Saturday, March 7, 2019
7:30 p.m. at First Church, Boston
Wirén Serenade, Op. 11
Nielsen Suite for String Orchestra, Op. 1
Gade Novelette in F major, Op. 53
Various Danish, Norwegian, & Swedish Folk Songs
Swedish composer Dag Wirén wrote this charming four-movement Serenade in a neo-Classical style and with its memorable melodies, it is clear to hear why remains his most popular work.
Reminiscent of Scandinavian Romanticism as expressed by Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen, Carl Nielsen’s Suite for String Orchestra was written when he was just twenty-two years old. Despite that, it is one of his most beloved and frequently performed works.
Niels Gade, a friend of Mendelssohn’s, was the most prominent musician in Denmark of his time. As director of the Copenhagen Musical Society, he was an important influence on several later Scandinavian composers, teaching both Grieg and Nielsen. His Novelette in F major is filled with poignant tenderness and thrilling virtuosity.
A delightful collection of Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish Folk Songs arranged for strings rounds out this warm and comforting program.