Symphony No. 2 in D Major Op. 83
(b. Kongsberg, 11 January 1856 – d. Oslo, 3 December 1941)
Symphonie No. 2 in D Major, op. 83
Today the reputation of Christian Sinding rests on his piano solo Frühlingsrauschen („Rustle of Spring“), yet he was one of the few Norwegian composers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries whose compositions garnered international attention. Besides Edvard Grieg, Sinding – along with his fellow Norwegian composers Ole Bull and Johan Svendsen – succeeded in establishing a reputation in central Europe. Although Sinding became an international celebrity, with his music being played in every well-to-do household – thanks to Breitkopf and Härtel’s having published many of his works – today he is largely forgotten and to a certain extent underestimated. This has probably more to do with his musical aesthetics than with the actual quality of his compositions. He also significantly tarnished his own reputation when in 1941, shortly before the onset of dementia and his ensuing death, he joined the Norwegian Nazi Party, the Nasjonal Samling.
On completion of his studies, begun in Christiana and continued under Salomon Jadassohn in Leipzig, Sinding (unlike Grieg) turned his attentions not to the folk music of his homeland, but to the mainstream European music that was to influence all international composers at the turn of the century. That influence is clearly mirrored in his second symphony. Under the guidance of this German musical grounding, many composers honed their craft, without necessarily finding a personal musical style. This was viewed as especially problematic by Max Reger, who was of the opinion that musical academia did not move with the times. When in 1903-4 Sinding completed his second symphony in quite a short space of time (unlike his first, which exercised him for more than ten years), no one could see into the future of the European symphony. The later symphonies of Roussel, Enescu, Elgar, Malipiero or Vaughan Williams had yet to be composed while other established composers simply avoided the new form. The symphonic writing of Mahler and others met with considerable skepticism on the part of some (Strauss’s Symphonia Domestica is today still not viewed as a real symphony), before going on to achieve due international recognition.
Sinding’s symphonic writing is comparable to similar works by such mainstream academics as Carl Reinecke, Anton Rubinstein, Charles Villiers Stanford, Hakon Børresen, George Whitefield Chadwick or Alexander Glasunov. The second symphony, premièred on 22 March 1907 by Felix von Weingartner in Berlin, comprises three movements, and its harmony and instrumentation owe less to Brahms than to Joachim Raff. Except perhaps in the expressive slow movement, the soundscape can hardly be described as genuinely Nordic. According to a contemporary critic this was the reason why the work did not become as popular as certain other works by Sinding. Technically excellent this symphony may be, but a reflection of radical change it is not.
Translation: Siobhán Donovan
For performance material please contact Boosey &Hawkes, Berlin.
Deutsches Vorwort lesen > HERE
210 x 297 mm