Nils Eberhard Lovén was born in Lund on 15 January 1846 and died 17 February 1925 in Landskrona. He worked as organist, music teacher, composer and writer. In 1879 he completed his degree in organ at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and in 1882 he was promoted to the position of Director of Music. Afterwards he spent time studying in Berlin with Philipp Spitta and Friedrich Bellermann, along with studies in composition with Friedrich Kiel. Lovén was Director of Music at the Southern Scanian Regiment of Foot 1882−96 in addition to holding positions as music teacher and organist in Landskrona 1888−1912.
Lovén Manor − a bourgeois salon
Nils Eberhard Lovén was born 15 January 1846 to Ulrika Elisabeth Liljewalch and her husband, Nils Henrik Lovén, professor of medicine. Nils grew up in the Lovén manor house in Lund. His father had purchased the manor in 1844 and the home was full of the sounds of music practiced by Nils's mother and sister. Singing was a popular family pastime and the family participated actively in local choirs in Lund. Family singing eventually developed into a bourgeois salon, where a male vocal quartet − consisting of Nils, his brothers and friends − were a frequent presence. Nils began playing piano, followed by organ and cello, at an early age. A strong musical memory for Nils was when fencing master and Otto Lindblad singer, Gustaf Nebulous, visited and sang Mozart arias.
Musical influences of Lund student life
Nils started school the fall of 1854 and his vocal teachers included Nils Möller and Nils Lundborg. As students, Nils and his brother Fredrik were two of the four choir members who sang psalms from the organ balcony for church services and funerals in the cathedral. Nils also studied cello with university music director and church organist Wilhelm Theodor Gnosspelius. Soon he was performing in various orchestras associated with the university. The repertoire was dominated by string quartets and symphonies by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Together with friends, in 1864 Lovén started a male vocal quartet which was soon performing regularly. He completed his degree in 1867 and the following year he was accepted to Lund University − in medias res − just as the university was about to celebrate its 200th anniversary. The jubilee celebrations opened up possibilities for him to participate in many choir and orchestra performances. During his time at Lund, he composed several cantatas that were performed at church services and festive occasions. He was also employed at the university library. In the spring of 1876 he moved to Stockholm to study at Musikkonservatoriet (the Royal College of Music). In 1879 he received his degree in organ performance which included courses in cello, counterpoint, instrumentation, music history and ethics.
Director of Music, organist and composer in Landskrona
Back in southern Sweden, he worked as vocal teacher at Hvilan's Folk High School near Lund, and in 1882 he was promoted to Director of Music; from 1882−96 he was Director of Music at Southern Scanian Regiment of Foot. In the early 1880's he studied music history in Berlin with music historian Philipp Spitta and music researcher Heinrich Bellermann, in addition to composition with composer Friedrich Kiel.
In January 1888 he began working as an organist in Landskrona and music teacher at the teacher's college in the same city. During this time he composed several works for mixed choir and organ in addition to cantatas − such as a cantata (with text by Selma Lagerlöf) written for the 100th anniversary in 1888 of the church in Landskrona, and a cantata for the inauguration of Landskrona's new public teacher's college in 1897. Lovén was very interested in the planning of Landskrona's music education programme and its cultural history, which was manifested in the publication of a book in two parts of the city's history. In 1904 he received the Litteris et artibus medal. In 1912 he retired from his job as organist and teacher.
Lovén's compositional style was described in a coeval publication: ‘Lovén loves pure classical lines, the well thought-out and completed motives. He is particularly interested in fugues and one encounters many of these in his compositions. All “futurism” is disagreeable to him.’
Nils Eberhard Lovén died in his home 17 February 1925, after a long illness.
Henrik Rosengren © 2015
Trans. Thalia Thunander
Publications by the composer
Luigi Cherubini. Musik-litterär skizz, in Lunds weckoblad, 1883.
Symfoni såsom musikalisk konstterm; musikhistoriska anteckningar af N.E. Lovén, Lund, 1892.
Landskrona under svenska tiden: Historiska anteckningar, vol. 1 and 2−3, Landskrona, 1908−09.
Ny svensk koralbok, utgifven af Preben Nodermann och Fr. Wulff: ställd i kritisk belysning, Malmö: 1912.
Bidrag till Landskronas läroverks historia, Landskrona, 1915.
Musikminnen från hemmet, skolan och universitetet, in Under Lundagårds kronor: Minnen upptecknade af gamla studenter, new collection, Lund: Gleerupska universitets-bokhandeln, 1921, pp. 254−281.
Gillingstam, Hans: Lovén, family, in: Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, vol. 24, Stockholm: Svenskt biografiskt lexiokon, 1982−84.
'Musikdirektör Lovén 75 år', Landskronaposten, 15 Jan. 1921.
'N. E. Lovén', Landskronaposten, 18 Feb. 1925.
Lundholm, Lennart: Musiken i Landskrona: en kortfattad översikt från 1300-tal till 1990-tal, Landskrona: L. Lundholm, 1995.
