At the Bier of a Young Artist

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At the Bier of a Young Artist
by Carl Nielsen
Holmens Kirkegårds Kapel 1.JPG
Holmen's Cemetery Chapel where the work was first performed
Native name Ved en ung Kunstners Baare
Key E-flat minor
Catalogue FS 58
Dedication for the funeral of Oluf Hartmann
Performed 21 January 2010 (2010-01-21): Copenhagen
Scoring
  • string quartet
  • string orchestra

Carl Nielsen's At the Bier of a Young Artist (Ved en ung Kunstners Baare) for string orchestra, FS 58, was written for the funeral of the Danish painter Oluf Hartmann in January 1910.

Background[edit]

Oluf Hartmann was the son of composer Emil Hartmann and the brother of Bodil Neergaard, the lady of Fuglsang Manor, a gathering place for musicians and artists on the Danish island of Lolland. Hartmann died on Sunday, 16 January 1910. By the following Wednesday, Nielsen had completed the draft of his "Andante lamentoso". Perhaps originally written for string quartet, the piece was later adapted by the composer for string orchestra.[1]

The four-minute piece in E-flat minor was first performed by the Gade Quartet at Oluf Hartmann’s funeral on 21 January in the chapel at Holmen’s Cemetery in Copenhagen. By April 1912, Nielsen had adapted it for strings in connection with an Easter concert he conducted at the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen. He conducted the piece on several other occasions during his lifetime and it was also played at his funeral on 9 October 1931 by his son-in-law Emil Telmányi's chamber orchestra.[1]

The piece has been known under different names. It was first entitled "Andante doloroso" for the concerts in Copenhagen in 1912 and then it became known as "Andante dolorosa (Ved en ung Kunstners Baare)" or "Andante dolorosa (At the Bier of a Young Artist)".[1]

Music[edit]

Writing in connection with Deutsche Grammophon's recording by the Emerson String Quartet, Anthony Burton writes: "In the dark key of E flat minor, with an initially subdued middle section in D major and a calm major-key ending, it has a poignant intensity quite remarkable for a work of its modest duration".[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Niels Bo Foltmann, "At the Bier of a Young Artist", Orchestral Works 2, Carl Nielsen Edition Archived April 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., Royal Danish Library. Retrieved 13 November 2010.
  2. ^ Anthony Burton, "Northern Voices", Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 13 November 2010.