Saturday, June 16, 2007

More Composers: N

Nicolai (Otto) showed a good deal of promise as a Romantic composer when he died suddenly at age 38. By then he had already written symphonies, sacred music, songs, piano pieces, and five operas, but he is now mainly known for his comic opera based on Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Nielsen (Carl) was a Danish music educator, conductor, author, and violinist who wrote six awesome symphonies; concertos for flute, clarinet, and violin; operas such as Maskerade (of which I have heard only the overture, but that much is great); and incidental music to a play called Aladdin, the suite of which is one of my favorite pieces. I never miss an opportunity to hear Nielsen played live. Can you tell I am excited about this guy? He is increasingly becoming known as one of the major 20th-century composers, and perhaps the greatest Scandinavian composer ever.

And that about does it for the letter N....

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