Sinding, Christian (August)
Sinding, Christian (August)
Sinding, Christian (August), celebrated Norwegian composer; b. Kongsberg, Jan. 11, 1856; d. Oslo, Dec. 3, 1941. He studied first with L. Lindeman in Norway, then at the Leipzig Cons. (1874–78) with Schradieck (violin), Jadassohn (theory), and Reinecke (orchestration); a government stipend enabled him to continue his studies in Germany, and he spent 2 years (1882–84) in Munich, Berlin, and Dresden; there he wrote his first opera, Titandros, much influenced by Wagner. On Dec. 19, 1885, he gave a concert of his works in Oslo; during another stay in Germany, his Piano Quintet was played in Leipzig, with Brodsky and Busoni among the performers (Jan. 19, 1889); Erika Lie-Nissen played his Piano Concerto in Berlin (Feb. 23, 1889). He publ, a number of piano pieces in Germany; of these, Frühlingsrauschen became an international favorite. His opera to a German text, Der heilige Berg (1914), was not successful. In 1915 he received a life pension of 4, 000 crowns “for distinguished service”; on his 60thbirthday (1916), the Norwegian government presented him with a purse of 30, 000 crowns, a mark of appreciation for “the greatest national composer since Grieg.” He was invited by George Eastman to teach at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., during the academic season 1921–22; after this journey, he lived mostly in Oslo. He continued to compose, and toward the end of his life wrote in larger forms; his third Sym. was conducted by Nikisch with the Berlin Phil, in 1921, and his fourth Sym. was performed on his 80th birthday in Oslo (1936). His works aggregate to 132 opus numbers. Most of his music is of a descriptive nature; his lyric pieces for piano and his songs are fine examples of Scandinavian Romanticism, but the German inspiration of his formative years is much in evidence; he was chiefly influenced by Schumann and Liszt. A complete list of Sinding’s works was publ, by Ö. Gaukstad in Norsk Musikkgranskning arbok (Oslo, 1938).
DRAMATIC: Opera: Titandros (1884; not perf); Der heilige Berg (1912; Dessau, April 19, 1914). ORCH.: 4 syms.: No. 1 (1880–82; Christiania, March 25, 1882), No. 2 (1903–04; Berlin, March 22, 1907), No. 3 (1920; Berlin, Jan. 10, 1921), and No. 4, Vinter og vår (1921–36; Oslo, Jan. 11, 1936); Episodes chevaleresques (1888); Rondo infinito (1886; rev. 1897); Piano Concerto (Berlin, Feb. 23, 1889); 3 violin concertos (1898, 1901, 1917); Legende for Violin and Orch. (1900); Romanze for Violin and Orch. (1910); Abendstimmung for Violin and Orch. (1915).CHAMBER: Piano Quintet (1882–84); 2 string quartets (1884, 1904); 3 piano trios (1893, 1902, 1908); 4 violin sonatas (1894, 1895, 1905, 1909); Scènes de la vie for Violin and Piano (1900); Cantus doloris, variations for Violin and Piano (1906); Nordische Ballade for Cello and Piano (1911); etc. Piano: Sonata (1909); Fatum, variations (1909); 5 Stücke, op.24 (1894); 7 Stücke, op.25 (1895); 6 Stücke, op.31 (1896); 6 Stücke, op.32 (1896; No. 3 is the celebrated Frühlingsrauschen); 6 Charakterstücke, op.33 (1896; contains A la Menuetto and Standchen); 6 Charakterstücke, op.34 (1896; contains Chanson); 6 Klavierstücke (1899; contains Humoresque); Mélodies mignonnes (1900); 4 morceaux de salon (1900; contains Sérénade); etc. VOCAL: About 250 songs, including Alte Weisen (1886), Lieder und Gesänge (1888; contains Viel Träume and Ein Weib), Galmandssange (1893; contains Mainat), and Nyinger (1908); several cantatas and other choral works.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire