Tinel, Jef


Tinel, Jef

Suite voor strijkorkest (first print)



Jef Tinel – Suite voor strijkorkest (Suite for string orchestra)

(Lessines, 11 May 1885 – Ghent, 25 May 1972)


Jef Tinel grew up in a musical family: his father Oscar Tinel (1852-1913) was an organist and his uncle was the internationally renowned composer Edgar Tinel (1854-1912). So it is obvious that he first received music lessons from his father at home and on the organ bench, and that he later went to study at the Institute for Church Music in Mechelen (now the Lemmens Institute in Leuven) which had been run by his famous uncle since 1881. After lessons with Aloïs Desmet (1867-1917) and his uncle he became a laureate in organ, harmony, counterpoint and fugue in 1907. Later he took lessons in Ghent from composer, music pedagogue and instrument maker Leo Moeremans (1861-1937).

From 1908 onwards, Jef Tinel earned his living as an organist, teacher and music dealer. In 1936 he became director of the music school in Maldegem. Meanwhile he conducted several choirs and wind orchestras. Tinel was also very active in the Flemish music movement, conducting at Flemish-nationalist events such as the Yser Pilgrimage and the Flemish National Song Festival. In addition, he was also active in choral competitions and organ concerts.

Tinel wrote marching songs and homeland songs which were often sung within the Flemish Movement and very well-liked, but the popularity of these rather folksy songs often makes one forget that he was also the composer of art songs, secular and liturgical choir music, dramatic works, piano and organ works and compositions for chamber orchestra, symphonic orchestra, harmony and fanfare. Tinel employed a late-Romantic idiom and often chose classical forms.

The Suite for string orchestra dates from the beginning of the 1950s, a period in which he wrote more for string orchestra, intended for performance by the Jef Dispa String Ensemble. This string orchestra was active in Aalst, where Jef Dispa (1927-1977) was a music educator. In this Suite for string orchestra Tinel reworks earlier material. Thus in the first movement he incorporated his piano work Landelijke dans (Rural dance, 1929); in the second movement Op de elvenheuvel (On the elves’ hill) from the Suite for orchestra (1934); in the third movement the organ work Lentelied (Spring song, 1933) and in the last movement Scherts (Jest), the opening movement from his Suite for orchestra (1942).

Tinel completed this work on 20 July 1952 and the performance by the Dispa String Ensemble took place in Ghent on 13 September 1952. The same ensemble also performed the work on 8 October 1955 in the Ghent Conservatory during a tribute concert for the composer’s seventieth birthday. Presumably the last performance was given on 7 November 2014 by the East Flanders Chamber Orchestra conducted by Bruno De Schaepdrijver.

Jan Dewilde (with thanks to Peter Leys)
(translation: Jasmien Dewilde)

This score was edited by Peter Leys (in collaboration with Hannah Aelvoet) and is published in collaboration with the Study Centre for Flemish Music (www.svm.be). The parts can be obtained via the Study Centre for Flemish Music.


Full Flemish preface > HERE

Score Data

Special Edition

The Flemish Music Collection


String Orchestra


210 x 297 mm


First print



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