Inextinguishable

April 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

After last night’s rehearsal with the Longwood Symphony, I’m having trouble containing my excitement about our upcoming performance of Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s epic Symphony no. 4, “The Inextinguishable”. Alex Ross has a nice article in The New Yorker that gives a brief summary of Nielsen’s career. Having previously performed the Helios Overture with the Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra, I can attest to the level of virtuosity that Nielsen demands of his interpreters. The Inextinguishable has tons of challenging moments, the most spectacular of which comes at the end of the third movement, when the strings engage in a blazing relay race ending in a unison 32nd note run spanning nearly four octaves. On the double bass, the final descending line begins with a C-sharp above the octave harmonic on the G string down to the bass’s lowest note, an E. Yikes.

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