First released in 1975 on Decca's Ace of Diamonds label, John McCabe's performances of Carl Nielsen's piano music were reissued in 2015 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth, though this Somm release also marked the passing of the pianist earlier in the year. The keyboard music easily fits on two CDs, and because it is such a small part of Nielsen's output, which is dominated by the three concertos and the six symphonies, as well as the opera Maskarade, it's easy to see how they have been a niche interest, which they certainly were when McCabe made this recording. Since then, several other pianists have added them to their repertoire, so they are much better known now, but McCabe's recordings have lost none of their freshness and appeal. Highpoints of this double CD are the Symphonic Suite, a robust work that is the closest Nielsen came to composing a piano sonata, and the Humoreske-Bagatelles, which are among his most engaging and delightful pieces in any genre.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2
|Humoresque Bagatelles FS 22 (Opus 11)|
1. Hello! Hello! Allegretto / 2. the Spinning Top: Presto / 3. A Little Slow Waltz: Valse lente / 4: The Jumping Jack: Poco allegretto / 5. Puppet March: Allegro moderato / 6. the Musical Clock: Allegretto scherzando
|Suite FS (Opus 45)|
|Hagbarth and Signe, FS 57|