Christian Sinding

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Violin Sonata in C Major, Op.12

Christian Sinding (1856-1941), along with Edvard Grieg came to symbolize Norwegian classical music between 1885 and 1940. Born is the small town of Kongsberg near Oslo, Sinding, after studying music in Oslo, attended the Leipzig Conservatory where he studied violin with Henry Schradieck and composition with Salomon Jadassohn and Carl Reinecke.  Whereas Grieg's style of writing has been described as Schumann's technique combined with Norwegian folk melody, Sinding's is often and incorrectly characterized as combination of Wagner's technique with Norwegian folk melody. Although the influence of Norwegian folk melody can be fond in his music, Sinding did not use it, as did Grieg, so extensively. Rather, it was German romanticism, and in particular the music of Liszt and Wagner, which greatly influenced Sinding. But unlike Liszt and Wagner, Sinding relied on wit and developed a more cosmopolitan style. Writing in virtually all genres, his chamber music must be considered an important part of his output.

The Sonata in C Major, Op.12 was composed in 1894. It is one of Sinding's earliest surviving works for this genre and illustrates his tremendous grasp of technique.  The opening Allegro moderato, begins in turbulent fashion with a vaulting theme which is full of passion. The writing is expansive and has an almost concerto-like quality. In the slow movement, Andante, which follows, is very rhapsodic. Its melodies are closely related to those in the first movement. It is only in the finale, Tempo giusto, that after the initial opening flourish, that Norwegian folk melody makes an appearance in the form of a lively dance tune. Again the scope approaches that of a concerto and the thrilling conclusion is almost symphonic.

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