Nielsen: The Organ Works

Reviewed on Mon 06 Mar, 2017

The big piece is the amazing Commotio, which may be found daunting in its exploration and complexity, but Nielsen’s music is well-worth the effort, and Bine Bryndorf’s championing of it gets a warm embrace.

This stimulating survey of Carl Nielsen’s organ music, consists of the late-written 29 Little Preludes (1929) – interspersed in four groups – and Commotio (from a year later). These little and large pieces – Commotio lasts over twenty minutes – are unmistakably Nielsen in their harmonies and quirks, and the programme as a whole is made various thanks to the contrasting Hymns and Spiritual Songs that find the appropriately named baritone Torsten Nielsen singing (to organ accompaniment) as if gently preaching from a pulpit; it’s a consoling effect. There are a few other shorts, but the big piece, on track 40, is the amazing Commotio, which may be found daunting in its exploration and complexity, but Nielsen’s music is well-worth the effort, and Bine Bryndorf’s championing of it gets a warm embrace. Her musicianship is steadfast, the Copenhagen organ has authenticity on its side, and the recording and presentation are typically excellent of Dacapo.
–Colin Anderson