Niels Gade

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String Sextet in E flat Major, Op.44

Niels Gade (1817-1890) was born in Copenhagen and began his career as a concert violinist, later taking a position with the Royal Danish Orchestra. Mendelssohn, who was much impressed by and premiered Gade’s First Symphony, invited him to teach at the famous Leipzig Conservatory. After Mendelssohn’s death in 1847, Gade was appointed director of the Conservatory and also conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra. In 1848, he returned to Copenhagen the next year when war broke out between Prussia and Denmark. In Copenhagen, Gade became director of the Copenhagen Musical Society and established a new orchestra and chorus. He was widely regarded as Denmark's most important composer from the mid-Romantic period. He taught and influenced several Scandinavian composers, including Edvard Grieg, Carl Nielsen and Otto Malling. His own music often shows the influence of both Mendelssohn and Schumann.


Wilhelm Altmann, writing in his Chamber Music Handbook has this to say about Gade’s String Sextet:


“Gade’s String Sextet in E flat Major, Op.44 was published in 1865. It is well put together with appealing melodies and each instrument has a grateful part. In the Andante introduction to the first movement, Allegro vivace, the main theme, somewhat elegiac in color, is presented. In the Allegro vivace, it receives a passionate and thorough development. A second and more lyrical subject is especially winning. Next comes a Mendelssohnian Scherzo, Allegro non troppo, which is like an elves dance. There are two trios, the first is quite fetching due to its syncopated rhythm while the second trio pleases by virtue of its melody. The third movement, marked Andantino, has the style and atmosphere of a Nordic Legend and is the work's center of gravity. Real Musician's blood pulses through the finale, Allegro molto vivace."

In addition, we are pleased to offer this Sextet in a version for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello and Bass. Our bass part was made by Anthony Scelba, noted bass soloist, Professor of Music and Director of the Concert Artists Program of Kean University. In an effort to give bass players a chance to play many of the great works of the chamber music repertoire, Professor Scelba has made several highly acclaimed transcriptions, including one for the Schubert Quintet D.956, which has been recorded.

Here is a fine work and valuable addition to the relatively small sextet literature. It would make a good choice for a sextet evening or the concert hall. For long years unavailable, we have reprinted the original edition but have corrected mistakes and added rehearsal letters.

(A) 2 Violins, 2 Violas & 2 Cellos-Parts $39.95
(B) 2 Violins, 2 Violas, Cello & Bass-Parts $39.95
(C) All Seven Parts $46.95



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