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Cat. No. CHAN 9862 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9862 - Gade: Symphonies Vol. 1
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Available From: 23 November 2000
Gade, born in Copenhagen in 1817, the son of a joiner and instrument maker, had first achieved fame with his remarkable Opus 1, the overture Echoes of Ossian (‘Efterklange af Ossian’), which had been awarded a prize by the Copenhagen music Society in 1840. The Society looked less favourably on his First Symphony, although Mendelssohn had taken it up enthusiastically.

Gade went to Leipzig in 1843 where he completed his Second Symphony, and he conducted Mendelssohn’s Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in its first performance. It was well received at this performance, but the reviews of the symphony were mixed, with claims that it stood too much in the shadow of the First, being less obviously Nordic although still with a marked individuality. Gade never seems to have conducted the work again and it had only one performance in Denmark during his lifetime.

The ‘Scottish Overture’ In the Highlands (‘I Højlandene’) is a more conventional sequel to the Ossian overture, and its first performance was given in 1844, again conducted by the composer in Leipzig. In 1848 Gade was forced to return to Denmark after the outbreak of war between Prussia and Denmark. It was in 1871 that he conducted the premiere of his Eighth and final symphony, a work that has been described as recapturing the Nordic atmosphere of Gade’s early works. It may have also have been influenced by Schubert’s ‘Unfinished Symphony’ which, after its recent discovery, received its first performance in Denmark in 1869 under Gade. Gade’s Smyphony No. 8 in B minor, Op. 47, took some time to reach its final form. He abandoned a slow introduction to the finale and also a slow movement, of which he first made sketches and then a virtually complete draft; this discarded Allegretto, un poco lento is written in A major, but here, according to the composer’s specific instructions, is transposed to G major.
Reviews

‘Excellent performances under Hogwood…’
The Guardian on CHAN 9553 (Schulz)

‘…excellent disc…’
Classic CD on CHAN 9553 (Schulz)

‘Hogwood and the DNRSO sound wonderfully matched, the orchestral playing bursting with energy and personality… a full bright recording.’
The Daily Telegraph on CHAN 9609 (Frøhlich/Gade)

‘Even collectors who already have both previous cycles will at least find Hogwood’s well worth the duplication… I certainly hope this beautiful recording of 8 is the true harbinger of things to come’.
American Record Guide

‘Thoroughly recommendable’.
International Record Review

 

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