Art & Music in Nineteenth-Century Denmark

Program & Artists

Niels Gade Symphony No. 1, On Sjøland’s Fair Plains
Artwork from the exhibition Beyond the Light: Identity and Place in Nineteenth-Century Danish Art

Leon Botstein conductor


Part of TŌN’s Sight & Sound series

In the hit series Sight & Sound, conductor and music historian Leon Botstein explores the parallels between orchestral music and the visual arts. A discussion is accompanied by on-screen artworks and musical excerpts performed by The Orchestra Now, followed by a full performance and audience Q&A.

During the early- and mid-nineteenth century, Denmark emerged from its imperial traditions and became a modern constitutional democracy. In art, the shift ushered in a focus on the ideal Danish landscape and its northern light. In music, celebrated Danish composer Niels Gade was just beginning his career. His 1842 Symphony No. 1, On Sjøland’s Fair Plains, which incorporates themes from several Danish folk songs, caught the attention of Felix Mendelssohn, sparking a close friendship and kinship between the two giants.

Concert Details

The concert will last approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.

>Read the concert program

Discussion, on-screen artworks, and musical excerpts
Leon Botstein and The Orchestra Now

20 min

Niels Gade Symphony No. 1, On Sjøland’s Fair Plains
33 min

Q&A with the audience

All timings are approximate. Program and artists subject to change.

Sample the Music

Niels Gade Symphony No. 1, On Sjøland’s Fair Plains

Image: Martinus Rørbye (Danish, Drammen 1803–1848 Copenhagen). View from the Citadel Ramparts in Copenhagen by Moonlight (detail), 1839. Oil on canvas, 11 3/8 x 9 5/8 in. (28.9 x 24.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Eugene V. Thaw, 2007 (2007.164.7)

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