Notes and Editorial Reviews
Niels Wilhelm Gade was a great admirer of Felix Mendelssohn. In 1843 Gade went to Leipzig to continue his studies among his revered German colleagues. Not only Mendelssohn and Schumann, but also the musicians of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra were taken with Gade. So much that after the sudden death of Mendelssohn, Gade was appointed Gewandhaus conductor. In 1848 Gade finished his string octet, which is a declaration of faith in German music. Due to a war between Schleswig-Holstein and Danmark, Gade had to leave Germany because he was accused of having “un-German convictions”. In medium, form and style, Gade’s octet is obligated to Mendelssohn and represents in Gade’s own evolution a turning point from the “nordic style” for which the
Germans had once admired him.Though disgusted with the political nationalism of the Germans, Gade apparently continued to believe in the Greatness of German music.
Mendelssohn composed his string octet at the age of 16. Together with Schubert’s string octet, theses two works belong to the most known works of this chambermusic genre. Even Mendelssohn’s sister Fanny was fascinated about the composition of her brother and said: “...all this is new, strange, and yet so familiar and pleasing - one feels so close to the world of spirits, lightly carried up into the air. Indeed one might take a broomstick so as to follow the airy procession.”
The performing musicians: Natalie Chee, Heather Cottrell, Michael Bollin, Franziska Huber (violins) Alexander Besa, Jakob Lustig (violas) Andreas Graf, Peter Hörr (violoncello).
Works on This Recording
Octet for Strings in E flat major, Op. 20 by Felix Mendelssohn
Written: 1825; Germany
Date of Recording: 07/1997
Venue: Reutigeh, CH
Length: 25 Minutes 39 Secs.
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