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Christian Sinding: Music For Piano / Jerome Lowenthal


Release Date: 10/13/2009 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9306   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SINDING Sonata in b. Con fuoco. Melodie. Marche grotesque. Serenade. Irrlicht. Capriccio. Caprice. Alla marcia. Pomposo. Rustles of Spring Jerome Lowenthal (pn) BRIDGE 9306 (47:50)


It is easy to understand, after hearing this piano music, why Christian Sinding was one of the most celebrated musicians in Norway in the first half of the 20th century, the Read more major figure in that culture after the death of Grieg. His exuberant, colorful music is consistently delightful on this survey of solo piano music, if conservative (almost a given for a Scandinavian composer of this vintage). But Sinding’s reputation among his proud countrymen was destroyed by his embrace of Nazism and his enthusiastic welcoming of the invading Wehrmacht in 1940. And if his own country would not have him, who would?


Of course, musical history is filled with great artists of dismal moral character, and yet we continue to listen to Wagner and Strauss, and Nazi sympathizers, such as Hans Pfitzner, have enjoyed something of a revival. Apparently, Sinding’s work is not in the same league of those fellow travelers in terms of scale and depth, not as revealed by the material on this disc, much of which falls into the salon music category. Frühlingsrauschen (“Rustles of Spring”), was a particular favorite, so popular, according to the notes (by Lowenthal) that “older pianos, we are told, can play it without the aid of an executant.” The Sonata, however, is quite substantial, grandiose in conception, and filled with original melodic material. There is a fresh, Nordic sweep to the first movement in particular that is quite memorable. The chief stylistic signature of Sinding’s piano music is density and rich, chromatic construction. There are a lot of notes here! Rachmaninoff may have been an influence, but the nationalistic folk- and dance-music heritage of Grieg’s solo piano music is even stronger. Politics aside, this is certainly much finer music than one might expect from such an obscure source, and I can even imagine lovers of fin de siècle Romanticism to hear this material as a revelation.


Pianist Jerome Lowenthal is, at this point in his career, an indisputable American musical treasure. The élan and energy that he displays in this recording, made in 1986 and originally released by Arabesque, is remarkable and lights up the music. Sinding’s tarnished ghost could not ask for a better advocate.


FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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Works on This Recording

1.
Con fuoco by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
2.
Melodie by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
3.
Marche Grotesque by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 
4.
Serenade by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
5.
Irrlicht by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 27 Secs. 
6.
Capriccio by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 35 Secs. 
7.
Caprice by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 56 Secs. 
8.
Alla marcia by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 36 Secs. 
9.
Pomposo by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
10.
Pieces (6) for Piano, Op. 32: no 3, Rustles of spring by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
11.
Sonata for Piano in B minor, Op. 91 by Christian Sinding
Performer:  Jerome Lowenthal (Piano)
Period: Romantic 

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