A brand new recording has just been released by the young Niklas Walentin.
The recording contains the two demanding solo pieces and the two beautiful sonatas for violin and piano, accompagnied by the pianist Ulrich Stærk
In 2012, the young talent Niklas Walentin won the 2. Prize of the 9th International Carl Nielsen Competition. It was by then 20 years since a Danish violinist had managed to reach the final round, and Niklas Walentin furthermore won the Prize for Best interpretation of Carl Nielsen works and the prize for best interpretation of the contemporary work comissioned to the competition by Ib Nørholm, a famous Danish Composer.
What it lead to ...
" Many musicians have, among all the great composers in the world, one they are especially fun of, and maybe also, a composer that they are especially productive with. To me, Carl Nielsen is that composer" says Niklas Walentin. He continues " I can always find new things in his music, and I feel very connected to his works whenever I am performing them. That is why this new recording is, one of the most important works I have done so far."
The new recording is available now. It was released at a concert in Carnegie Hall, 4th of June where the entire Album was performed live.
The Works ...
Preludio & Theme with variation Op. 48 is Carl Nielsen's first solo work for Violin. It contains of a very modernistic Preludio and then a theme written in the style of a very typical Danish folk song. That is then followed by 8 very demanding variations and ends wiht the theme once again. A famous story goes, that during the creation of Op. 48, Carl Nielsen would regularly consult his son-in-law, the famous Hungarian/Danish violinist
Emil Thelmany, who at that time was a very big soloist around Scandinavia and as well in the rest of Europe, with his developments of the variations on the theme.
Carl Nielsen would usually get a reply for Thelmany some days after that " It was with no greater difficulty what so ever to play it, and it indeed was a charming little thing" .
Now, Thelmany had a reputation of being a slightly bit arrogant, and Nielsen was quite upset with that his advanced variations was nothing more than just "charming little things".
This correspondence went on, until Carl Nielsen wrote Variation 7 "Presto".
Then, he didnt hear from Thelmany in 14 days and he then ended the piece with Variation 8 "poco adagio" and "Tempo di Tema".
Preludio e Presto Op. 52 is Carl Nielsen's second solo work for Violin. It is written in 1925, and is for the time very modern in style. The Preludio is written with out bars, so it is a very different way to study the piece compared to regular pieces of music where the bars make sure that a sign continues with its effect throughout the bar. But in the Preludio, it is only effective for the current note. You may please have a look at the first two examples from the score below, where you can see as well, the amount of details that Nielsen has put in his work.
Listen to Niklas Walentin performing the Preludio.
The Presto is on the other hand much more regular to instudy, said with that one again have the rules of bars. Although the music still stays in this very modern tone-language, Nielsen has a brief moment where he sets in the most beautiful coral, with a very Danish touch, like a reminiscence of something. Perhaps from Op. 48 .
The first great sonata for violin and piano, although a very early childhood sonata exhist, is the Op. 9 A major Sonata, composed in 1895 and consisting of three movements. Though not well received by the press or the audience after a performance of two well renomated artist of its time, Anton Svendsen on violin and Miss Johanne Stockmarr, it is a very beautiful sonata with a very Danish sound to it. Dedicated to the French-Swedish violinist Henri Marteau, who himself also were a conductor and composer, It was published by the Danish publication company Wilhelm Hansen shortly after its first performance in Copenhagen. Henri Marteau did not perform the sonata himself until a concert Copenhagen on the 27th of November 1930.
The second great sonata for violin and piano, is the Op. 35 g-minor Sonata, composed in 1912 and consisting of three movements. The Danish violinist Peder Møller and the pianist Henrik Knudsen was already in mind for the creation of the Sonata. Henrik Knudsen wanted to host an evening of Sonatas, and Nielsen was already aware of the musicianship of Peder Møller since he had just performed his violin concert Op. 33 to perfection earlier in the year. Unfortunately, Peder Møller was sick to the first performance so instead the son of the Danish composer Niels W. Gade, Axel Gade too his place. Even though it turned out with mixed reviews, it is a very special sonata with no-one quite a like it. Few other sonatas in this world has a movement that begins with "Allegro con Tiepidezza", which translated from Italian means lukewarmness !