COMPOSERS: Jacob Gade
WORKS: Jealousy: suites, tangos & waltzes
PERFORMER: Bjarne Hansen (violin)Odense SO/Matthias Aeschbacher
CATALOGUE NO: 8.224090
Of all the one-hit wonders in the history of classical music, few can match Jacob Gade for the celebrity of his one hit and the obscurity of the rest of his output. The hit was the tango Jealousy, a tune known to millions. But as this disc of mostly first-time recordings illustrates, Cade’s gift for infectious melody in a range of popular styles was not restricted to the four minutes of his infamous tango.
The torrid Jealousy saw the light of day as the soundtrack to a 1925 silent movie. He returned to the tango with Romanesca, a deliciously hammy affair with a virtuoso part for crazed gypsy violinist. Suite d’amour shows how adeptly Gade absorbed the idiom of Kern and Gershwin during his trips to America, while his early love of operetta and waltz surfaced in Valse capriccio and Copenhagen Life, convincing stabs at the Viennese style. The most formally complex work here is Leda and the Swan, an exotic ballet score which nods towards Rimsky-Korsakov, among others. It’s effective, well-constructed music – light but very likeable. Christopher Wood