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Niels Wilhelm Gade   (1817 - 1890)

composer

Gade and J.P.E. Hartmann formed the axis of Danish music through over half a century of Romanticism. Of the two, it was Gade who was to have the most enduring importance for posterity, and Gade, more down-to-earth than the haut-bourgeois Hartmann, who had the best grasp of the living musical milieu.

Two people were of crucial importance to Niels W. Gade's music. The first was A.P. Berggreen. Gade became a pupil of Berggreen at a time when his teacher was determined to give folk melodies an influence on art music. In that respect Gade was a pioneer, and with his First Symphony and his overture Efterklange af Ossian (Echoes of Ossian) wrote the hitherto purest National-Romantic music in Denmark.

The second key figure in Niels W. Gade's life was Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn performed Gade's First Symphony with great enthusiasm, and this was the beginning of a close association between the two. Mendelssohn convinced Gade of the limitations of National Romanticism, and on his return to Denmark, Gade introduced Mendelssohn's elegant, classicizing Romanticism, and remained himself with the style for the rest of his life.

Only on a few occasions was Niels W. Gade again to write in the "Nordic tone". One example was the choral work Elverskud (The Elf King's Daughter), one of the most popular Danish musical works of all. At all events Gade's perfectionism - and status - meant that each new work was considered unassailable.

NIels W. Gade composed eight symphonies, several major choral works with orchestra, much chamber music, songs and piano pieces. He influenced all Danish composers, all the way up to Carl Nielsen and Rued Langgaard.

Live Dates

06/05/2014   Gramophone

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
"Under Hillier’s direction, Ars Nova Copenhagen perform a cappella, with meticulously shaded dynamics, articulation and colour."
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04/05/2014   Diapason

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
5/5 Stars

"Les membres de Ars Nova Copenhagen respirent et phrasent d'une seule voix."
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16/02/2014   Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
5/6 Stars

"Nænsomme, fine og forførende udgaver.", "Weyse, Gade og Nielsen smiler med i graven".
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13/02/2014   Politiken

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
4/6 Hjerter

"En nærmest ufattelig perfektion præger hele CD'en."
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15/08/2009   Audiophile Audition

Romantic Violin Concertos
5 Stars

"All three concertos are beautifully executed by Christina Åstrand who shows off the upper register of her instrument with a lovely purity of both tone and intonation."
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15/01/1994   Fono Forum

Gade, Hartmann, Langgaard, Henriques, Lange-Müller: Danish Golden Age Piano Trios
"Tre Musici gehen konzentriert und sensible zu Werke."
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15/01/1994   BBC Music Magazine

Niels W. Gade: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2
5 Stars

"Michael Schønwandt and his Collegium Musicum play these forgotten Romantic glories to the manner born."
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15/01/1994   American Record Guide

Gade, Hartmann, Langgaard, Henriques, Lange-Müller: Klavertrioer fra den danske guldalder
"Tre Musici display remarkable ensemble playing in the way they dovetail one another in expression."
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Discography

The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
The Golden Age of Danish Partsongs
Various

SACD 6.220568 (2014)

Romantic Violin Concertos
Romantic Violin Concertos
N.W. Gade, Lange-Müller, Langgaard

SACD 6.220562 (2009)

Languishingly beautiful music played with soul and brilliance by Christina Åstrand

Sonatas for violin and piano
Sonatas for violin and piano
Niels W. Gade

CD 8.226066 (2009)

The three violin sonatas by the most famous Danish composer of the Romantic era

Works for organ
Works for organ
J.P.E. Hartmann & Niels W. Gade

CD 8.226026 (2005)

The most important organ works of the two main musical figures of the Danish Golden Age

Der er et yndigt land
Der er et yndigt land

CD 8.224141 (2000)

Danmark i lommeformat – de største klassiske hits og skønneste melodier

King Frederik IX conducts The Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
King Frederik IX conducts The Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

CD 8.224158-59 (2000)

Musikalske kronjuveler: Kongen af Danmark dirigerer Beethoven, Wagner og Gade!

Det bedste fra Den danske Guldalder
Det bedste fra Den danske Guldalder

CD 8.224145-47 (1999)

3-cd boks med 40 stykker musik fra midten af 1800-tallet, en gylden æra i dansk kultur

Symphonies Nos. 1-8
Symphonies Nos. 1-8
Niels Wilhelm Gade

CD 8.504012 (1997)

Elverskud (The Elf King's Daughter)
Elverskud (The Elf King's Daughter)
Niels W. Gade

CD 8.224051 (1996)

String Quartets
String Quartets
Niels W. Gade

CD 8.224015 (1995)

Classic recordings of Gade’s sophisticated string quartets

The Best of Danish Golden Age Music
The Best of Danish Golden Age Music

CD 8.224020 (1994)

Symphonies Nos. 4 and 6
Symphonies Nos. 4 and 6
Niels W. Gade

DCCD 9202 (1993)

Symphonies  Nos. 1 and 2
Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2
Niels W. Gade

DCCD 9201 (1993)

Danish Golden Age Piano Trios
Danish Golden Age Piano Trios
Gade, Hartmann, Langgaard, Henriques, Lange-Müller

DCCD 9310 (1993)

Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8
Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8
Niels W. Gade

DCCD 9301 (1993)

Symphonies Nos. 3 and 5
Symphonies Nos. 3 and 5
Niels W. Gade

DCCD 9004 (1992)

Complete Piano Works Vol. 3
Complete Piano Works Vol. 3
Niels W. Gade

DCCD 9117 (1992)

Complete Piano Works Vol. 1
Complete Piano Works Vol. 1
Niels W. Gade

DCCD 9115 (1992)

Complete Piano Works Vol. 2
Complete Piano Works Vol. 2
Niels W. Gade

DCCD 9116 (1992)


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