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Nielsen's cantatas might sound great at an Edwardian national exhibition, but on record they're pompous and monotonous
Artists: Chorus of National Danish Opera, Aarhus Cathedral Choir, Vox Aros, Aarhus SO/Holten
Label: Dacapo 8.226079
It’s no surprise that these two cantatas, written for official Danish functions in 1908 and 1909, are recorded here for the first time. Had Elgar written a cantata celebrating British commerce, would the Danes or anyone else be remotely interested in hearing it, either now or then? Whilst evidently fun to sing, and lustily and expertly done so here, these cantatas are still pompous sounding and stylistically monotonous, making them perfect for a national exhibition but less so for one’s living room. If you’re a Nielsen nut or have a penchant for Edwardian-style patriotic fervour then this disc will make you happy. If not, best steer clear.