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Preludes Nos. 1, 2, 13, 18, 29 from op. 51 (1929)

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DEMO CC-Warrington

Uploaded by: CarsonCooman (08/25/13)
Composer: Nielsen, Carl
Sample Producer: Sonus Paradisi
Sample Set: Doesburg Martinikerk Walcker Organ
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Romantic
Carl Nielsen (1865–1931) — Preludes, from op. 51 (1929) for organ

Near the very end of his life, the great Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865–1931) began writing music for the organ. Organist Johannes Hansen had requested that Nielsen compose some organ pieces, and in the beginning of 1929 Nielsen spent the first few months composing his first organ work: “29 Small Preludes,” op. 51. While he was composing the pieces, Nielsen was given the keys to Christiansborg Palace Chapel so that he could try out the organ there several times. He also borrowed scores from organist Peter Thomsen, primarily of organ composers of the 17th and 18th centuries, particular Frescobaldi, Scheidt, Scheidemann, Weckmann, and Böhm. From his annotations on the scores, it is clear that Frescobaldi and Scheidt were particular favorites. After completing the preludes, Nielsen turned his attention to what would be his final major composition: the large-scale organ fantasy “Commotio.” All of Nielsen’s organ music (which consists of several additional small pieces, the “29 Small Preludes,” and “Commotio”) is written in a contrapuntal idiom that he strongly felt was the organ’s native language. After completing “Commotio,” he wrote in a letter to his son in law: “None of my other works has demanded such great concentration as this: an attempt to reconstitute what is truly the only valid organ style, the polyphonic music that is especially suited to this instrument, which for a long time now has been regarded as a kind of orchestra, which it absolutely is not.”

Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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