Niels Gade

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Niels Gade

Niels Wilhelm Gade (22 February 1817 – 21 December 1890) was a Danish composer, conductor, violinist, organist and teacher. He is considered the most important Danish musician of his day.

Biography[edit]

Gade was born in Copenhagen, the son of a joiner and instrument maker. He began his career as a violinist with the Royal Danish Orchestra, and saw his concert overture Efterklange af Ossian ("Echoes of Ossian") premiered with them in 1841. When his first symphony was turned down for performance in Copenhagen, he sent it to Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn received the work positively, and conducted it in Leipzig in March 1843, to enthusiastic public reaction. Supported by a fellowship from the Danish government, Gade himself moved to Leipzig, teaching at the Conservatory there, working as an assistant conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, and befriending Mendelssohn, who had an important influence on his music. In 1845 he conducted the premiere performance of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor. He also became friends with Robert Schumann. In Copenhagen Niels Gade became acquainted with the composer Cornelius Gurlitt, and they remained friends until the latter's death.

At Mendelssohn’s death in 1847, Gade was appointed to his position as chief conductor but was forced to return to Copenhagen in the spring of 1848 when war broke out between Prussia and Denmark.

In Copenhagen Gade became director of the Copenhagen Musical Society (a post he retained until his death) and, establishing a new orchestra and chorus, settled in to a career as the most prominent musician in Denmark. Under his direction, the Music Society reached its peak. He also worked as an organist; though he lost the prestigious position of organist at Copenhagen Cathedral to J.P.E. Hartmann, he served in the Church of Holmen in Copenhagen from 1850 until his death. Gade was joint director of the Copenhagen Conservatory with Hartmann (whose daughter he married in 1852) and Holger Simon Paulli. An important influence on a number of later Scandinavian composers, he encouraged and taught both Edvard Grieg and Carl Nielsen, as well as lesser figures such as Otto Malling, August Winding and Asger Hamerik. He died in Copenhagen.

Among Gade's works are eight symphonies, a violin concerto, chamber music, organ and piano pieces and a number of large-scale cantatas, Comala (1846) and Elverskud (1853) amongst them, which he called koncertstykker ("concert pieces"). These products, embraced post-1848 as works of Romantic nationalism,[1] are sometimes based on Danish folklore. Apparently Gade never rated "Brudevalsen" (The Bridal Waltz), and assigned it to the waste paper basket from where, it is rumoured, it was rescued by August Bournonville, to become an essential part of a Danish wedding.

He married Emma Sophie Amalie Hartmann, daughter of J. P. E. Hartmann, in 1852. He remarried in 1857 after her death.

Works[edit]

