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Christian Winther

Rasmus Villads Christian Ferdinand Winther (29 July 1796 – 30 December 1876), was a Danish lyric poet.

He was born at Fensmark near Næstved, where his father was the vicar. He went to the University of Copenhagen in 1815, and studied theology, taking his degree in 1824. He began to publish verse in 1819, but no collected volume appeared until 1828. Meanwhile, from 1824 to 1830, Winther was supporting himself as a tutor. A large inheritance from his uncle, Rasmus Winther, allowed him in 1830 to travel to Italy for a year. In 1835 a second volume of lyric poems appeared, and in 1838 a third. In 1841 King Christian VIII of Denmark appointed Winther to travel to Mecklenburg to instruct Princess Mariane, on the occasion of her betrothal to the Crown Prince of Denmark, in the Danish language. When he was over fifty, Winther married.

Further collections of lyrics appeared in 1842, 1848, 1850, 1853, 1865 and 1872. In 1851 he, who had for most of his life been pestered by heavy debts, received a pension from the state as a poet, and for the next quarter of a century he resided mainly in Paris.

Besides the nine or ten volumes of lyrical verse mentioned above, Winther published Hjortens Flugt ("The Stag's Flight"), an epical romance in verse (1855). Taking place in 15th Century South Zealand, written in Nibelungenlied stanzas and probably inspired by Byron’s Mazeppa it tells about young love, demonic forces and witchcraft with a running stag as the reappearing motive of the untamed forces of Nature. However, in the lyric intervals it is also praising the idylls and freedom of Nature. In generations it became a traditional confirmation present for Danish youths in that respect competing with Paludan-Müller’s Adam Homo.

Many of Winther’s shorter poems have won popularity and have become transformed into songs, for instance Flyv fugl, flyv – (“Fly, Bird, fly“), and some of the verses from his collection Til Een, 1842, (“For One”) a tribute to his wife. A classic is also the small humorous epic poem for children: Flugten til Amerika 1830, (Engl. Transl. The Flight to America, 1976). Besides must be mentioned In the Year of Grace a novel (1874); and other works in prose. He died in Paris, but his body was brought to Denmark, and was buried in the heart of the woods.

As a lover of Woman and Nature Winther is perhaps one of the Danish authors who is most closely connected to the concept of a romantic poet. Many later Danish lyrics have been inspired by his verses. His special ability of making Nature accompanying the action and his elegant and, compared with his time, rather sensual tributes to women was something new. Through The Stag's Flight, his main work, he has won the name of “The Singer of Zealand”.

Birth and Death Data: Born July 29th, 1796 (Zealand), Died Paris

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1899 - 1925

Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 27 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Berliner 3654 7-in. Before Apr. 1899 Last night Helen Jennings [i.e., Edith Helena] Soprano vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]41 7-in. 5/25/1900 Last night Marie Romaine Female vocal solo lyricist  
Victor A-1534 7-in. 6/29/1904 Last night Herbert Goddard Baritone vocal solo, with piano lyricist  
Victor B-1534 10-in. 6/29/1904 Last night Herbert Goddard Baritone vocal solo, with piano lyricist  
Victor B-4389 10-in. 4/10/1907 Last night Corinne Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Victor B-8035 10-in. 6/9/1909 Last night Evan Williams Tenor vocal solo, with piano lyricist  
Victor B-9604 10-in. 11/4/1910 Last night Reinald Werrenrath Male vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Victor B-9913 10-in. 2/6/1911 Last night Louise Homer Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Victor B-14001 10-in. 10/27/1913 Last night Sophie Braslau Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Victor B-19031 10-in. 1/10/1917 Flyv, fugl flyv! Axel Jorgensen Male vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Victor B-19792 10-in. 5/15/1917 Længsel Christian Mathisen Male vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Victor BVE-32828 10-in. 5/28/1925 Last night Evangeline M. Olsen Female vocal solo, with piano lyricist  
Columbia 1046 10-in. ca. 1902-1908 Laengsel Tor Van Pyk Male vocal solo, with piano lyricist  
Columbia 1046 7-in. ca. 1902-Oct. 1905 Laengsel Tor Van Pyk Male vocal solo, with piano lyricist  
Columbia 3432 10-in. ca. Jan.-June 1906 Last night Corinne Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Columbia 4364 10-in. ca. Jan.-Apr. 1910 Last night Merle Alcock Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Columbia 46709 10-in. 4/12/1916 Last night Columbia Stellar Quartette Male vocal quartet, unaccompanied lyricist  
Columbia 37164 12-in. ca. 1915 Last night Gertrude Rennyson Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Columbia 48587 12-in. 2/5/1916 Last night Helen Stanley Female vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Columbia 49960 12-in. 5/6/1921 Last night Lucy Gates Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Brunswick 7864-7865 10-in. approximately Apr. 1922 Last night Elizabeth Lennox Female vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Edison 2057 10-in. 12/19/1912 A dream Thomas Chalmers Male vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Edison 4699 10-in. 5/3/1916 Last night Amy Ellerman Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Edison 5929 10-in. 12/17/1917 Flyv, fugl, flyv Florence Bodinoff Female vocal solo, with orchestra lyricist  
Edison 7186 10-in. 2/27/1920 Laengsel Misses Olson Female vocal duet, with organ lyricist  
(Results 1-25 of 27 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Winther, Christian," accessed October 22, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105080.

Winther, Christian. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105080.

"Winther, Christian." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 22 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105080

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