Göteborgs Symfoniker

Nielsen Symphony No. 5

The recording was made in Gothenburg Concert Hall, The Great Hall,  2 Dec 2022.
In 1921-1922, Carl Nielsen wrote simultaneously on two works that have come to stand as opposite poles in his creation. This applies to the sunny folk pastoral Fynsk foraar (Spring at Funen) and the grand drama Symphony No. 5. The symphony has two large movements that have no thematic connection, but which are nevertheless connected in terms of ideas. The music begins with the violas swinging forward on Nielsen’s so often used minor third C-A and eventually takes shape in a theme. The music climbs upwards and a new theme grows towards the light. When the music reaches even higher, we have arrived at the destructive little drum, which in the score is ordered to improvise everything it can to stop the music’s further progress, while the clarinet complains that the victory cost so much suffering. It is hard to imagine that the horrors of the First World War did not contribute to thought content. According to the composer’s statement, the music wanted to depict “the dormant forces in opposition to the active ones”. This violent movement with many moving episodes is followed by a lovely allegro. What survived the disaster is now rising from the ashes.

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Nielsen Symphony No.5


Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Jukka-Pekka Saraste conductor