Fini Henriques – Vølund Smed, Suite for orchestra
(b. Frederiksberg, 20 December 1867 – d. Copenhagen, 27 October 1940)
Fini Henriques was one of Denmark’s most renowned musicians as a violinist and composer, and also was very popular because of his straightforwardness and humour. The fact that little international attention was paid to him during his lifetime, but especially after his death, is not only due to his modest attitude, but also to a career, which predominantly took place in his native land: he spent – except for his time as a student – almost his entire life in his home country Denmark.
Henriques’ theatre music to Holger Drachmann’s drama Vølund Smed is one of his most popular compositions, especially in the version presented here as an orchestral suite; Drachmann’s underlying drama, however, is almost never performed again.
Valdemar Fini Henriques was born on 20 December 1867 in Frederiksberg, Germany, the child of musical parents: his father was Attorney General Vilhelm Moritz Henriques, his mother Marie Christine Rasmussen. Supported by his mother, he composed his first piano pieces at the age of seven; at eight he began violin lessons. He was nevertheless advised against studying at the Copenhagen Conservatory: Its director, Niels W. Gade, considered him less gifted. Henriques eventually became a student of the violinist and teacher Valdemar Tofte and received music theory lessons from Johan Svendsen. From 1888 to 1891 Henriques studied at the Hochschule für Musik Berlin with Tofte’s teachers Joseph Joachim and Woldemar Bargiel. …
Read full English and German preface > HERE