Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nielsen: Violin Concerto (Telmányi)

Carl Nielsen, 1910
Most people, if they remember the name of the Hungarian-born violinist Emil Telmányi (1892-1988) at all, remember it as belonging to the inventor of the spurious Bach bow (or Vega bow), designed to be able to play on, and sustain, all four strings of the violin simultaneously, for use in the unaccompanied Bach violin works.  But Telmányi was also the first internationally famous exponent of the music of Carl Nielsen (whose daughter, Anne Marie, he married in 1918), and made this first recording of Nielsen's Violin Concerto, for me one of the most delightful of all twentieth-century violin concertos, in 1947:

Nielsen: Concerto for violin and orchestra, Op. 33 and
Mozart: Serenade No. 7 in D, K. 250 ("Haffner") - Menuetto
Emil Telmányi with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Copenhagen,
conducted by Egisto Tango
Recorded June 3-7, 1947
Tono X-25081 through X-25085, five 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 99.4 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 42.37 MB)


  1. Nielsen, and Telmanyi! Heaven on earth! Thanks for this one, this is going to go round on my iPod quite a few times this week!!!

  2. This is one of those "must-hear" classics I've managed to miss until now. Thank you for the chance to finally hear it. I trust your transfer will be another fine one.

  3. Beautiful. Much appreciated, Bryan.

  4. Fine playing, wonderful transfer. Thank you Bryan. Finally getting around to listening to this concerto which is unfamiliar to me. " of the most delightful of all twentieth-century violin concertos..." is, unfortunately, faint praise. The only ones that come to mind are the Sibelius (barely 20th cent.)which is monumental, one of the very best, and the Barber. I find what I have heard less focused and engaging than the great concerti (in my opinion). This still has wonderful moments and great endings for movements.

    1. Well, there's also the Berg, the Bartok No. 2, the Shostakovich No. 1 and the two Prokofiev concertos, all of which, with the Sibelius and Barber, I would agree are greater works than the Nielsen concerto but I never fail to enjoy the Nielsen whenever I listen to it.

      Nielsen's finest concertos are the ones for clarinet and for flute; he is supposed to have intended to write one for every wind instrument but died before he could finish the project, unfortunately.