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Born: February 22, 1817; Copenhagen, Denmark Died: December 21, 1890; Copenhagen,

A multifaceted musician, Niels Wilhelm Gade was probably the most important figure in nineteenth
century Danish music, making his mark as a composer, conductor, organist, violinist, teacher, and
administrator. He furthered the careers of many important musicians, among them Edvard Grieg
and Carl Nielsen, and played a major role in bringing Scandinavian music to the world's notice.

Both of Gade's parents were musical; his father was a Read more cabinetmaker who turned to
making musical instruments. As his family was poor, Gade received no formal music schooling
until he was 15. He studied violin with F.T. Wexschall, a violinist in the Royal Orchestra, and theory
and composition with Andreas Peter Berggreen. Berggreen was also a noted folklorist and passed
along to Gade an interest in Danish folk music and literature. Gade made his debut as a violinist in
1833, and the following year became a junior player in the Royal Orchestra.

His earliest compositions date from his teens. His official Op. 1, the overture Efterklange af Ossian
(Echoes of Ossian, 1840), was much praised and won Gade a Copenhagen Musical Society prize.
When his Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 5 (1841-1842) was not accepted for performance in
Denmark, Gade sent it to Felix Mendelssohn in Leipzig, who loved the work and programmed it in
1843. That same year, Gade was given a government grant that allowed him to travel to Leipzig. He
met Mendelssohn, who engaged him as assistant conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and as a
teacher at the Leipzig Conservatory. Not surprisingly, many of Gade's compositions of the time,
such as the Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 15 (1847), strongly reflect Mendelssohn's influence.
After Mendelssohn's death in 1847, Gade became principal conductor of the Gewandhaus, but when
war broke out between Prussia and Denmark in 1848, Gade returned to Denmark.

Gade was always very much engaged in Copenhagen's musical life: he conducted concerts, played
the organ in churches, and provided music for ceremonial occasions. He also founded an orchestra
and choir that in later years gave many significant performances, including the premieres of many
of Gade's own compositions. In 1852 he married Emma Sophie Hartmann, the daughter of
composer J.P.E. Hartmann, and composed two works for her: the Spring Fantasy, Op. 23 for voices,
piano and orchestra; and as a wedding present, the Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 25. She died
just a few years later, however, and Gade remarried in 1857. In 1866, he became the director of the
new Copenhagen Academy of Music, where for many years he taught composition and music
history; among his students was Carl Nielsen. His teaching and administrative schedules allowed
him to compose only during the summer months.

Gade specialized in cantatas (or as he sometimes called them, "Koncertstykke") for soloists, chorus
and orchestra, many taking their themes from Danish folklore. Perhaps the most popular of these is
Elverskud, Op. 30 (The Elf-King's Daughter, 1853). His cantata Psyche, Op. 60 (1881-1882), was
written for a Birmingham music festival; by that time Gade was known all over Europe. He
ultimately produced eight symphonies, many chamber works and cantatas, and a variety of shorter
character pieces and songs.

You can be fairly confident with Gade that you are going to get melodious music,
probably not especially memorable, and almost certainly with a strong hint of
Mendelssohn. The first and last of those certainly applies to the quartet, but to
describe it as not especially memorable would be doing it a disservice. This strikes
me as one of the best Gade works Ive heard, with the Allegretto and Finale
particularly fine. The two discarded movements have some appeal, but there is no
doubt that Gade strengthened the work substantially with his changes.

