The Carl Nielsen Museum
The Carl Nielsen Museum is a museum dedicated to the composer Carl Nielsen and to his wife, the sculptor Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen (née Brodersen). The exhibition is chronologically constructed and tells the story of life and work of two extremely independent artists who both as a pair and individually left indelible marks on Danish cultural life.
The content of the exhibitions derives in large part from a bequest made by the couple's children to establish a museum for both their parents. This gift has among other things enabled the museum to reconstruct two rooms with original furniture from Carl and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen's last home at Frederiksholms Canal in Copenhagen
Admission to the museum is free, and the opening hours are adjusted as far as possible to fit Odense Symphony Orchestra's concerts in the Carl Nielsen Concert Hall in Odense. This provides rich opportunities for combining a concert with a visit at The Carl Nielsen Museum.
The museum shop offers a wide assortment of classical music and a opportunity to listen to a broad selection of CD's, including a substantial choice of recordings of Carl Nielsen's music. On the shelves you will find everything from the popular classics - such as his choral work Springtime on Funen (Fynsk Forår) and the opera Masquerade (Maskarade) - to the composer's six symphonies, his other orchestral and chamber works and his extensive range of much-loved songs. In addition, the museum's shelves contain Odense Symphony Orchestra's own recordings and a wide selection of works by both famous and less well-known names from the Renaissance onwards, including opera and classical music for children. There should be a chance of finding something to suit all tastes.
The composer Carl Nielsen
Carl August Nielsen (1865-1931) is without question the one Danish composer who has become the most famous name both nationally and internationally. Carl Nielsen's compositions exerted a considerable influence on Danish music life during his lifetime and continue to do so to this day. His influence was also felt through his work as a conductor, writer and teacher.
The exhibition allows the visitor to follow Carl's life story from inauspicious beginnings in Nr. Lyndelse, a small town in the central part of Funen, to the adult life and work that led to fame on the European music scene.
Carl Nielsen had fabulous memories from his childhood, which he reproduced in his lively memoirs, Min Fynske Barndom (My Funen Childhood). At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a merchant, but, when his employer went bankrupt, young Carl and his parents had to reconsider his options. Fortunately, before long a post became vacant in the military band in Odense. Carl competed for the post and won it, starting in his new position on November 1st 1879. Here he stayed until the end of 1883, when he went to Copenhagen to complete his musical education at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. From then on, Copenhagen became Carl Nielsen's permanent base until his death in 1931, but the years in Odense had decisive significance for his musical development. It was here that he started on his formal musical schooling, partly through more systematic musical education and partly through encounters with other artists that left their mark on the young Carl.
This part of the exhibition has a number of items that are
especially noteworthy: Carl Nielsen's violins, his bugle and his
grand piano - and, among the more curious items, his knitting and
his death mask.
Alongside this biographical account, the exhibition focuses on Carl Nielsen's various musical productions, which include six symphonies, three concertos, quite a number of scores for the stage - including two operas - besides chamber music and a large number of songs.
Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen
The Carl Nielsen Museum is just as much about Carl Nielsen's wife, the sculptor Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen, née Brodersen (1863-1945), who besides occupying a position as the principal character in Carl Nielsen's life is also displayed in the museum as an independent artist with a substantial number of important and distinctive sculptures.
Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen was a distinguished proponent of naturalistic sculpture and one of the major female characters in Danish artistic circles at the turn of the century. The museum owns and permanently exhibits the largest single collection of her works. Among the central works - both in her overall production as well as in the exhibition - are reliefs from Ribe Cathedral, various sketches and studies for the bronze statue of King Christian IX on horseback, busts of Carl Nielsen, among others, and a large number of animal figures.
The Carl Nielsen Museum
Claus Bergs Gade 11
DK-5000 Odense C