takes something special to rise above the rest. That particular magical ingredient is present here, and these are cherishable readings of these masterworks (if not quite in the first rank). …For this concluding Nielsen Project issue, Alan Gilbert wished to use the New York Philharmonic’s own principal wind players, following Leonard Bernstein’s now legendary recordings from the 1960s. The Philharmonic’s renowned Canadian principal flute Robert Langevin sparkles in the flute concerto and Anthony McGill presents himself as the orchestra’s new principal clarinet. © 2015 Classical CD Choice Read complete review




Blair Sanderson
AllMusic.com, July 2015

exceptional performances by violinist Nikolaj Znaider, flutist Robert Langevin, and clarinetist Anthony McGill… © 2015 Allmusic.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2015

The innocent ear would have difficulty in recognising that the three concertos, so different in content, length and stylistic period, all came from the same composer. The most extensive, the Violin Concerto, dates from 1912 when Carl Nielsen was already forty-seven, though its roots were firmly embedded in the previous late-Romantic era, its melodic language and song-like beauty at odds with all that was happening in the musical world around him. Related in essence to the Sibelius concerto composed nine years earlier, it is strange that it has not enjoyed the same success in the concert hall, as it has all of the ingredients that attracts audiences. On disc it has received some stunning performances, this one from Nikolaj Znaider oozing with virtuosity, its ‘live’ recording status adding a music-enriching spontaneity, while his famous Guarnerius violin sings with such radiance in the slow movement. At around thirty-six minutes it is twice as long as the two-movement Flute Concerto from 1926, the violin concerto’s tonality here giving way to a much more pungent and French skittishness as the flute dances around the dramatic orchestral writing. Completed two years later, the Clarinet Concerto is certainly Nielsen’s odd-ball score that still sounds very modern, the music flying off unexpectedly in all directions. Here the conductor, Alan Gilbert, is more successful than most in bringing its many disparate moods together without resorting to exaggeration in tempi or dynamics. The soloists in both concertos—Robert Langevin and Anthony McGill—are the New York Philharmonic’s outstanding section principals. Recorded in New York’s Avery Fisher Hall in 2012 and 2015, the sound is outstanding in its clarity, balance and impact. A remarkable conclusion to the orchestra’s Nielsen symphonic cycle. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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