Since 1992, a group of thirty talented young string players has gathered together in Copenhagen to rehearse briefly before undertaking its annual tour of Italy, France, and the Scandinavian countries. Based on the evidence presented here, the Copenhagen Young Strings play together with a polish and refinement that belies their lack of experience and rigorous preparation. Indeed, these kids deliver the goods far more effectively than many professional groups I've encountered of late. Their athletic, spirited, and rhythmically incisive Holberg Suite is among my favorite version of this oft-recorded work. If Marriner and others have given us more touching and cleanly played versions of the two slow movements, the rest of the suite has rarely been presented with such enthusiasm and vigor. And their sprightly rendition of Nielsen's Little Suite is equally rewarding. No doubt these young musicians are performing this repertory for the first time, and their obvious wonder and sense of discovery comes through in all of the selections on their well-conceived program. Nielsen's At the Bier of a Young Artist (1910) is a brief, touching lament for painter Oluf Hartmann. Young conductor Sorensen – himself a student at the Royal Danish Academy of Music – leads a sensitive and moving performance. Like his colleagues in the string ensemble, he is clearly mature beyond his years. His tender reading of the Bohemian-Danish Folk Tune (1928) concludes a thoroughly enjoyable release. It's comforting to know that the future of classical music is in such capable young hands.
Copyright © 1998, Tom Godell