Arild Sandvold - Biography

Arild Sandvold

Arild Edvin Sandvold (2.6.1895 - 12.8.1984) began his studies at the Music Conservatory in Kristiania in 1906, in piano and organ as well as music theory. He had his debut as an organist in 1916, as a pianist in 1918 and as an orchestra conductor in 1924. He also had two periods of studies in Leipzig in the 1920's where, in addition to studies in piano and organ, he received tutoring in composition (P. Gräner). Composition was not his primary occupation - Sandvold was first and foremost a church musician and music teacher. He was a teacher at the Oslo Music Conservatory from 1917 to 1969. At the same time, he taught church song and liturgy for many years at the theological seminars held at University of Oslo and the seminary school.

As both an organist and a cathedral cantor in Oslo for more than 50 years, Sandvold brought both Baroque and Romantic organ works to a wider audience. As an organist, he was influenced by the Straube-school manner of playing and his activities were characterized by the Romantic perception of this direction, and by the newly-awakened interest for the Baroque. The activities in the Thomas Church and with the Thomas Choir in Leipzig represented an historical ideal to Sandvold.

The interest for both Baroque and Romantic organ music led to his engagement in the construction of organs that would be suited for these styles, including electro-pneumatic organs. Sandvold also experimented with original instruments for the performance of Baroque music, and initiated the tradition of Bach-celebrations in Oslo as early as 1921.

Sandvold wrote a number of works for organ (choral preludes and treatments of folk music), in addition to music for choir and orchestra. He also wrote a series of cantatas for various jubilees, and some ecclesiastical choral movements. The polyphony of the late Baroque and the harmony of the Romantic period serve as the basis of Sandvold's musical style, together with certain Impressionist elements.

Sandvold also participated in organizational work. He was responsible for the establishment of the National Music Collection at the University of Oslo, and the Sandvik Music Library in Hamar. He was awarded several prizes and honours, including the appointment of Knight of The First Class of St. Olav's Order in 1949.

Translation: Palmyre Pierroux / Jøran Rudi
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