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Gade: Symphonies Vol 3 - No 3 & 6, Etc / Hogwood


Release Date: 09/24/2002 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 9795   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Niels Gade
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Niels Gade may not have been a particularly original personality, but his music is well made and though conservative, gives hints of more interesting things to come. For example, both the relaxed third movement of his Third Symphony and its rugged counterpart in the Sixth strikingly anticipate the "non-scherzos" of Nielsen's Second and Third Symphonies, respectively. Symphony No. 6 begins and ends in a minor key--very unexpected at any period--and its wild finale should put to rest rumors of Gade's invariable tameness. The same holds true of the Third Symphony's opening movement, which was completely replaced on revision. Christopher Hogwood's thoughtful inclusion of the composer's
Read more somewhat stodgy and repetitious first efforts show him successfully working to increase thematic interest, rhythmic tension, and dramatic flow (the final version is not only quicker, but arrives at a surprise ending, pizzicato, as in the opening movement of Sibelius' First Symphony).


In fact, the only work here that betrays any specifically "Nordic" coloring is the earliest piece of all, the overture Echoes of Ossian (Op. 1), which features some aptly "bardic" horn writing and a lovely harp part. Still, there's much more to these symphonies than "faux-Mendelssohn", and the credit for making this fact so evident goes entirely to Hogwood, who conducts really splendid performances. His period instrument work clearly puts him in good stead here, even as his stature as a conductor of music of all eras continues to impress. He has the timpanist use hard sticks and makes sure that wind and brass parts cut cleanly through the string textures (crucial in the outer movement especially), but he's not afraid to linger over a phrase now and again, as at the opening of the Third Symphony's very pretty Andante.


Unlike Järvi (BIS), who has a chamber orchestra, or the rhythmically mushier and less clearly recorded Schonwandt (Dacapo), Hogwood dispatches the music's neo-classical elements with the necessary verve while still leaving room for aptly rich string textures and the occasional rush of Romantic ardor. Excellent sonics round out a disc that, when all is said and done, offers the best versions currently available of these works. If you haven't taken to Gade, these performances might change your mind, and if you've been hesitating to take the plunge, then start here.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 3 in A minor, Op. 15 by Niels Gade
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2001 
Venue:  Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen 
Length: 28 Minutes 24 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 6 in G minor, Op. 32 by Niels Gade
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Copenhagen, Denmark 
Date of Recording: 11/2001 
Venue:  Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen 
Length: 25 Minutes 54 Secs. 
3.
Echoes of Ossian Overture, Op. 1 by Niels Gade
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Denmark 
Date of Recording: 04/10/2001 
Venue:  Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen 
Length: 13 Minutes 8 Secs. 
4.
Andante - Allegro energico - Andante - Tempo I by Niels Gade
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Copenhagen, Denmark 
Date of Recording: 08/2001 
Venue:  Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen 
Length: 9 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a discarded first movement from Symphony no 3. 

Sound Samples

Efterklange af Ossian (Echoes of Ossian), Op. 1
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 15: I. Presto - Un poco lento - Tempo I
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 15: II. Andante sostenuto
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 15: III. Allegretto assai moderato
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 15: IV. Finale: Allegro molto e con fuoco - Andante sostenuto - Tempo I
Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 15: Andante - Allegro energico - Andante - Tempo I [discarded movement I from Symphony No. 3]
Symphony No. 6 in G minor, Op. 32: I. Andantino - Allegro molto vivace
Symphony No. 6 in G minor, Op. 32: II. Andante sostenuto
Symphony No. 6 in G minor, Op. 32: III. Allegro moderato e energico
Symphony No. 6 in G minor, Op. 32: IV. Finale: Andante quasi allegretto - Allegro vivace e animato

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