Clara Schumann made her first contact with the Danish composer and conductor Niels Wilhelm
Gade during a guest stay in Copenhagen in 1842. Impressed, she wrote to Robert Schumann after a
concert: I would not have guessed that overture was his and later noted that Gade knew all of
Schumanns works. Gade had indeed asked his colleague Carl Helstedt to tell him all about
Schumann in 1841 already, after a stay of the latter in Leipzig. In the following year, Gade went to
Leipzig himself. After the premiere of Gades Symphony No. 1 with the Ossian Overture,
Schumann cautiously stated in his diary: The Scherzo is probably the most original part of all,
otherwise a lot of Schubert, few own thoughts, with each movement turning around you until you
grow tired of it. Yet Schumann noted, in particular, the strange sounds in Gades work which he
denoted as Nordic and also pointed this out in a review in "Neue Zeitschrift fr Musik" [New
Journal of Music].
During Gades stay, the Schumanns spent a lot of time with him on joint excursions, meals, playing
music together, and a trip to Berlin to see Mendelssohn. Schumann emphasised the trusting
relationship by accepting Gade into the circle of the "Davidsbndler" [Members of the League of
David]. This eventually developed into a life-long friendship, as documented by letters and more
visits. In 1850, Gade travelled to Leipzig for the premiere of Schumanns Genoveva, and the
respectful trust between them further showed by dedicating various works to each other: Gade
dedicated his Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, Op. 6, composed in 1842 and printed in 1843,
to Clara Schumann, and his Sonata for Violin and Piano in D minor, Op. 21, composed in 1849, to
Robert Schumann. In 1851, Schumann dedicated his Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 110, to Gade. In
the "Album fr die Jugend" (Album for the Young), the "Nordische Lied - Gru an G. [ade]"
[Northern Song Salute to G.] referred to the Danish composer. On an album leaf for Gade, entitled
Auf Wiedersehen [Goodbye], Schumann used his friends name over four bass notes: G, A D E, a
d e.
Through this article in "Neue Zeitschrift fr Musik", Schumann introduced the Danish composer to
a broad interested public. In 1853, in an article entitled Neue Bahnen [New Paths], he described
the artist as a pioneer and harbinger of a musical development - that was to eventually lead to the
symphonic work of Johannes Brahms.
Danish Romantic composer Niels Gade is best known for his orchestral music; the three sonatas for
violin and piano recorded here are rarely heard, at least outside of Denmark. But the first of them, at
least, attracted performances by both Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann in its own time (the latter
with Gade himself on the violin). They cover a span of time from 1842 to 1885. One interesting
feature of the set is that the expected stylistic progression is reversed; the freest piece is the Violin
Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. 6, with its wealth of melody, while the second is closer to the vein of
Schumann's chamber music, with clear sonata forms and motivic links among movements. The
third sonata is one of those sunny works of old age that seems to look back on the music of a
lifetime; it's a lovely, airy piece. There's a distinctive mood running through all three works, light
but without a hint of the salon. It would be hard to imagine more sympathetic performances than
those by Danish musicains Christina Astrand (violin) and Per Salo (piano), and any lover of
Romantic-era chamber music will find a valuable collection addition here. The booklet notes, useful
but a bit heavy on minutiae of chronology, are in English, German, and Danish.

Niels Gade (1817-1890) was born in Copenhagen and began his career as a
concert violinist, later taking a position with the Royal Danish Orchestra.
Mendelssohn, who was much impressed by and premiered Gades First
Symphony, invited him to teach at the famous Leipzig Conservatory. After
Mendelssohns death in 1847, Gade was appointed director of the
Conservatory and also conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra. In
1848, he returned to Copenhagen where he became director of the
Copenhagen Musical Society and established a new orchestra and chorus. He
was widely regarded as Denmark's most important composer from the mid-
Romantic period. He taught and influenced several Scandinavian composers,
including Edvard Grieg, Carl Nielsen and Otto Malling. His own music often
shows the influence of both Mendelssohn and Schumann.

Gades Second Violin Sonata was composed in 1849 and like his First Sonata
it is in three movements. It is dedicated to Robert Schumann and in it one
finds here and there snippets of themes from Schumanns songs.