Year Op. Title, scoring, key, and other details
1836 Overture, E
1836 Allegro, A minor, String quartet
1837 Andante & allegro molto, F minor String quintet (2 violins, viola and 2 cellos)
1839 Piano trio, B-flat major
1840 Seht', welch ein Mensch! Hymn. Choir a capella.
1840 Hilf uns, Gott, in unserm Streit. Gebeth. Choir a capella.
1840 1 Echoes of Ossian (Efterklange af Ossian), A minor Overture
1840 Fædrelandets muser, ballet, Johannes Frederik Frølich
1840 28 Piano Sonata in E minor (revised 1854)
1840 String quartet, F major
1840 Fem Fædrelandshistoriske Songs
— Hvi synges evigt om Spartaner, Daniel Rantzau. Text by Adam Oehlenschläger
— En Schweitzerbonde staar aarle ved Strand, Den sælsome Jordefærd. Text by Adam Oehlenschläger
— Der risler en Kilde i Haraldsted Skov. Text by H. P. Holst
— Før var der knap skrevet paa dansk en Bog, Ludvig Holberg. Text by C. Vilster
— Paa Sjølunds fagre Sletter. Text by B. S. Ingemann
1841 2b Spring Flowers (Foraarstoner), 3 Piano pieces. Revised Version 1873
— Allegretto grazioso, F major
— Andantino con moto, B-flat major
— Allegretto cantabile, C major
1841 6 Songs. Christoph Ernst Friedrich Weyse
1842 3 Agnete and Havfruerne. Solo, female choir and orchestra. Text by H. C. Andersen
— Jeg ved et Slot, dets Væg og Tag, Havfruesang
— Sol deroppe ganger under Lide, Agnetes Vuggevise
1842 4 Nordiske Tonebilleder. Piano 4 hands
Allegro risoluto, F major
Allegretto quasi Andantino, F minor
Allegro commodo, F major
1842 5 1st Symphony, C minor, Paa Sjølunds fagre Sletter
1842 6 1st violin sonata, A major
1842 Napoli. Ballet by August Bournonville. (H. S. Paulli & Edvard Helsted)
1842 3 Songs. Text by Christian Winther
1843 10 2nd Symphony, E major
1844 7 In the Highlands (I Højlandet), D major. Overture
1845 8 String quintet, E minor. 2 violins, 2 violas, cello
1845 9 Nine folksongs. Soli and piano. Text by ?
1845 11 6 Songs. Male choir
1846 12 Comala. Cantata. Soli, choir and orchestra. Text after Ossian
1846 13 5 Songs. Choir a capella. Text by Emanuel Geibel
— Der Frühling ist ein starker Held, Ritter Frühling
— Die stille Wasserrose steigt, Die Wasserrose
— Wer recht in Freuden wandern will, Morgenwanderung
— Feldeinwärts fland ein, Herbstlied
— Im Wald im hellen Sonnenschein, Im Wald
1846 14 Overture (No. 3), C major
1846 O du, der du die Liebe bist. Choir and strings. Text by ?
1847 15 3rd Symphony, A minor
1848 16 Horseman's Life (Ridderliv). 6 Songs. Male choir. Text by C. Schultes
1848 18 Three character pieces, Piano 4 hands
— Bortreisen, C major
— Valpladsen, E minor
— Hjemkomsten, E major
1849 17 Octet, F major, 4 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos
1849 21a 2nd violin sonata, D minor
1849 21b Three digte. Text by Carsten Hauch
— Herr Magnus han stirrer i Vinternatten ud, Knud Lavard
— Hvorfor svulmer Weichselfloden, Polsk Fædrelandssang
— Hvi staar du saa ensom o Birketræ, Birken
1849 Mariotta. Syngestykke. Text by Carl Borgaard efter Eugène Scribe
1850 19 Akvareller, Piano
1850 20 4th Symphony, B-flat major
1850 Nordisk Sæterrejse, F major. Lystspil Overture
1850 3 Songs. Text by H. C. Andersen
1851 22 3 tone pieces, Organ
— Tonestykke, F major
— Tonestykke, C major
— Tonestykke, A minor
1851 String quartet, F minor
1852 23 Spring Fantasy (Foraarsfantasi). Cantata. Soli, piano and orchestra. Text by Edmund Lobedanz
1852 24 Bilder des Orients. 5 songs. Text by Heinrich Stieglitz
— Deine Stimme lass ertonen
— Milde Abendlüfte wehen, Ständchen
— Meinen Kranz hab' ich gesendet
— Ihr habt genug getrunken, Am Brunnen
— Wenn der letzte Saum des Tages
1852 25 5th Symphony, D minor, Piano
1852 Albumsblade. Piano
1852 3 Songs
– bl. a.
— Grøn er Vaarens Hæk, Aprilvise. Text by Poul Martin Møller
1852 Op thi Dagen nu frembryder. Text by Hans Adolph Brorson
1853 26 5 Songs. Male choir
1853 29 Novelletter, Piano trio
1854 27 Arabeske. Piano
1854 28 Piano sonata, E minor. Revision of the 1840 sonata
1854 30 Elverskud. Cantata. Soli, choir and orchestra. Text by Christian Molbech
1854 Et folkesagn. Ballet by August Bournonville. (Acts I and III; J. P. E. Hartmann composed the music for Act II)
1855 31 Folkedanse. Piano
1856 Udrust dig Helt fra Golgata. Text by Johannes Ewald
1856 O du, der du die Liebe bist. Choir a capella. Text by ? (Tidligere version 1846)