Morin, Gösta: 'Lovén, Nils Eberhar'", in: Sohlmans musiklexikon, vol. 3, Stockholm: Sohlman, 1951, p. 712.
Lund University Library (Nils E. Lovén's archive)
Summary list of works
Orchestral works (2 overtures), chamber music (3 string quartets), piano pieces, songs, organ pieces, choral works (including cantatas).
With a few exceptions, all registered works exist in autograph at Lund University.
Lustfärden for solo, choirs and string orchestra, 1869.
Overture to 'En sommardag vid Ringsjön', wind and string orchestra, 1882.
Introduction march at Lutherfesten, wind and string orchestra, 1883.
Victoria-polonaise dedicated to H.R.M. Crown Princess Victoria, wind and string orchestra, 1886.
Vår nya fana, march [incomplete], wind and string orchestra, 1884.
Overture, wind and string orchestra, 1884.
Hulda-mazurka, wind and string orchestra, 1885.
Svenska folksången (O. Lindblad), wind and string orchestra, 1885.
Suite in E-flat major, wind and string orchestra, 1885 1. Impromptu [autograph missing], 2. Gavotte [autograph missing], 3. Menuetto [autograph missing], 4. Un moment mélancolique, 5. Finale un peu pêle-mêle.
Inauguration march, wind and string orchestra, 1893.
Jubilee march 27 May 1893, wind orchestra.
På försök, march, wind orchestra.
Solo for clarinet with string orchestra.
Quartet for male voices, piano and string orchestra.
Heil Dir im Siegeskranz, wind and string orchestra, 1884.
Kong Christian stod ved høien mast, wind orchestra, 1884.
Swedish melodies, wind and string orchestra, 1887.
String quartet in F major, 1896.
String quartet in G major, 1898.
String quartet in D major, 1909.
Till henne, 1883.
Linnéa Borealis, Bland ljung och mossa i djupa skogen, 1907.
Kjäresta gök, som gal uti fjerran.
Natten på sjön.
Voice(s) and piano
Blomstervignetter af Wilh. Bergsøe:
Book 1. Four songs at the piano, 1876. 1. Viol, 2. Hvid Anemone, 3. Blaa Anemone, 4. Gyldenlak.
Book 2. Four quartets a cappella, 1877−79. 1. Aakande, 2. Lind, 3. Døvnelde, 4. Stolt Henrik.
Book 3. Three songs at the piano, 1878−81. 1. El, 2. Birk, 3. Baeverasp.
Book 4. Four quartets a cappellaa, 1880−81. 1. Nuphar, 2. Hvidtjørn, 3. Asters, 4. Hyld.
Penséen (P.D.A. Atterbom), 1876.
Till lilla Olga, 1877.
Slumra! ('Slumra stilla, ljuft i nattens', F. Sander), 1877.
A Elle. Le jour de départ, 1879.
De gamle, (H.H. Hallbäck) from Kantat vid promotion i Lund [cantata] 1880, solo quartet, 1880.
Er hat mir geküsst (O. v. Redwitz), 1884.
Reden ist Silber (O. v. Redwitz), 1884.
Abschied/Trennung (C. v. Herloszsohn), 1885.
Lied von Gruppe ('Die Rosen und die Nelken und Flieder und Jasmin'), alto, baritone and piano, 1885.
För sent ('Jag vandrade ensam i skogen', G. Meyer), 1885.
Klokkeblomst ('Vid jeg er Skovens og Markens Uhr'), 1887.
Vid grafven, Swedish psalm 275 verse 8−9, ('Stilla komma'), quartet, 1916.
Somnar jag in med blicken fäst på stjärnornas strålande skara (J. Tengengren, Swedish new psalm. 450), quartet, 1919.
Följ mig! ('På hafvets stråt').
Mit laengselssuk har ei sa langt at vanke, duet with piano.
O, visste han blott hvad jag tänker.
I en ung flickas dagbok.
Three songs from Olof Tyste (H. Hallbäck). 1. Serenad på sjön, 2. Svalan, 3. Riddarns bröllopsdag.
Vid sista glaset, song and piano, trio.
Bön om frid, quartet and piano.
Pilgrimen, song and piano.
Female choir a cappella
Klostergården, quartet for four part female choir, 1904.
Male choir a cappella
Drömmen, quartet, 1876.
Sångargåfvan, quartet, 1877.
Dryckesvisa, quartet, 1879.
Serenad till den, så vidt jag vet, obenämnda qvartetten ('Hytten er lukket'), quartet, 1882.
Sparfvens dröm ('Med huvudet under vingen', 'Fjalar', pseud. for C. Östergren), quartet, 1882.
En sång för Dig jag vill sjunga, quartet, 1884.
Requiem, quartet, 1896.
I månskenet (H. Sätherberg), quartet.
Hur det sjöd i solvarmt sinne (A. U. Bååth), quartet.
From the cantata on 20 Sep. ('Vike fjärran från vår rund Hvardagslifvets strider), quartet.
Kyrie eleison, quartet.
Herre du som ljuset breder (A. U. Bååth), male choir.
