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Nielsen’s First Symphony draws inspiration from Brahms and Dvorak but also contains hints of the progressive tonality for which he was later celebrated. His enigmatic final symphony, entitled Sinfonia Semplice (Simple Symphony), suggesting a work of “entirely idyllic character”, turns out to be anything but this. Though written 30 years apart, both works feature folk-inflections, tonal ambiguity, and Nielsen’s distinctive anti-Romantic style.

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