1856 Minde Cantata over Fru Anna Nielsen
1857 32 6th Symphony, G minor
1857 34 Idyller. Piano
— I Blomsterhaven, G major
— Ved Bækken, F major
— Trækfugle, D major
— Bytendæmring, D major
1857 Baldurs drøm. Cantata. Soli, choir and orchestra. Text by Adolph Hertz
1857 Fra skitsebanden. Piano
1858 33 5 Songs. Male choir
1858 35 Foraars-Budskab. Koncertstykke. Choir and orchestra. Text by Emanuel Geibel
1859 36 Children's Christmas (Børnenes Jul), Piano
— Jule-Klokkerne, F major
— Indgangsmarch, A major
— Drengenes Runddans, A minor
— Smaapigernes Dans, E major
— Godnat! F major
1859 Barn Jesus i en Krybbe laa. Text by H. C. Andersen
1859 Minde Cantata for Overhofmarschal Chamberlain Levetzau
1860 Andantino, C-sharp minor. Piano
1860 Albumblad, C major. Piano
1860 Danserinden, F major. Piano
1860 Minde Cantata for Skuespiller Nielsen
1861 37 Hamlet, C minor. Overture
1861 39 Michelangelo, F major. Overture
1861 40 Die heilige Nacht. Cantata. Solo, choir and orchestra. Text after August von Platen-Hallermünde
1861 41 Four Fantastic Pieces. Piano
— I Skoven, B major
— Mignon, F minor
— Eventyr, G minor
— Ved Festen, B major
1861 Piano piece, B-flat major. Oprindelig skitse til Fantasistykke op 41
1861 Scherzino Akvarel. Piano
1862 38 5 Songs. Male choir
1863 42 Piano trio, F major
1863 Sørgemarch ved Kong Frederik. d. 7.'s Død D minor.
1863 Holger Danskes Songs. Text by B. S. Ingemann
— Ved Leire græsse nu Faar paa Vold. Holger Danskes Vugge
— Vær hilset mit gamle Fædreland, Holger Danskes hilsen til frænderne
— Kong Gøttrik sad ene paa Leire Borg, Holgers bortsendelse
— Jeg frit mig tumled i Verden om, Holger Danskes vej
— Der klang til Danmark en Kæmpesang, Holgers kamp Burmand
— Til Rosengaarden gik jeg i Jomfruens Baand, Prinsesse Gloriant
— Tolv Riddere sad ved Kejserens Bord, De tolv jævninger
— Faner vifted over Sjolde, De elleve jævningers jordefærd
— Svart længtes jeg efter mit Fædreland, Holgers Orlov and Hjemfart
— I alle de Riger og Lande, Holger Danskes mærke
— Hvor Oberon lever, Ved mindernes kilde
— Vær hilset mit gamle Fædreland, Holger Danskes Tilbagekomst til Danmark
1864 43 3 Fantasi pieces, Clarinet and piano
1864 44 Sextet, E-flat major, 2 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos
1864 45 7th Symphony, F major
1865 46 At Sunset (Ved solnedgang). Cantata. Choir and orchestra. Text by Andreas Munch
1866 50 The Crusaders (Korsfarerne). Cantata. Soli, choir and orchestra. Text by Carl Andersen
1869 48 Kalanus. Cantata. Soli, choir and orchestra. Text by Carl Andersen
1869 54 Gefion. Cantata. Baritone, choir and orchestra. Text by Adam Oehlenschläger
1869 Festsang i Rosenborg Have. Choir and piano. Text by Frederik Paludan-Müller (?)
1871 47 8th Symphony, B minor
1871 51 Seasonal Pictures (Aarstidsbilleder). Soli, female choir and orchestra. Text by Carl Andersen
— Som Skygger i den dunkle Nat, Sommernat
— Trækfuglen flyver dristigt op, Løvfald
— Det flagrer mod Bondens Rude, Julekvæld
— Hvad dæmrer i Øst bag den rødmende Sky, Løvspring
1872 Festmusik til den nordiske Industriudstillings Aabningsfest. Choir. Text by Carl Ploug
1873 52 The Mountain Thrall (Den bjergtagne). Cantata. soli, male choir and orchestra. Text by Carsten Hauch
1873 2b Spring Flowers (Foraarstoner), 3 piano pieces. (revised version of 1841 pieces)
— Allegretto grazioso, F major
— Andantino con moto, B-flat major
— Allegretto cantabile, C major
1873 Festligt præludium over salmen "Lover den Herre". Organ
1874 49 Zion. Cantata. Baritone, choir and orchestra. Text by Carl Andersen
1874 53 Novelletter, F major, Strings
1875 2a Rebus, 3 piano pieces
— Scherzo, B-flat major
— Intermezzo, G major
— Alla marcia, C major
1876 Akvarel, A major, Piano
1877 String quartet, E minor.
1878 Capriccio, A minor. Violin and orchestra
1879 55 En Sommerdag paa Landet, Orchestral suite
1879 Festmusik i anledning by Universitetets 400 Aars Jubilæum
1879 Fiskerdrengen leger ved salten Vesterhav, Fiskerdrengen. Text by Chr. Richardt
1880 56 Violin concerto, D minor
1881 57 Nye Akvareller. Piano
— Humoreske, A minor
— Notturno, E major
— Scherzo, D-flat major
— Romanza, A major
— Capriccio, F major
1882 60 Psyche. Cantata. Soli, choir and orchestra. Text by Carl Andersen
1883 Festmusik til nordisk Kunstnermøde
1884 61 Holbergiana, Orchestral suite