Op.22 to Robert Schumann

Niels W. Gade (1817-1890) stato di gran lunga il pi famoso e rinomato tra i compositori danesi
del XIX secolo. Era un violinista eccellente e quindi ha scritto un pezzo per violino. Il suo amore
per lo strumento si esprime al meglio nelle opere di violino e pianoforte, in cui le tre sonate
mostrano lo sviluppo stilistico di Gade in 40 anni: dall'immaginazione giovanile al primo
primogenito, a una presa pi salda degli ideali romantici classici del tempo nell'altro, alle linee
classiche esperte e pi rigorose dell'ultimo e del terzo sonate senza la disfunzione del tardo
Niels W. Gade era di gran lunga il pi famoso e rinomato tra i compositori danesi del XIX secolo.
Ha fatto carriera di fulmine dopo la sua Ossi-an-Ouverture nel 1841 ha vinto il concorso di
composizione della Music Association per il miglior concerto di un compositore danese.
Nel periodo 1844-48, Gade fece una brillante carriera in una delle principali citt mu-sikby della
Germania, Lipsia.
Dopo il ritorno a Copenaghen soggiogati via quasi sistematicamente vita musicale danese, stato
uno dei membri fondatori dell'Accademia di Musica, fu organista presso la Chiesa di Holmen,
sollevato dal suo conduttore Musikforeningen fino a livello internazionale, e come direttore
d'orchestra ha usato anche una carriera internazionale che ha continuato fino alla sua morte. Non da
ultimo attraverso questo business conduttore, la conoscenza delle opere di Gade divenne nota come,
tra le altre cose, Conta 8 sinfonie, un numero di conversioni da concerto e numerose opere per cori,
solisti e orchestre, diffuse in tutta Europa.
Gade era un violinista molto capace. Nel febbraio del 1834 arriv alla scuola di violino della Royal
Chapel all'et di 17 anni. Dopo aver rinunciato - entro un termine ragionevole - per raggiungere una
posizione come un vero e proprio violinista nella cappella, ha deciso di provare a fare il
violoncellista Georg A. Gehrmann impresa: a ritagliarsi una carriera internazionale come un
virtuoso. Nell'autunno del 1838 and in tourne in Norvegia e Svezia; ma anche se ha ottenuto un
non riconoscimento come violinista, le entrate sono state cos basse che ha dovuto tornare a
Copenaghen. Qui divenne, insolito per un deserto, ripreso nella scuola di violino della Royal
Gade ha scritto per violino per tutta la sua carriera, dalle prime prove giovanili in diversi generi di
musica da camera alle ultime opere di musica da camera. Il suo unico concerto per violino e
orchestra (56). Di tutte le opere in quattro volumi con pettine-mermusik in Opere complete di Gade
(Niels W. Gade: funziona) l'unico senza il coinvolgimento di almeno un violino, Fantasy Pieces
per clarinetto e pianoforte, op. 43
Accanto al concerto per violino viene Gades debole per violino pi chiaro per la pressione nelle
opere per violino e pianoforte: tre sonate per violino, Folk Dance, Capriccio e un lavoro con i
giovani-appeal, di cui solo il finale completa. In tutti questi lavori, Gade documenta la sua
capacit di sfruttare l'ampia gamma di possibilit di espressione del violino e la sua padronanza
tecnica dello strumento.
The tonal disposition is remarkable. Following the final phase F's final cadence, a short lead follows
a dominant to d-mole. The final promotes a d-mole sixth word with the function of subdominant in
a-mole marked clearly in pace 3, an unusual finale for the final in an A-major sonate with the
middle betting in the median, F major. The sonate is fresh and youthful in his expression, more
characterized by his compassionate dignity and desire to repeat good ideas than to the string in style
and rigor in shape.
The only date in the print manuscript is November 24, 1842 at the end of the fi nal. Sonata appeared
at Breitkopf & Hrtel; but a passage in a letter from the publisher Fr. Kistner til Gade of March 3,
1843 documents that the young composer had already been transformed by the great publishers who
saw such great (economic) possibilities in his works. The letter is primarily about the score for
Symphony No. 1, which appeared at Kistner in 1843. But towards the end of the letter the author
writes: "As I have heard, there is another manuscript for a sonate for piano and violin, which must
be very beautiful, which is nothing but one would expect. Therefore, I make the following
suggestions: Decide on a fee for both works together and also refer this sonate to print with me? In
general, it would be desirable for me to constantly bring the new products from your museum to my
knowledge, because I always try to enrich my catalog as much as possible with classical works, and
so far a lasting connection with you can only be most pleasing to me. "But Kistner was late: The son
was already in the pressure of Breitkopf & Hrtel, who issued it in December 1843.
In a letter from Gade to the parents of 27 October 1843, Gade from Leipzig writes: "I am
acquainted with the half-bye, I think, and already tired of going to the evening and dinner gates.
That's true, the other night, Mendelssohn and David (in a company where we were together) played
my duet quite excellently. It was a pleasure to hear that it was the most precious thing. - Yes, I know
that it's more to you to hear everything Good that meets me, so I tell so much about myself. In
addition, Mendelssohn has instructed me to write to you carefully how everything went on in the
Con certificate. "
Inger's street biography Niels W. Gade, a Danish world name, Gyl-dendal, Copenhagen 2002, has
registered 6 performances of the A-major sonata. One of these took place on December 15, 1843, by
a ball at the Schumann family, where Ferdinand David was present. Gade played her sonate with
hostess Clara Schu-man.
The number of simultaneous reviews of Gade chamber music works is rather limited, as the
reviewers primarily concerned the major orchestral works and choirs with orchestras and soloists.
But some can be found. Here are a few selected: "A cheerful, extremely gracious piece of music!
[...] The present sonate begins with a walk, in 6/8 pace whipping Allegro, A dur, who, in particular,
in the persistent piano figure reminds us of Mendelssohn. [...]
The second is of childish, simple character, romance-like (F major) [...]
The final we consider to be the most original throughout the sonata. [...] The piece contains a lot of
things that can be described as distinctive and reveal the youth's humor. One should have great
expectations for Gade; he simply must not neglect to write diligently for singing voices that he does
not get into the joy of instrumental effects "(Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung No. 9, 1844, in
connection with the release of A-Dur violinsonate).
A Copenaghen, nell'aprile / maggio 1849, Gade prepar un rendering per il suo violinismo in d-
mole. Nella pagina del titolo la sonata elencata come sopra. 19; Tuttavia, gli acquerelli per
pianoforte si intrufolano di fronte alla scena del violino nella serie di opus, cos come la 4a sinfonia.
I numeri opus intorno alla sonata sono i seguenti:
Op. 19: acquerelli
Op. 20: Sinfonia n. 4
Op. 21A: Violinsonato n. 2
Op. 21B: tre poesie di C. Hauch
Op. 22: tre pezzi per l'organo
La distinzione tra 21A e 21B dovuta a Dan Fog (N.W. Gade-Katalog, Una lista di composizioni
stampate di Niels W.Gade, Dan Fogs Musikforlag, Copenhagen 1986). Nelle versioni originali, sia
il violino che le tre poesie di C. Hauch sono come dichiarato. 21
Il manoscritto per violinista ha una sola data, Lipsia, 1 luglio 1850, quindi il sonate
apparentemente rimasto in silenzio per un anno senza che Gade abbia trovato dei momenti o
l'opportunit di dargli una revisione definitiva prima di inviarlo alla stampa. Tuttavia, nei primi due
lotti, ci sono solo piccoli miglioramenti, in particolare l'aggiunta di ottave nella mano sinistra del
piano. Il terzo tasso, d'altra parte, fondamentalmente rivisto. La grande differenza di tempo tra le
due fonti deve quindi essere interpretata nel senso che Gade non era felice con la finale, come
appariva nel primo manoscritto.
Il 30 dicembre 1849, Hermann Hrtel scrisse in una lettera a Gade: " stato bello sei mesi fa che tu
mi hai scritto l'ultima volta e hai detto che tutti voi avreste mandato un nuovo sonate per pianoforte
e violino. Dov' finito questo sonate? Bene, bene a Copenhagen? Almeno, non stato raggiunto.
"Cos, Gade dice all'editore che ha terminato un nuovo violinismo all'inizio dell'estate 1849. Sei
mesi dopo, nel dicembre 1849, Hertel si trasferisce per il manoscritto. Nel frattempo, Street giunto
alla conclusione che la finale della sonata deve essere rivista prima che possa essere pubblicata.
Solo dopo il 1 luglio 1850, Gade consegn il manoscritto all'editore, che mette immediatamente in
produzione la produzione in modo che la sonata sia pubblicata nel dicembre 1850.
Nonostante - o per? - Il processo un po 'atipico di creare questo tatuaggio per violino diventato
uno dei lavori pi suonati di Gade. Inger Gutenberg, nel suo grafico Gadebio, elenca non meno di
68 rappresentazioni dell'opera, la maggior parte, per, a Lipsia, la citt natale della Germania,
Germania. ma ci sono anche esibizioni in molte altre citt tedesche e in numerose citt non tedesche
del nord Europa: Zurigo, Londra, Haarlem, Amsterdam, Praga, Bruxelles, Vienna, Belfast, Glasgow
e, naturalmente, Copenhagen.
Sonata il pi breve dei tre figli del violino:
1. Adagio - Allegro di molto c d-mole
2. Larghetto - Allegro vivace 6/8 F-Dur
3. Adagio-c d-mole
Allegro moderato -
Allegro molto vivace 2/4 D-Dur
concentrato nella sua espressione musicale e Gade ha composto uno stretto legame tematico tra i
due estremi. Il centro una scommessa doppia con il modulo A-B-A'-B'-A ''. Gli A-pezzi
rappresentano un ritmo lento tipico (simile a una storia d'amore), mentre i B-pezzi contengono tutte
le caratteristiche caratteristiche dello scherzo. Questo telescopico dei centrotavola in un tipico corso
di 4 portate contribuisce notevolmente all'espressione concentrata del lavoro.


