Gade: Novelletter for Strings

Gade: Novelletter for Strings

by Ove Vedsten Larsen


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Gade: Novelletter for Strings

Danish composer Niels Wilhelm Gade is the sole composer on this album by the Århus Chamber Orchestra (Århus Kammerorkester), conducted by Ove Vedsten Larsen. Just two pieces are featured on the album: the "Novellette No. 1 in F, Op. 53," and the "Novellette No. 2 in E, Op. 58," yet each is a charming work, made of four movements, unto itself. "Novellette No. 1" commences with lush strings performing richly textured music. While all of the instruments are unarguably strong, the sweeping cellos truly stand out. The piece sings: one might hear echoes of Tchaikovsky's "Serenade for strings" as the lines intertwine smoothly and float in the higher registers. The orchestra's lyrical sound continues throughout the work, for they play with elegance and grace in the Scherzo: Moderato and with a sweetness to the melody in the Andantino con moto. These are artists with a strong sense of musicianship, for one hears their attention to detail and phrasing, and they draw us in with their warmth and intimacy. The recording quality works in the orchestra's favor, for the violinists' bow attacks are audible in the Scherzo: Moderato and all of the instruments are well-balanced (though certainly one must credit Larsen for achieving the balance in his ensemble). The orchestra is also capable of playing vigorously, as one can hear in the Allegro vivace and also in the Allegro con brio of the "Novellette No. 2." The second work on the album is also an elegant, textured piece. It opens again with a lushness that is pretty, and one cannot help but take note of the precise rhythms in the Intermezzo: Allegro moderato. However, after some time, the two works of this album seem to sound rather alike. This is no comment against the orchestra's talents; rather, the "Novelletter" are similar in character, emotion, and instrumentation, and the repertoire choice for the album is not greatly varied. This still does not diminish the poised and refined quality of Gade's music. One can only hope to hear more works by this talented chamber orchestra in the future. ~ V. Vasan

Product Details

Release Date: 06/28/2011
Label: Brilliant Classics
UPC: 5028421941851
catalogNumber: 94185


  1. Novellette for string orchestra No. 2 in E major, Op. 58
  2. Novellette for string orchestra No. 1 in F major, Op.53

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