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Fantasy Piece g minor

About the Composer


Carl Nielsen

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.

1865Born 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.
1884–86Studies 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).
1886Second violinist in the Tivoli Park orchestra.
after 1887performance of his compositions, including the Suite for Strings, Op. 1.
1889Second violinist in the Chapel Royal Orchestra.
1890sFirst 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.
1896–97Cantata “Hymnus Amoris,” Op. 12, on a painting by Titian; study of Renaissance music.
1891/92Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 7, with tight motivic development.
1901State stipend. The opera “Saul and David” is completed.
from 1903Contract with the music publisher Wilhelm Hansen.
1906Premiere of the comic opera “Mascarade,” which becomes a major work in Danish operatic history.
1908Second conductor at Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre.
1915Concert conductor of the Music Society in Copenhagen.
1922Neoclassical Wind Quintet, Op. 43, which becomes popular.
1924/25Symphony No. 6 (‘Sinfonia semplice’), a tonally untethered and highly complex work scored with a large percussion section.
1931Director of the Music Conservatory. Death in Copenhagen on October 3.

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