Sonata per violino in fa maggiore - Composta nel 1838 e pubblicata solo nel 1953 a New York con
la revisione del celebre violinista Yehudi Menuhin.
Per ragioni a noi ignote, ma verosimilmente consistenti nella mancanza di un occasionale, potente
stimolo creativo, l'autore del Concerto in mi minore non ci ha lasciato un degno contraltare
violinistico nel genere da camera. Delle due Sonate per violino e pianoforte comprese nel catalogo
mendelssohniano, la seconda, composta nel 1838, rimase inedita fino a vent'anni fa, mentre la
prima, quella inclusa nel presente programma, risale al 1823, ossia agli anni di apprendistato
dell'enfant prodige quattordicenne, che allineava con bella disinvoltura sinfonie per archi, pezzi per
pianoforte, quartetti e operine da camera, nonch traduzioni di Terenzio, Dante e Boccaccio e
acquarelli di pregevole fattura sotto gli occhi ammirati di Goethe. Sfiducia o noncuranza per un
genere, che tuttavia vanno considerate nell'andamento complessivo della creativit
mendelssohniana nel settore cameristico: un andamento discontinuo e, si direbbe, privo di quella
sistematica coerenza, tanto evidente nell'ultimo Schubert e in Schumann, per tacere poi di Brahms.
Eppure, fu col pi serio impegno di far grande che l'adolescente si accost al duo strumentale su
cui incombevano da vicino le ombre deterrenti dei capolavori beethoveniani. Senza meno dal
modello della Kreutzer proviene, infatti, quella eloquente cadenza violinistica in stile recitativo,
posta ad apertura della Sonata e conclusa sull'inevitabile suspense di una corona. Dopo di che,
l'Allegro moderato (che tale anche nelle pretese virtuosistiche verso i due strumenti) si svolge in
un impeccabile schema sonatistico soffuso di delicato, elegante pathos.
Assai pi cherubiniana che beethoveniana la cesellata levigatezza del Poco adagio, il quale
tuttavia riserba una seconda idea dal disteso arco melodico sviluppato attraverso una tensione
modulante di sorprendente efficacia.
A questa pagina di alta bravura compositiva fa seguito il movimento pi intimamente originale della
Sonata, un Allegro agitato in sei ottavi, nella cui sottile inquietudine, culminante, poco prima della
fine, in una seconda cadenza per violino solo, gi tutta la Stimmung delle migliori Romanze senza
parole di genere patetico.

The Violin Sonata in F minor, Op. 4, for violin and piano was composed by Felix Mendelssohn in
1825 and is the only one to carry an opus number. Mendelssohn composed two other violin sonatas,
both in F major, that are without opus numbers.
Unlike his more famous violin work, the Violin Concerto in E minor, the sonata lacks dramatic
exposition. However, it does contain a calm beauty that is typical of the composer's chamber music,
and it demonstrates the brilliancy of his early compositions.

