Gade is better known for his collection of swashbuckling symphonies that are full of immortal melodies although somewhat low on invention. His chamber music is altogether more introspective yet the concluding movements have much in common with the orchestral music.
Indeed both the Sextet and Octet are constructed in four movements and each work displays a considerable amount of invention and typical wit. The lovely effect in the transition from the Andante to the Allegro of the Sextet is a key point whilst the rambunctious Allegro molto vivace concludes the work in triumphant glory. The Octet is perhaps slightly quieter with a similar Allegro vivace that tends to raise the roof with its powerful momentum!
The Berlin Octet perform with sublime quality throughout and anyone on the hunt for some rare chamber music will not want to overlook this splendidly recorded disc.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech