Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Tired of Patriotism

Donald Macleod assesses Gade's contribution to Denmark's musical history. With Holbergiana (excerpt); Violin Concerto; Elverskud (Part 3).

Donald Macleod introduces Danish composer Niels Gade's Violin Concerto, arguably a hidden jewel of the Romantic repertoire.

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. 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.

Today Donald Macleod and Colin Roth assess Niels Gade's contribution to the musical history of Denmark.

Holbergiana, Op. 61 (excerpt)
Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz
Ole Schmidt, conductor

Violin Concerto
Christina Åstrand, violin
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
John Storgårds, conductor

Elverskud (Part 3)
Kirsten Dolberg, contralto, the Mother
Guido Paëvatalu, baritone, Oluf
Tivoli Concert Chorus
Tivoli Symphony Orchestra
Michael Schønwandt, conductor.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 24 Feb 2017 18:30

More episodes

Next

You are at the last episode

See all episodes from Composer of the Week

Music Played

  • Niels Wilhelm Gade

    Elverskud [fairy Spell] Op 30 - Prologue

    Choir: Tivoli Concert Choir. Orchestra: Tivoli S O. Conductor: Michael Schønwandt.
    • Marco polo: 8224051.
    • Marco polo.
    • 1.
  • Niels Wilhelm Gade

    Holbergiana - Suite Op 61

    Orchestra: Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland‐Pfalz. Conductor: Ole Schmidt.
    • CPO: 999 3622.
    • CPO.
    • 8.
  • Niels Wilhelm Gade

    Violin Concerto In D Minor Op 56

    Performer: Christina Åstrand. Orchestra: Tampere Filharmonia. Conductor: John Storgårds.
    • Da Capo: 6220562.
    • Da Capo.
    • 1.
  • Niels Wilhelm Gade

    Elverskud [fairy Spell] Op 30

    Choir: Tivoli Concert Choir. Orchestra: Tivoli S O. Conductor: Michael Schønwandt.
    • Marco polo: 8224051.
    • Marco polo.
    • 1.

Broadcasts

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.