Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) was a Danish musician, often seen as his country’s greatest composer. While his operas and songs have become embedded within the cultural heritage in his native Denmark, internationally he is better known for his symphonies and concertos – distinguished by his prominent use of Brass instruments and dramatic changes in tonality.
His Symphony No.3 (Op. 27, FS. 60) was composed in 1911, and is often subtitled Sinfonia Espansiva after the tempo designation of the first movement. Somewhat unusually, the second movement includes vocal parts: wordless solos for Soprano and Baritone. Throughout, Nielsen expertly contrasts sections of blissful calm with passages of incredible angst, creating a wonderfully moving masterpiece.