Along with Robert Schumann’s identically titled op. 73, the Fantasiestücke of 1864 by the Danish composer Niels Wilhelm Gade are an essential part of the repertoire of all clarinettists. Gade lived in Leipzig for a long time and had been among Schumann’s close friends. With this deeply romantic composition, he made an important contribution to establishing the clarinet as a chamber-music soloist. The four pieces in this collection can of course be performed separately, and are ideal teaching material. Our editor, the clarinettist Nicolai Pfeffer, has drawn upon the German and Danish first editions and the autograph in Copenhagen as sources, and consequently has been able to eliminate several discrepancies found in older editions.
- Fantasy Pieces op. 43
- Andantino con moto F major op. 43,1
- Allegro vivace B flat major op. 43,2
- Ballade. Moderato - Tempo animato g minor op. 43,3
- Allegro molto vivace A flat major op. 43,4
The fame of Niels Wilhelm Gade (1817 – 90) is based largely on his orchestral music, which is still frequently performed today. However, the chamber music and piano works in Gade’s oeuvre are no less worthy of respect. Particularly his four Fantasiestücke op. 43 for clarinet and piano from 1864 have remained popular, often-played repertoire works. Already in … more
About the composer
Niels Wilhelm Gade
Composer, conductor, and organist, regarded as one of the most important figures in Danish music history. His early works in particular are characterized by a musical language dubbed nationalist due to its strong references to Nordic folk tunes; over the course of his career this yields to a more neutral and more academic compositional manner. His rich oeuvre comprises orchestral and vocal works, chamber music and works for keyboard.
|1817||Born in Copenhagen on February 22, the son of an instrument maker.|
|from 1832||Accepted into the Chapel Royal as a pupil of its concertmaster, Frederik Wexschall. Composition lessons with A. P. Berggreen, who awakens Gade’s interest in Nordic folk melodies.|
|1840||First Prize in the Copenhagen Musical Society’s competition with his overture “Efterklange af Ossian” (“Echoes of Ossian”), op. 1.|
|1843||Premiere in Leipzig of his Symphony no. 1 in C minor under Mendelssohn’s baton.|
|from 1843||Moves to Leipzig, where he socializes in the circles around Mendelssohn and Schumann.|
|1844||Premiere of his Symphony no. 2 in E major, op. 10. Travels lead him through Italy, Austria, and Switzerland. He becomes director of the Gewandhaus concerts and obtains an appointment at the Leipzig conservatory.|
|1847/48||Returns to Copenhagen.|
|from 1850||Director of the concerts of the Copenhagen Musical Society.|
|from 1851||Organist of the Garrison Church.|
|from 1855||Organist of the Church in Copenhagen’s Holmen district.|
|from 1862||As a celebrated conductor of his own works he regularly participates in music festivals abroad, including in Birmingham, Holland, and Hamburg.|
|1890||Dies in Copenhagen on December 21.|
About the authors
I Fantasiestücke di Gade sono tutt’oggi apprezzati. La nuova edizione, però, aumenterà ancora l’interesse per la musica da camera del maestro danese.
This urtext edition is full of interesting information, not only about Niels Gade, but also about the word “fantasy” or “fantasia”. Editor Nicolai Pfeffer explains that in the 19th century, the highly popular “fantasy” form was “rather unrestrictive”. This printed edition seems to be flawless, and the phrasings and articulations are carefully marked. It includes three pages of the sources used and the justifications for edits made. Highly recommended!