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Fame and Glory

Donald Macleod considers Mendelssohn's influence on his protege, Niels Gade. Including Fantasiestucke (1st mvt); The Crusaders; Octet in F, Op 17.

Donald Macleod considers Mendelssohn's influence on his protégé, Niels Gade, with a complete performance of Gade's Octet, written some twenty years after Mendelssohn had written his.

Taken under his wing by Felix Mendelssohn, in his lifetime the Danish composer Niels Gade was a celebrated figure, who performed to great acclaim in Great Britain and across Europe. In his birthland Denmark, his association with Copenhagen's Music Society and his founding directorship of the Conservatory gave him a voice of influence within musical circles. He remains part of the Danish national consciousness, through the Wedding March from his ballet "Et folkesagn". It's one of the most popular picks for weddings. However, since his death, at the age of 73 in 1890, performances of his music have become all too infrequent, leaving most of his considerable legacy largely unheard.

The 200th anniversary of Gade's birth provides a good reason to rediscover his music. Weddings aside, Niels Gade is the composer of no less than eight symphonies; a concerto for his own instrument, the violin; a rich variety of choral settings and solo songs; a host of chamber music, including a piano trio, and no less than five string quartets; piano music and a whole series of large-scale works which we might want to categorise as choral cantatas but which he called "concert pieces".

There is little published information about Niels Gade available in English. Donald Macleod is joined by Dr. Colin Roth, a co-director of the Nordic Research Centre at the University of Sheffield. Across the week, Colin shares his knowledge of both Gade's music and the most detailed biography of the composer, which was published in Denmark in 2002 by Danish musicologist Inger Sørensen.

Between 1843 and 1848 Niels Gade was a highly respected musician, living and working in Leipzig. It was a period of diverse musical opportunity, which led to a series of major compositions.

Fantasiestücke, Op. 43 (1st movement)
Rolf Weber, clarinet
Kazue Tsuzuki, piano

The Crusaders (excerpt from Part 2)
Marianne Rørholm, mezzo-soprano (Armida)
Kurt Westi, tenor (Rinaldo)
Canzone-koret
Da Camera
Kor 72
Musikstuderendes Kammerkor
Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
Frans Rasmusssen, Conductor

Octet in F major, Op. 17
Berlin Philharmonic String Octet.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Niels Wilhelm Gade

    Fantasiestucke Op 43

    Performer: Rolf Weber. Performer: Kazue Tsuzuki.
    • Ambitus:AMB97897.
    • Ambitus.
    • 2.
  • Niels Wilhelm Gade

    Korsfarerne - The Sirens' Song of Temptation

    Performer: Da Camera. Singer: Marianne Rørholm. Singer: Kurt Westi. Orchestra: Aarhus S O. Ensemble: Kor 72. Conductor: Frans Rasmussen.
    • BIS: CD 183536.
  • Niels Wilhelm Gade

    Korsfarerne - Part 2 - closing scene

    Performer: Da Camera. Singer: Marianne Rørholm. Singer: Kurt Westi. Orchestra: Aarhus S O. Ensemble: Kor 72. Conductor: Frans Rasmussen.
    • BIS: CD 183536.
  • Niels Wilhelm Gade

    Octet In F major Op17

    Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Octet.
    • MDG : 308-11022.
    • MDG.
    • 7.

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