Gade, Niels


Gade, Niels

Comala. Dramatic Poem after Ossian Op. 12 (Vocal Score)

SKU: 1428b Categories: ,



Comala reveals several parallels to Schumann’s oratorio Das Paradies und die Peri, which Gade probably took as his model. Both works depart from the traditional cokncept of an oratorio, first in their unusual choice of subject-matter, second in their predominantly declamatory style. In Gade’s case, melismas are practically nonexistent; the text is set largely syllable by syllable, and the conventional tripartite subdivision is abandoned, turning Comala into a through-composed piece from beginning to end. The libretto was prepared by the Leipzig littérateur Julius Klengel. The composition falls into twelve numbers preceded by a brief instrumental introduction:

Introduction Molto moderato A mi.

No. 1 Chorus of Warriors and Bards Allegro non troppo A mi.

No. 2 Duet, Fingal and Comala Andante E ma./F ma.

No. 3 Chorus of Warriors Allegro non troppo A mi.

No. 4 Comala/Chorus of Maidens Andantino A mi/E ma./F ma.

No. 5 Ballad Dersagrena/Chorus of Maidens Andante D ma.

No. 6 Comala/Melicoma/Dersagrena/Chorus of Maidens Moderato/Allegro non D ma./Bb ma./G mi.

troppo/ Più allegro

No. 7 Chorus of Ghosts Allegro moderato C mi.

No. 8 Solo, Comala Andante C mi./C ma.

No. 9 Chorus of Warriors Allegro non troppo E ma.

No. 10 Fingal/ Chorus of Maidens Andante con moto C# mi.

No. 11 Fingal/Chorus of Maidens and Bards Andantino/Allegro maestoso E mi./E ma.

No. 12 Chorus of Bards and Maidens Allegro moderato maestoso C ma.

The dramatic structure of the libretto falls into three sections. The departing Chorus of Warriors transports the listener directly into the middle of the action (“On to the fray”), while Fingal and Comala take leave of each other in a love duet. In the final section (nos. 9-12), the Warriors return joyously from their victory, but Fingal, learning that his beloved Comala has died, orders the Bards and Maidens to sing her praises and escort her soul to the ancestors. In contrast, the middle section (nos. 4-8) depicts the tragic fate of the abandoned Comala, who, fearful for her lover, gradually descends into madness and finally dies of sorrow.


For more information on the piece:

Read the preface to the full score / das Vorwort zur Partitur lesen > HERE

Score Data

Score No.



Repertoire Explorer


Choir/Voice & Orchestra


225 x 320 mm


Piano Reduction & Voice



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