Born in Hamburg in 1809, eldest son of the banker Abraham Mendelssohn and grandson of the great Jewish
thinker Moses Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn, who took the additional name Bartholdy on his baptism as a
Christian, Heine's ticket of admission to European culture, was brought up in Berlin, where his family settled
in 1812. Here he enjoyed the wide cultural opportunities that his family offered, through their own interests
and connections. Mendelssohn's early gifts, manifested in a number of directions, included marked musical
precocity, both as a composer and as a performer, at a remarkably early age. These exceptional abilities
received every encouragement from his family and their friends, although Abraham Mendelssohn entertained
early doubts about the desirability of his son taking the profession of musician. These reservations were in
part put to rest by the advice of Cherubini in Paris and by the increasing signs of the boy's musical abilities
and interests.

Mendelssohn's early manhood brought the opportunity to travel, as far south as Naples and as far north as
The Hebrides, with Italy and Scotland both providing the inspiration for later symphonies. His career involved
him in the Lower Rhine Festival in Dsseldorf and a period as city director of music, followed, in 1835, by
appointment as conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig. Here he was able to continue the work he
had started in Berlin six years earlier, when he had conducted in Berlin a revival of Bach's St Matthew
Passion. Leipzig was to provide a degree of satisfaction that he could not find in Berlin, where he returned at
the invitation of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV in 1841. In Leipzig once more, in 1843, he established a new
Conservatory, spending his final years there, until his death at the age of 38 on 4th November 1847, six
months after the death of his gifted and beloved sister Fanny.

Mendelssohn completed his Violin Sonata in F major on 15th June 1838, but withheld it from publication,
leaving its rediscovery to Yehudi Menuhin, who published the work in 1953. It is an example of music of the
composer's maturity, at a time when he had begun to contemplate the great Violin Concerto in E minor. This
last was introduced to the public in Leipzig in 1845 by Ferdinand David, a pupil of Spohr, who had taken up a
position in 1836, at the age of 26, as leader of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Mendelssohn. The
sonata in many ways prefigures the later concerto and was presumably written with David in mind. The first
movement starts with the expected brilliance in a principal subject stated initially by the piano and extended
by the violin. This leads to secondary material, appearing first with a shift to the minor. The central
development ends with a passage accompanied by violin arpeggios, prefiguring a similar passage in the
future concerto. These arpeggios accompany the start of the recapitulation, as the principal subject makes its
return. The moving A major Adagio again allows the piano to introduce the main theme, then taken up by the
violin in a movement of fine simplicity that still finds a place for outbursts of passionate feeling. The sonata
ends with a movement in the familiar style of a Mendelssohn scherzo in which the writing for the two
instruments remains, as always, perfectly balanced.

Mendelssohn owed his early training as a violinist to his teacher and friend Eduard Rietz Born in Berlin in
1802, the son of a violinist in the Berlin Court Orchestra, Rietz had joined the same orchestra in 1819,
leaving it in 1825, after disagreements with the conductor Spontini, to found the Berlin Philharmonic Society
the following year, leading its semi-amateur orchestra in concerts with the Berlin Singakademie. This was the
ensemble that he led in Mendelssohn's famous revival of Bach's St Matthew Passion in 1829, an enterprise in
which he and his cellist brother Julius had collaborated by helping to write out the parts for the performance.
Mendelssohn dedicated to Rietz his Violin Concerto in D minor, the Octet and the Violin Sonata in F minor,
Opus 4. Rietz died of consumption in 1832 and Mendelssohn then dedicated to his memory the slow
movement of his String Quintet, Opus 18. Julius Rietz went on to a distinguished career, serving as professor
of composition at Mendelssohn's Leipzig Conservatory and later as conductor of the Gewandhaus Orchestra.

