"Tidens Fylde": Temporality and Tradition in Carl Nielsen's Works for Violin
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This dissertation highlights the position of the violin works in Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s oeuvre. The violin was an integral part of this composer’s life from an early age. Despite this, his compositions for the violin have received little critical attention. My project is the first full-length treatment of Nielsen’s repertoire for violin. I approach the subject with the goal of examining Nielsen’s position in the early twentieth century through the notions of temporal consciousness and tradition. I address the interplay of these ideas as signifiers within the works, particularly the Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 35 and the Præludium og Tema med Variationer, Op. 48. This interplay enables us to view Carl Nielsen as a participant on the world stage of Western music as a modernist, despite his apparent ties to tradition. I also address the issue of accessibility in Nielsen studies by including a complete translation of Hungarian violinist Emil Telmányi’s Vejledning til Instudering og Fortolkning af Carl Nielsen’s Violinværker og Kvintet for Strygere [Guide to the Study and Interpretation of Carl Nielsen’s Violin Works and Quintet for Strings]. The Carl Nielsen narrative is framed by his symphonies and his status as a nationalist composer. Through this study, I expose the importance of this overlooked repertoire in the current revision of the Nielsen narrative.