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R. Ringger
Neue Zürcher Zeitung, March 2002

"Das Violinkonzert von 1911 uebernimmt noch manche von Brahms' Vokabeln, und Jonathan Carney stellt den Dreisaetzer mit grossem Ton in eine brillante Tradition der Geigenkonzertliteratur. Das Floetenkonzert entstand 1926. Bei der Pariser Premiere lobte sogar Arthur Honegger den 'Humor' dieser Partitur. Gareth Davies und das Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra unter Kees Bakels geben dem munteren Zweisaetzer so viel Sprachgewalt, dass seine Aufnahme zur Erweiterung des kaum sehr breiten Repertoires an sinfonischen Floetenkonzerten beitragen koennte."

John W. Barker
American Record Guide, December 2000

"This is a fine release, a real contribution to Nielsen recordings, and another of Naxos's possible best buys.

"I like Jonathan Carney's violin playing: with a tight, light, sharply focussed tone and a feeling for the wit and charm in this largest of the three concertos. Kevin Banks turns his back on the brusque-and-abrasive approach that is usually is taken as fulfilling Nielsen's portrait of the dedicatee, Aage Oxenvad: instead Banks suggests the character of a thoughtful bystander reacting to all the terrible things being done to him. His is an unusually introspective approach to a work usually treated with bristling harshness.

"What gives this Naxos recording its distinction is the conducting of Dutch-born Kees Bakels. His orchestra interpretations that show a very refined sense of Nielsen style. He treats the orchestra as more than just the accompaniment, drawing out dimensions that relate these works to their context in Nielsen's output and stylistic development. One hears how very much the Violin Concerto really does belong to the sonic world of the Third Symphony; while the two wind concerto are given much broader and more spacious realizations than usual. In particular, too, the brooding encounters of clarinet and side drum in the Clarinet Concerto suggesting how much of that work's rationale was foreshadowed by the way Nielsen used them in the Fifth Symphony. Kees Bakels has a lot to say about Nielsen, and I hope that Naxos, or somebody else, will give him some opportunity."

Julian Haylock
The Strad, November 2000

"Carney's is in many ways the subtlest reading of all. Where others appear to place the work squarely in the Bruch-Brahms-Tchaikovsky-Sibelius tradition, Carney plays with a poetic enchantment and bewitching dynamic range that has one rethinking what this piece is all about. The finale in particular finds Carney musing intimately, setting up joyful give-and-take exchanges with his gifted orchestral colleaques that normally pass unacknowledged. A superb bargain captured in first-rate sound and featuring excellent couplings."

Geoffrey Norris
The Daily Telegraph (Australia), August 2000

"Nielsen wanted his Violin Concerto to be a work that was 'popular and showy without being superficial.' Alas it has not become popular in the sense that it appears at all frequently on concert programmes, but Jonathan Carney's performance here with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra rejoices in its virtuosity and flexes its expressive muscle.

"In terms of technical complexity, the Nielsen is right up there with the Sibelius concerto, with which it shares a Nordic freshness and atmosphere while radiating the distinctive harmonic astringency of Nielsen's own style. At the same time, the slower music mingles brooding with beauty, the orchestra completing the haunting picture with a subdued background to the violin's meditative lines.

"The Clarinet Concerto exploits both the mellow and the more explosive characteristics of the instrument, the latter accentuated by a battle with the side-drum akin to the one in the Fifth Symphony. Kevin Banks's dark-hued performance is thoroughly persuasive, as is Gareth Davies's of the Flute Concerto, in which Nielsen's particular blend of drama and pungent musical language is powerfully focused."

Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone, August 2000

"For those on a limited budget, this outstandingly generous Naxos anthology will prove a pretty irresistible purchase, I fancy, and if the disc introduces a wider public to the multi-faceted delights of these wonderfully engaging concertos, then all the better.

"In the glorious Violin Concerto, Jonathan Carney turns out to be a thoroughly musical soloist, his sweet-toned contribution at once unforced and affectionate. Tempos are unfailingly well-judged, and Kees Bakels and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra accompany with admirable spirit.

"The Clarinet Concerto brings another capable committed display. Bournemouth SO principal Kevin Banks copes manfully with the taxingly virtuosic solo part.

Stephen Johnson
BBC Music Magazine, July 2000

"You won't find a better collection of three concertos on one disc. ...Carney reveals a flair for Nielsen's quirky humour-who but Nielsen would have given the first movement a hair-raising concert ending, then rounded off the finale with a brusque 'That's all folks!'? If that's the reason this Concerto has never been as popular ass the Sibelius, it probably says as much about the expectations of concert-goers as it does about Nielsen's genius."

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