The Violin Sonata in F minor received a particularly condescending review in 1825 in the Berliner AIigemeine
Musikalische Zeitung from a critic under the pseudonym of Lukas van Leyden (quoted in part in Heinrich
Eduard Jacob: Felix Mendelssohn und seine Zeit, Frankfurt am Main, 1959-60), patronising the two young
performers. The first movement starts with an Adagio introduction for the violin alone, followed by an Allegro
moderato in which the piano offers the first subject, leading to an A flat major second subject, announced by
the piano over a sustained bass note. The repeated exposition is duly followed by a central development and
a recapitulation in which the second subject, now in F major, is followed by a minor key closing section. The
slow movement, in A flat major, is opened by the piano statement of the wistful main theme, then taken up
by the violin. A short piano cadenza leads to an E flat major section, with a violin melody accompanied by
triplet figuration from the piano. This ends with more dramatic intensity, before a return to the original key
and thematic material, now varied. The last movement opens emphatically, its opening section repeated,
after which the opening motif provides the substance for contrapuntal exploration. An Adagio cadenza for the
violin alone is capped by the forceful closing section.

Mendelssohn owed his early musical training to Carl Zelter, who for nearly thirty years directed the Berlin
Singakademie and fostered the interest of his pupil and the Berlin public in the music of J.S. Bach. Zelter had
pleased Goethe by his setting of some of the latter's poems, the beginning of a warm friendship, and was
responsible for introducing Mendelssohn to Goethe in 1821. Zelter's teaching stimulated Mendelssohn's
interest in counterpoint and inculcated in him a sound knowledge of classical musical practice.

The Violin Sonata in F major of 1820 is clear evidence of the soundness of Zelter's teaching and the
irrepressible talent of his pupil, in whom he saw one who might outshine, at this stage, the young Mozart.
The sonata starts with a monothematic first movement, in which much is made of the opening figure in an
Allegro in tripartite classical form. The F minor Andante moves into F major for the second element of its
principal theme. This is followed by a variation on the themes and a final version of the F minor theme, which
ends the movement. The sonata concludes with a lively Presto, a foretaste of scherzo-type movements to

The shorter pieces here included are taken from a volume of exercises written for Zelter between 1819 and
1821, published by the Mendelssohn scholar R. Larry Todd and themselves dated to 1820. The Movement in
G minor, classical in form, frames a G major central section. If this echoes Mozart or Haydn, the Andante in
D minor is modelled on Bach in its >contrapuntal three-voice texture. It is followed by the Fugue in D minor
and Fugue in C minor, both in three-voice texture and perfectly crafted, with a final contrapuntal Allegro in C
major, exercises that, it is suggested, Mendelssohn would have taken up his violin to play through with his

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Felix Mendelssohn was one of the most extraordinarily stupendous child prodigies Western music
has seen. Mendelssohns talents were, in short, otherworldly; in the history of Western societys
obsession with musical precociousness, Mendelssohn holds pride of place. Consider the recordings
featured on this disk. The Sonata in F major was composed in 1820 Mendelssohn was only 11
years old. The Sonata in F minor, op. 4, was composed in 1824, when the composer was 15. The
unfinished fragment of the Sonata in D minor followed the next year. It is only the second of the F
major sonatas recorded here that is chronologically the odd one out, having been written when
Mendelssohn was 29 years old.
Of course, when dealing with cases of childwonder composers, questions of misplaced value are
often raised. Does it really matter to the listener what age Mendelssohn was when he wrote his rst
violin sonata? Is maturity in years somehow reacted in terms of musical style? Would our
appreciation of Mendelssohns early works be any different had they been written when the
composer was 35?
Mendelssohns music has been, in many instances, at the sharp end of the critics stick. Even the
otherwise sober-talking critic Donald Francis Tovey called Mendelssohn one of the strangest
problems in music history. Rich, well-educated and well-travelled, the adult Mendelssohn did not t
the Romantic artist portrait of tormented, anguished and anti-social. And, listening to the music
featured on this recording, one cannot help but think that unbiased critical reaction will prove
Mendelssohns decision not to publish his early violin works mistaken.
Hailed as deliciously exuberant by the Baltimore Sun, violinist Madeline Adkins has established
herself as equally at home in the spheres of solo performance, chamber music, and orchestral
playing. Madeline has a striking affinity with Mendelssohn and the release of this disc also
celebrates her new post as Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony. TwoPianists co-founder, Luis
Magalhaes, proves an able and equal partner in navigating the intricacies of the precociousness