The Dane Carl Nielsen was one of the most original composers at the turn of the 20th century. Based on the German Romantic tradition he developed his own musical language, especially in his symphonies that are still played very frequently. He also, however, often turned to chamber music settings. Canto serioso was originally written as an audition piece for the Copenhagen Opera Orchestra, where the position of low horn player was to be filled. Thus Nielsen’s fairly short work makes the most of the low register and the instrument’s sonorous mid-range. A welcome addition to the late Romantic repertoire for horn!
- Canto serioso
Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865 – 1931) wrote the Canto serioso for horn and piano in the spring of 1913 to a commission from the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. Composition of the work therefore took place at a time when Nielsen had established himself as a freelance composer and, in particular with his Violin Concerto (1911) and the Third Symphony (Sinfonia expansiva, … more
About the composer
The considerable output of the most important of Danish composers comprises all the usual genres: two operas, incidental music, numerous choral works, around 200 songs, six symphonies, three concerti, chamber music, piano works. His oeuvre is marked by an engagement with Renaissance vocal polyphony that he combines with a progressive harmonic language.
|1865||Born into the family of a day laborer and house painter in Sortelung (Funen) on June 9. At age six he plays the violin, performs with his father as a musician at village festivals, and becomes acquainted with the classics in the orchestra of the Music Society. In 1879 joined the military band of the Sixteenth Battalion in Odense; violin lessons.|
|1884–86||Studies in Copenhagen: violin (with Valdemar Tofte), piano (with Gottfred Matthison-Hansen), music theory (with J. P. E. Hartmann and Orla Rosenhoff), and music history (with Niels W. Gade).|
|1886||Second violinist in the Tivoli Park orchestra.|
|after 1887||performance of his compositions, including the Suite for Strings, Op. 1.|
|1889||Second violinist in the Chapel Royal Orchestra.|
|1890s||First volumes of songs on poems by Jens Peter Jacobsen (Opp. 4 and 6) and by Ludvig Holstein (Op. 10), with sometimes progressive harmonic language; later songs follow the ideal of the folk song.|
|1896–97||Cantata “Hymnus Amoris,” Op. 12, on a painting by Titian; study of Renaissance music.|
|1891/92||Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 7, with tight motivic development.|
|1901||State stipend. The opera “Saul and David” is completed.|
|from 1903||Contract with the music publisher Wilhelm Hansen.|
|1906||Premiere of the comic opera “Mascarade,” which becomes a major work in Danish operatic history.|
|1908||Second conductor at Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre.|
|1915||Concert conductor of the Music Society in Copenhagen.|
|1922||Neoclassical Wind Quintet, Op. 43, which becomes popular.|
|1924/25||Symphony No. 6 (‘Sinfonia semplice’), a tonally untethered and highly complex work scored with a large percussion section.|
|1931||Director of the Music Conservatory. Death in Copenhagen on October 3.|
About the authors
Die Stimme ist klar gegliedert, Stichnoten bieten bei Tempowechseln gute Hilfestellungen für die Einsätze. Die Klavierbegleitung ist übersichtlich und nicht zu schwer, die Fingersätze sind gut eingerichtet. Bei einer Gesamtaufführungszeit von ca. 5 Minuten gibt es keine Schwierigkeiten beim Seitenwechsel. Das Notenbild ist, wie bei Henle üblich, sehr gut dargestellt und gut lesbar. Auch wenn man sich nicht um eine Orchesterstelle bewirbt, macht der Canto serioso einen guten Eindruck und lässt das Horn im besten Licht erscheinen.
Diese Ausgabe des Henle-Verlags ist von hervorragender Druckqualität und für den Preis (...) sicherlich kein Fehlgriff. Canto serioso hat bereits einen festen Platz in der Hornliteratur gefunden und ist mit dieser Urtextausgabe nun vollständig.