Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke - Encyclopedia

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CARL HEINRICH CARSTEN REINECKE (1824-1910), German composer and pianist, was born at Altona on the 23rd of June 1824; his father, Peter Reinecke (who was also his teacher), being an accomplished musician. At the age of eleven he made his first appearance as a pianist, and when scarcely eighteen he went on a successful tour through Denmark and Sweden. After a stay in Leipzig, where he studied under Mendelssohn and under Schumann, Reinecke went on tour with Konigslow and Wasielewski, Schumann's biographer, in North Germany and Denmark. From 1846 to 1848 Reinecke was court pianist to Christian VIII. of Denmark. After resigning this post he went first to Paris, and next to Cologne, as professor in the Conservatorium. From 1854 to 1859 he was music director at Barmen, in the latter year filling this post at Breslau University; in 1860 he became conductor of the famous Leipzig Gewandhaus,_ a post which (together with that of professor at the Conservatorium) he held with honour and distinction for thirty-five years. He finally retired into private life in 1902 and died in March 1910. During this time Reinecke continually made concert tours to England and elsewhere. His pianoforte playing belonged to a school now almost extinct. Grace and neatness were its characteristics, and at one time Reinecke was probably unrivalled as a Mozart player and an accompanist. His grand opera Konig Manfred, and the comic opera Auf hohen Befehl, were at one time frequently played in Germany; and his cantata Hakon Jarl is melodiously beautiful, as are many of his songs; while his Friedensfeier overture was once quite hackneyed. By far his most valuable works are those written for educational purposes. His sonatinas, his "Kindergarten" and much that he has ably edited will keep his name alive.

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