Israel Yinon: Rudolph Simonsen Symphony 1 'Zion'

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Rudolph Simonsen - Symphony No. 1 in C Minor "Zion" (1910)
Conducted by Israel Yinon with the Sonderiyllands Symfoniorkester.

I. Kampf Gegen Knechtschaft (Fight Against Slavery) - 00:00
II. Verheissung (Promise) - 6:11
III. Allegro Con Brio - 24:42

Rudolph Hermann Simonsen (April 30, 1889 -- March 28, 1947) was a Danish composer who studied under Otto Malling.
In 1928, he won a bronze medal in the art competitions of the Olympic Games for his Symphony No. 2: Hellas.

Det Konglige Danske Musikkonservatorium
Det Konglige Danske Musikkonservatorium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Simonsen was an important figure on the Danish musical scene and lived until 1947. He was a disc
iple of Carl Nielsen and took over that composer's position as principal of the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 1931 when Nielsen died. He had been teaching music history and piano since 1915 and had a mission to promote classical music to as many people as possible. He also worked to bring new foreign music to Denmark, and make strong links with Germany, Austria and Hungary."

"Coming from a Jewish middle class family in Copenhagen, Simonsen was a prodigy, and not just in music. He had a fluent command of Greek, Latin and Hebrew, and he wrote philosophical treatises on Plato, Spinoza and Goethe. In his later life Simonsen concentrated on music teaching and performance and most of his compositions come from the 1920s, early in his career. He created three symphonies as a grand cycle, based on the cornerstones of classical culture: Jewish, Greek and Roman. (Thus No. 1's "Zion" refers not to The Matrix films but to Jewish culture, and "Hellas" to the Greek.) The themes of Zion concern the wandering of the Jewish people from slavery to the Promised Land, though it is not actually a programmatic work. This was the first time a Danish composer wrote a work directly referring to Jewish culture. The 35-minute work is intense, enthusiastic, and quite original.