, May 2009
No, this is not Niels Gade, the Mendelssohn contemporary. This is the other Danish Gade—Jacob (1879–1963). You think you don’t know his music? Wrong—you do. Almost everyone does—because almost everyone knows Jalousie, a “tango tsigane” that Gade first wrote when he was the bandleader for a silent film theater (the Palads Theater). It was premiered by Gade in 1925 during the film Don Q, Son of Zorro, starring Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Astor, and quickly became such a hit that it was used to accompany dozens of scenes in various silent films and then when talkies came in it was used in over 100 films. Gade lived on the royalties from Jalousie for the rest of his life, and they now fund a foundation for young musicians. It became a radio hit, and we’ve heard it with Arthur Fiedler, Frankie Laine, Plácido Domingo, Yuri Temirkanov, Jascha Heifetz, and Andre Rieu.
This charming disc of light music by Gade is highly engaging, beginning with Jalousie, but including a number of other short and entertaining pieces. Nothing profound here, but plenty of colorful and tuneful music, played with charm and a sense of fun by the Odense Orchestra and conductor Aeschbacher. Certainly this would make the perfect accompaniment to a dinner party, but it even pays dividends to a more serious listen. A very engaging discovery.