Eight Strings Perform Romantic Music

Niels W. Gade 200 years

Wednesday 6 September 2017 at 20:00 The Queen's Hall
The Danish String Quartet (photo) and Ensemble MidtVest perform Mendelssohn and Gade.
The Danish String Quartet (photo) and Ensemble MidtVest perform Mendelssohn and Gade.



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Eight string-players perform Romantic music:
Niels W. Gade bicentenary

We continue the celebration of the bicentenary of the godfather of Danish Golden Age music, Niels W. Gade, with performances by The Danish String Quartet and Ensemble MidtVest of music by Mendelssohn and Gade.

An octet, which consists of two string quartets, is not everyday fare. Nevertheless, the two composer colleagues Gade and Mendelssohn each composed one.

The Danish String Quartet has just been nominated for Nordic Council Music Prize 2017 for its contribution to music as a fine interpreter of the classical repertoire, including interpretations and recordings of quartets by Carl Nielsen and Beethoven that display great empathy and virtuosity.

Ensemble MidtVest comprises eleven ambitious and dedicated classical musicians whose speciality is chamber music. Eleven award-winning individualists, who studied at some of the best music academies in the world, merge when playing together into one ensemble and mediate a broad repertoire of classical chamber music works at an international level.

The ensemble, which consists of a string quartet, a wind quintet and a pianist, has great flexibility and is thus ideally able to offer a varied and many-coloured programme involving various ensemble constellations: from an intimate duo to a sonorous nonet. Ensemble MidtVest has taken the initiative for this meeting between The Danish String Quartet and the string-players of Ensemble MidtVest.

It was Mendelssohn who conducted the first, highly successful performance of Gade’s 1st symphony in Leipzig in March 1843, thereby ensuring Gade’s international breakthrough. In the period from 1843 to 1848, Gade pursued his career in Leipzig, where he worked closely together with Mendelssohn. So it is a natural choice to combine the music of these two composers at the same concert.

Mendelssohn’s octet is an early work from 1825 by a composer then only 16 years old, while Gade’s is composed in 1848, shortly after Mendelssohn’s death. Gade’s music at that time was considerably influenced by his meeting with Mendelssohn and Schumann, and a more formal clarity had replaced the strongly Nordic strain heard in his early works.

The two quartets have incidentally recorded Niels W. Gade’s octet as part of Ensemble MidtVest’s fine issues from the German record company cpo.



Niels W. Gade (1817-1890)
String Octet, F major, op. 17
String Quartet in E minor (1877)
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847)
String Octet in Eb major, op. 20iels W. Gade (1817-1890)


Ensemble MidtVest:
Matthew Jones, violin • Karolina Weltrowska, violin • Sanna Ripatti, viola • Jonathan Slaatto, cello

The Danish String Quartet:
Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violin • Frederik Øland, violin • Asbjørn Nørgaard, viola • Fredrik Sjölin, cello


The concert introduction will be given by senior researcher Niels Bo Foltmann
Wednesday 6/9 2016, 19.00 in Blixen Salen
Duration: approx. 40 mins.

NB. There are a limited number of seats in the Blixen Salen, so come in good time!
Free of charge to those with a ticket for the evening’s concert.
The lecturer will talk briefly about the composers at the concert and play examples from the works featured in the programme.