The complete symphonies of Carl Nielsen: a Retro Diary

Look everyone, it's Greg Kinnear with better and hair! And compositional technique!

I’m just sayin’ that if Greg Kinnear and William H. Macy could have a baby in Denmark in the 1860’s…

UPDATE: Here is the link to Dave’s thoughts on the Nielsen Extravaganza.

Last night the great Dave McIntire and I met to listen to the symphonies of the Greatest Dane, Carl Nielsen, eat fine foods, and consume alcoholic beverages of the highest quality. Are we nerds? Perhaps. Do we have excellent taste in food, beverage, and music? Fucking right. What follows is my thoughts on the proceedings as they were happening. As soon as he is ready, I’ll put a link to Dave’s take on the evening, but for now here’s a link to his blog so you can get a taste of the man’s writing, which is somewhere between 10 and 50 times better than what you’ll read here. As with the Sibelius symphonies live blog, we tried to use different conductors, orchestras, formats, etc. Did we succeed? Is there such a thing as success in this endeavor? I would argue that there is, and the success is that we listened to a shitload of Carl Nielsen music. Let’s go to the recap!

Read on… Continue reading

Something to listen to: Eivind Gullberg Jensen FOR THE WIN!

Commenter Aparna S alerted me to this performance of Rachmaninov’s Symphony no. 2 conducted by the notorious-around-these-parts Eivind Gullberg Jensen and posted it in the comments section of the infamous “worst conductor in the universe” post under the auspices of strongly disagreeing with my position. After watching it from start to finish, I wanted to make sure that it didn’t just get buried in the comments of an old post, because it is an outstanding performance on every level. Gone is the unnecessary and intrusive bullshit I felt pervaded Jensen’s conducting, and in its place is a tremendous feel for the nuts and bolts of a piece that can degenerate into useless noise in the wrong hands. I am tremendously impressed – this is one of the finest Rachmaninov 2’s I’ve ever encountered. I hope that this is just the beginning of my NEW Jensen experience.

Thank you for bringing this performance to my attention, and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did.

On jealousy, failure, and perception

What is this, à site for failed and bitter conducteurs? To read someone with so little knowledge try to analyse Dudamel’s conducting, amusés me:-) and this other Guy who think Dudamel is overrated, what do you know? By coïncident I just heard thé best Shostakovich 10 ever on, with Eivind Gullberg Jensen conducting, so for me this whole article is just misleading notes based on pure jealousy. Get à life guys!

Agree with PierreC, this site smells jealousy all over. Came over this article a while ago, after I found an amazing Rach 2 with Gullberg Jensen on youtube, and was shocked about the harsh and bitter content. But back then I searched for Crackladen on youtube, and guess what? I found the author in person, conducting. It would be too positive to call him a failed conductor, it had nothing to do with conducting in the first place! At least he was smart enough to remove his videofiles:-)

The most popular (RELATIVE TERM!) post on this website is either one of the random symphony countdowns or the one about Eivind Gullberg Jensen being the worst conductor in the universe. Based on the comments, I’d assume it’s the latter. Every so often someone will chime in and say that they disagree and that they heard Jensen conduct Piece X and it was great, and less occasionally someone will stop in to say that they agree that his conducting leaves a lot to be desired. There is a subtext to the “Jensen is good” comments, and that is that by saying that he sucks you’re simply throwing stones at someone whose lot in life you envy. Not every comment comes out and says it quite as explicitly as the two comments above, but it’s always there, if not on the surface like that than lurking below. Continue reading

In which I revisit the conducting of Eivind Gullberg Jensen thanks to a flurry of positive comments from informed listeners in an attempt to determine whether my opinion of his musical approach has shifted in the ensuing two years since my hyperbolic assault that appears above his own management team’s website on the first page of Google results

Um…………………. Continue reading

Eivind Gullberg Jensen is the worst conductor in the universe: UPDATED!

Eivind Gullberg Jensen

Josh Brolin has a Norwegian twin sister?

Normally I find it a good idea to try and come up with some kind of catchy title if I’m writing an opinion piece.  Sometimes it uses a metaphor, sometimes it uses a pun, sometimes it uses an obscure “Big Lebowski” reference, but it’s always meant to bring a touch of mystery to the actual substance of what was written.

In this case, however, I could think of nothing remotely interesting or competent to say.  It is not unlike the conducting of Eivind Gullberg Jensen in that respect. Continue reading