Price: $1800.00


Autographed and inscribed 5” x 7” Hansen & Weller of Copenhagen cabinet photograph of the great Danish composer to his friend Emma Preusser, September, 1888.  He writes in memory of Mendelssohn and his time in Leipzig.  There is a second autograph, a one bar musical quotation which must be read with the G clef on the left, G-A-D-E.

Mrs. Emma Preusser in memory of earlier days, Mendelssohn, and time in Leipzig. September 1888. Best regards from the family. Niels W. Gade

Gade, (1817-1890) was the son of a luthier in Copenhagen.  He studied with the composer and concertmaster of the Royal Orchestra, Copenhagen, Frederick Wexschall, as well as composer and organist Andreas Peter Berggreen and court composer and organist Christoph Ernst Peter Weyse.   Following his musical education, Gade took a position as a first violinist with the Royal Orchestra.  His opus 1, “Ossian Overture” received a public acclaimed World Premiere with the orchestra in 1841.  The success led to a stipend from King Christian VIII.  In 1842 he offered the orchestra his 1st symphony and was rejected.  He then took it upon himself to offer it to Felix Mendelssohn, then the Music Director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Director of the Leipzig Conservatory.  Mendelssohn was impressed and performed the symphony with the orchestra in 1843.  Mendelssohn wrote to Gade on March 3rd, 1843 in part,

Your C minor symphony was performed for the first time yesterday at our eighteenth subscription concert here, to the lively and unalloyed delight of the whole public, who broke out into the loudest applause at the close of each of the four movements. There was great excitement among the audience after the scherzo, and the shouting and clapping of hands seemed interminable; after the adagio the very same; after the last, and after the first,—in short, after all! To see the musicians so unanimous, the public so enchanted, and the performance so successful, was to me a source of delight as great as if I had written the work myself, or indeed I may say greater,—for in my own compositions, the faults and the less successful portions always seem to me most prominent, whereas in your work, I felt nothing but pure delight in all its admirable beauties. By the performance of yesterday evening you have gained the whole of the Leipzig public, who truly love music, as permanent friends; none here will ever henceforth speak of you or of your works but with the most heartfelt esteem, and receive with open arms all your future compositions, which will be assiduously studied, and joyfully hailed, by all friends to music in this town.

Gade moved to Leipzig that year and Mendelssohn offered him a position as Professor at the Conservatory and as the Assistant Conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus.  On March 14, 1835, Gade stepped in for Mendelssohn who was ill and conducted the World Premier of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with Ferdinand David as soloist.  When Mendelssohn died in November, 1837, Gade was appointed Music Director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus.  Gade might have remained in Leipzig for the rest of his life, but Prussia went to War with Denmark in 1848 over a disputed border and Gade was forced as a Dane to leave Germany and return to Copenhagen.  Leipzig were some of the happiest years of his life.  Mendelssohn was a huge influence on his compositions.  Gade also befriended both Robert and Clara Schumann.  That said, Robert was offended when Gade was offered the Leipzig Gewandhaus post.  Also part of Gade’s social circle was one of Mendelssohn’s great friends was Emma Gutschmid Preusser (1817-1896).  Mendelssohn wrote numerous letters to her which have been reprinted in assorted volumes of his correspondence.  Preusser married Gustav Preusser, a wealthy Leipzig cotton merchant and owner of the Leipzig-Dresden Railroad Company.  Emma was a close confidant of Clara Schumann’s for most of her life.  Even after the Schumann’s left Leipzig and the Preussers moved to Dresden in the mid 1850’s, they stayed in close contact.  As evidenced by this photograph, Gade was quite friendly with her as well.

After Gade returned to Copenhagen, he became completely entwined with music in that city.  Initially he was an organist and the conductor of the Musical Union which he built to become the greatest orchestra in Denmark.  In 1861 he was appointed Royal Kapellmeister to the Danish Court.  From 1867 he founded and led the  Copenhagen Conservatory with his colleague and father-in-law Jonas Hartmann.  As a composition professor he taught composers Edvard Grieg and Carl Nielsen, as well as pianist August Winding among the many.  Gade was prolific as a composer, writing 8 symphonies, tone poems and overtures for orchestra,  a violin concerto, three ballets, numerous cantatas, oratorios and choral works, as well as solo works for piano, violin and organ and songs.  In a nod to Mendelssohn he premiered his oratorio, “Zion” and “The Crusaders” at the 1876 Birmingham Festival.  In 1884, like Grieg, in a tip to the 200th birthday of Ludvig Holberg, he wrote “Holbergiana”.  Gade was considered to be Denmark’s greatest 19th Century composer and greatest composer until Carl Nielsen was established.

An important autographed photograph of Gade with an interesting provenance and attachment to Mendelssohn.


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