Das Lied ('Es lebt in der Stimme des Liedes ein treues'), quartet.
Mixed choir a cappella
Sörj ej (H. Sätherberg), quartet for mixed voices, 1876.
Trio, soprano, alto, baritone, 1877.
Den lilla visan ('Liten tärna sjunger så. För en stjärna i det blå'), soprano, alto, baritone, 1877.
I Hagaparken ('Lätta skuggor fram'), quartet for mixed voices, 1877.
Den sköna dalen (H. Sätherberg), soprano, alto, baritone, 1878.
Till afton det lider, Swedish psalm 454, verse 1, mixed choir, 1878.
Långt bort! ('Du innerligen kära', E. Bäckström), mixed choir, 1878.
Gudabesök ('Förr i Mamreslunden'), mixed choir, 1878.
En morgon i naturen, mixed choir, 1878.
Lied von Novalis ('Mit den Tönen kommt das Sehnen'), mixed choir, 1885.
Davids psalm 130, verse 1−2, baritone solo and mixed choir, 1914.
Vid skördevespern 1919, Swedish psalm 401 verse, 4, mixed choir, 1919.
Vid vigsel (J. L. Runeberg), mixed choir.
Höstvisa ('Nordanvinden börjar sjunga'), soprano, alto, baritone.
Male choir and piano
Vid August och Augusta Kjellanders silfverbröllop d 20/6 1870 (D. Kjellander), male quartet with piano accompaniment, 1870.
Female choir and organ
Davids psalm 21, verse 14, 4de Böndagen, female choir and organ, 1910.
Davids psalm 5, verse 2−3. Botdagen, female choir and organ, 1912.
Davids psalm 86, verse 10−12. 2dra Böndagen, female choir with solo and organ, 1912.
Mixed choir and piano/organ
Davids palm. 86, verse 10−12. 2dra Böndagen, mixed choir with solo and organ, 1912.
Davids psalm 117. 3dje Böndagen, mixed choir and organ, 1913.
Fogeln, blomman och källan, solo, mixed choir and piano.
Davids psalm 5, verse 2−3. Botdagen, mixed choir and organ.
Davids psalm 21, verse 14. 4de Böndagen, mixed choir and organ.
Prelude in G major, 1878.
Funeral march, 1895.
Mosaic fantasy, 1901.
Postlude in F major, 1913.
Postlude in D-flat major, 1913
Davids psalm 130, verse 1−2, 1914.
Postlude in F major, 1914.
Swedish psalm 17, Tron, 1916.
Egression march, 1916.
Till skioptikonbilder ur den heliga historien.
To Preludier og Fugaer.
Prelude in A major.
Första adventssöndagen, march.
Fosterländsk festmarsch. Motto: 'Kom, låt oss pröfva på!'.
Voice and organ
Collecten på Juldagen, solo and organ, 1896.
Swedish psalm 571, verse 11 ('Omhägna med nattliga friden'), duet and organ, 1900.
Vid invigning av Landskrona kyrkas nya orgelverk d 24 april 1904, song with organ, 1904.
Barnens sång vid Kung Oscar II:s bår, unison song and organ, 1907.
Davids psalm 4, verse 9 ('I frid vill jag lägga mig ned'), baritone solo and organ, 1914.
Davids psalm 4, verse 9 ('I frid vill jag lägga mig ned'), alto solo and organ, 1914.
Tro ('När åt den stilla kyrkogården'), solo and organ, 1916.
Fredagsbönen den 17 aug 1919, solo and mixed choir, 1919.
Organ and other instruments
Introduction vid Neess'ska bröllopet, organ and brass sextet, 1901.
Funeral march, organ and brass sextet.
Other choral works
Kantat uppförd på Akademiska Föreningen i Lund med anledning av att professor C. J. Schlyter blivit juris jubeldoktor (W. Lidström), 1870. [Cantata]
Kantat vid Akademiska Föreningens i Lund halfsekelfest den 1 december 1880. Solo, quartet, choirs and large orchestra 1880. [Cantata]
Vid promotionsfesten i Lund 1880 (H.H. Hallbäck). Solo, quartet, choirs and string orchestra.
Kantat vid Lunds universitets fest med anledning av Kronprins Gustavs och Kronprinsessan Victorias förmälning 1/10 1881, 1881. [Cantata]
Kantat vid invigningen av det nya universitetshuset i Lund d. 27/9 1882, 1882. [Cantata]
Kantat vid Landskrona kyrkas 100-årsfest (S. Lagerlöf). Solo, choirs, organ and orchestra, 1888. [Cantata]
Kantat vid invigningen af Landskrona nya läroverkshus d. 11 sept 1897 (E.G.F. Olbers). Solo, choir and orchestra, 1897. [Cantata]
Kantat vid invigning af Folkskolehus d. 16/2 1904. Solo, choirs and orchestra, 1903. [Cantata]
Kantat sjungen vid Minnesgudstjänsten i Landskrona kyrka d 14 mars 1913 (N. E. Lovén). Solo, choir. [Cantata]