Sonata No.1 for Violin (or Viola) in A Major, Op.6
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 Gadeís First Symphony, invited him to teach at the famous Leipzig Conservatory. After Mendelssohnís death in 1847, Gade was appointed director of the Conservatory and also conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra. In 1848, he returned to Copenhagen where he 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.
Gadeís First Violin Sonata was composed in 1842 approaches program music with its strong influence by the world of Norse legend and folk music. The first movement, Allegro di molto, is cheerful and lively, evoking the rocking waves of the sea. The highly romantic second movement, Andante con moto, though not titled as a Romance might well have been called one. The middle section with its shimmering 32nd notes again brings the sea to mind. The finale, Piu mosso, Allegro con espressione, begins in the style of a Norse folksong but Gade highly lyrical treatment dampens the effect making it more dramatic and romantic at the same time.
This sonata was also made available in an authorized arrangement for viola. We offer it in both versions.