Music of Carl Nielsen in PPO February concert

February 05, 2016

February 5, 2016

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra performs music by leading Danish composer Carl Nielsen under the baton of its Maestro Olivier Ochanine on February 19 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) at 8:00 pm. Guest artists are soprano Dénise Beck and baritone Thomas Storm from Denmark.

The program is part of “The Carl Nielsen Project” (CNP) and features Nielsen’s Maskarade Overture, some of Nielsen’s most beloved songs and Nielsen’s Symphony No.3 “Sinfonia Espansiva”.  The CNP is an undertaking and collaboration by Maestro Ochanine and Thomas Storm, with generous support by the Royal Danish Embassy in Manila in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The event is the first of its kind to bring awareness in the Philippines to the Danish leading composer, with his 150th birth anniversary in 2015.

Carl Nielsen (1865 – 1931) was a violinist, conductor, and Denmark’s foremost composer, particularly admired as a symphonist. Romanticism influenced Nielsen’s early music, but his later style was a powerful fusion of chromatic and often dissonant harmony, solid contrapuntal structure, concentrated motivic treatment, and bold extensions of tonality with frequent polytonal passages. His six symphonies, written between 1890 and 1925, are forceful works that feature decisively articulated tonal progressions. The best known of these symphonies are Symphony No. 2 (1902; The Four Temperaments), Symphony No. 3 (1911; Sinfonia Espansiva), and Symphony No. 4 (1916; The Inextinguishable). He also wrote three concerti—for violin (1911), flute (1926), and clarinet (1928); the operas Saul og David (1902) and Maskarade (1906); four string quartets, two quintets, and choral and keyboard works. His songs based on Danish folk traditions are particularly highly regarded. Nielsen’s writings include Levende musik (1925; Living Music, 1953) and Min fynske barndom (1927; My Childhood, 1953).

Dénise Beck is a renowned opera artist and oratorial singer. She received the Inga Nielsen Prize, the Talen Award of the Danish National Radio 2011 and was announced Sonning Laureate 2012. In 2015, she received the Else Brems Prize. This year, she will be awarded the Axel Schiotz Prize.

Thomas Storm was educated from The Carl Nielsen Academy of Music and The Opera academy at The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in 2011 where he studied with Prof. Kirsten Buhl Møller. He has, in a few years, established himself as one of the most sought-after baritones in Denmark.

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