1884 Ulysses-March. Forspil til Holberg: Ulysses von Ithaca
1885 59 3rd violin sonata, B-flat major
1885 Benedictus and Amen. Choir and organ
1886 58 Novelletter, E major, Strings
1886 62 Folkedanse, Violin and piano
1889 63 String quartet, D major
1889 64 Der Strom. Cantata. Soli, choir, piano and orchestra. Text after Goethe's translation of Voltaires Mahomet
1889 String quartet, E minor. Revision of the 1877 quartet
Songs for which the year of composition is not known
Agnete var elsket, uskyldig and god, Vise om Agnete and Havmanden. Text by H. C. Andersen
Ak kæreste Hr. Gulds, Farvel lille Grete. Text by F. L. Høedt
Alt oprejst Maanen staar, Fatimes bytensang. Text by Adam Oehlenschläger
De Bølger rulle så tungt bysted, Liden Kirsten. Text by J. L. Heiberg
De hvideste Perler i Havet er spredt, Den Elskede. Text by Carsten Hauch
Der er saa travlt i Skoven. Text by Chr. Richardt
Der var saa favrt under Lindens Løv. Text by ?
Der var så sort i Kirken, Den 19. December 1863. Text by Chr. Richardt
Der voksed et Træ i min Moders Gaard, Hemming spillemands sang. Text by H. C. Andersen
En Songs henrykt til sit Hjerte trykker, Sommeren begynder. Text by ?
Farvel mit elskte Moderhjem! Flygtningen. Text by Carsten Hauch
Fluen flyver om Lysets Skin, Fluen. Text by Julius Christian Gerson
Fra kvalmfulde Mure. Text by Adam Oehlenschläger
Går det, Herre, som jeg vil. Salme. Text by N. F. S. Grundtvig
Hvad toner gennem Skoven. Text by J. L. Heiberg
Hvor Elven kækt gennem Kløften sprang, Fjeldbroen. Text by Carl Andersen
Hytten er lukket, Natten er stille, Serenade ved Strandbredden. Text by Chr. Winther
Højt ligger paa Marken den hvide Sne, Snedronningen. Text by H. C. Andersen
I din Haand, du lille blinker, Til min egen Dreng. Text by Ludvig Bødtcher
I Jesu Navn er Løftets Ord udsagt, Bryllupssang. Text by Johs. Petersen
Jeg gik mig i den dunkle Skov, Jægerens Sommerliv. Text by Henrik Hertz
Jeg lader Baaden glide frem, En Situation. Text by Chr. Winther
Køb Herre, Frugter, liflig i Smag and Skær, Den lille Frugtsælgerske. Text by Julius Christian Gerson
Lette Bølge! Når du blåner, Barcarole. Text by J. L. Heiberg
Lærken synger sin Morgensang, Fiskerdrengens Vise. Text by H. C. Andersen
Min lille Fugl, hvor flyver du. Romance. Text by H. C. Andersen
Natten er saa stille, Barcarole. Text by J. L. Heiberg
Naar det dufter sødt fra Blomsters Flor. Text by ?
Paaske vi holde. Text by N. F. S. Grundtvig
Rinda min Brud! Skalks Sang. Text by Adam Oehlenschläger
Rosen sidder på tronen, Rosen. Text by Chr. Winther
Rød Maanen skinner blandt Stjerner smaa, Havfruen. Text by B. S. Ingemann
Sig Himlen hvælver saa ren and klar, Martsvioler. Text by H. C. Andersen
Smaa Violer! O hvor sødt, Violerne. Text by Adam Oehlenschläger
Som markens blomst henvisner fage. Salme. Text by N. F. S. Grundtvig
Sov sødt i din Vugge, Vuggesang. Text by Niels W. Gade
Spillemand spiller paa Strenge, Spillemanden. Text by B. S. Ingemann
Stæren sad paa Kviste, Naar Solen skinner. Text by Barner
Tre Rejsende drand fra Herberget ud, Den Eenlige. Text by B. S. Ingemann
Ved Bækken jeg sidder, Pigens Sang ved Bækken. Text by B. S. Ingemann
Vi grave dybt i sorten Muld, Bjergmandssang. Text by Chr. Winther
Vi vandre sammen Arm i Arm, Skovsang. Text by Emil d'Origny
Da droben auf jenem Berge, Schäfers Klagelied. Text by J. W. v. Goethe
Der treue Walther ritt vorbei, Vom treuen Walther. Text by L. Uhland
Fahr' mich hinüber junger Schiffer, Der Gondolier. Text by Wilhelm Wagner
Ich bin ein leichter Junggesell, Der Junggesell. Text by Gustav Pfizer
Lebet wohl, geliebte Bäume. Text by J. W. v. Goethe
Mein Schatz ist auf die Wanderschaft hin, Volkslied
Von dem Felsen stürzt' ein Stein, Das Liebes-Denkmal. Text by Wincenty Pol
Organ works for which the year of composition is not known
By Højheden oprunden er. Organ
Aleneste Gud i Himmerig. Organ
Andante con moto, D minor. Organ
Andante, C major. Organ
Andante, G minor. Organ
Fra Himlen højt kom Budskab her (i). Organ
Fra Himlen højt kom Budskab her (ii). Organ
Hvo ikkun lader Herren raade (i). Organ
Hvo ikkun lader Herren raade (ii). Organ
Organstykke, C minor
Sørgemarch. Organ
Tonestykke, D minor. Organ
Trio, C major. Organ
Trio, F major. Organ
Vor Gud han er saa fast en Borg. Choral & variations. Organ

