Niels Gade

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Violin Sonata No.3 in B flat Major, Op.59

Niels Gadeís Third Violin Sonata was one of the last works that he composed and dates from 1885. Unlike the first two violin sonatas, it is in four rather than three movements. In the opening movement, Allegro con fuoco, the main theme is first introduced by the piano. The music is alternatively rhythmically pithy and then elegiac. The second movement, Allegro non troppo, is a scherzo with Nordic tinges. The third movement, a Romance, recalls similar movements by Robert Schumann, while the finale, Allegro vivace, is a lively elves dance interspersed with moments of calm.


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.



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