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ See Anna Celenza's The Early Works of Niels W. Gade, especially Part Three, for more about the sources of Gade's programs and their connection to Danish nationalism.

Further reading[edit]

  • Celenza, Anna Harwell. The Early Works of Niels W. Gade: In Search of the Poetic. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001.
  • Lee, Justin. Niels Gade at the Wayback Machine (archived December 5, 2008) Programme notes
  • Wasserloos, Yvonne: Kulturgezeiten. Niels W. Gade und C.F.E. Horneman in Leipzig und Kopenhagen. Hildesheim, Zürich und New York 2004.
  • Wasserloos, Yvonne: „Formel hält uns nicht gebunden, unsre Kunst heißt Poesie“. Niels W. Gade und Robert Schumann – Übergänge zwischen Poetischem und Nationalem, in: Henriette Herwig/Volker Kalisch/Bernd Kortländer/Joseph A. Kruse/Bernd Witte (Hg.): Übergänge. Zwischen Künsten und Kulturen. Internationaler Kongress zum 150. Todesjahr von Heinrich Heine und Robert Schumann. Stuttgart u. Weimar 2007, S. 521–540.
  • Wasserloos, Yvonne: “Hearing through eyes, seeing through ears.“ Nation and landscapes in the works of Niels W. Gade, Edvard Grieg and Carl Nielsen, in: Studia Musicologica Norvegica 33 (2007), S. 42–52. http://www.griegsociety.org/filer/1139.pdf

External links[edit]