Frans Frieberg (1822−1913)


Frans Alfred Frieberg was born on 13 December 1822 in Appuna in the region of Östergötland and died in Stockholm on 20 September 1913. After completing his organist and music teaching examinations (1840 and 1843 respectively), he worked in Norrköping as a music teacher at the secondary school as well as a textile factory owner, after which he became bandmaster of the First Life Grenadier Regiment (with the designation I 4) in Linköping (1866−1883). In 1866 he was elected as a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and after moving to Stockholm in 1873, he took an active part in the academy's activities. Frieberg composed mainly for male vocal quartet, solo songs and music for military band.


Childhood and education

Frans Frieberg was the son of a staff sergeant (rustmästare), Gustaf Friberg, and Rebecka Lorin. On his mother’s side, he was descended from a long line of church music leaders and organists from the region of Östergötland. Already as a teenager he began his education to become an organist and music teacher at the educational institution of the Kungliga Musikaliska akademien (the Royal Swedish Academy of Music) in Stockholm. He received his organist degree the day before his 18th birthday in 1840, with honours in harmony, organ playing and song. He graduated with his music teaching degree in violin, piano, cello and ‘knowledge of wind instruments’ on 23 September 1843.

His time in Norrköping

In 1847 Frieberg was employed as a teacher of song and music at Norrköping’s secondary school. He became one of the driving forces in the board of the Musikaliska soiréesällskapet (the Musical Soiree Society) in the town. He married Gabriella Charlotta Arnberg (1833−1903), daughter to one of the town’s textile factory owners, in 1859.

Several of Frieberg’s compositions were written and published in the 1850s and through his quartets for male voices he also became known outside of Norrköping. Music publisher Abr. Hirsch in Stockholm published 23 of his songs with piano accompaniment in six books, and the bookseller M.W. Wallberg in Norrköping printed the collection Från Östergötlands skärgård, encompassing six songs to texts by ‘Onkel Adam’ (Carl Anton Wetterbergh). A couple of songs from the two-act operetta Skogsfrun with music by Frieberg, performed by the town’s music society during 1852−1853, are among Frieberg’s most well loved pieces and were spread in different arrangements: the ballad ‘Ljungby horn’ and a Swedish romance.

During the years 1857 to 1865 Frieberg ran a textile factory in Norrköping (the firm Frieberg & Thunström in 1858−1862 and then the firm Frieberg & Berg).

Bandmaster of I 4 in Linköping

In 1866 Frieberg was called to be the bandmaster of the First Life Grenadier Regiment (with the designation I 4) in Linköping after a vacancy opened up, despite the fact that he lacked practical experience in military music. On 20 April of the same year, he was voted into the membership of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, where he had been an associé since 1853.

As the military bandmaster, Frieberg’s duties included providing the band with new repertoire, as well as orchestrating his own works and those of other composers. From 1883, when he succeeded Carl Mård, he wrote a few marches, polkas, one shorter waltz, as well as arrangements, his own songs included. Over time Frieberg became a practised arranger and in 1873 he was given the opportunity to compose a coronation march for the crowning of King Oscar II and Queen Sophia. During the same period, in 1877, he wrote Korpral Brandts visor, four songs with the intention of providing ‘entertainment for officers and troops’ and replacing ‘inappropriate song texts’. Among the songs was ‘Svensk soldatmarsch’ (‘För konung och för fosterland till striden glad jag tågar’ − For King and homeland I gladly march to war), which was very popular at the time.

Stockholm 1873−1913

In 1873 Frieberg moved to Stockholm where he lived out his last 40 years. After his duties with the I 4 ended in 1883, he worked within the Musikaliska akademien, which included, among other duties, being a member of the management committee 1882−1885, as well as of the educational board (that ran the academy’s conservatory) from 1883 to 1902. Frieberg donated 1, 000 kronor to the Crusell Foundation in 1875, and just before his 80th birthday, he gave 5,000 kronor toward a scholarship to the Musikaliska akademien’s conservatory.


The style and scope of Frieberg’s compositions bear the stamp of his activities as a leader of city musical societies, as a society person (several of his songs were dedicated to people within his circle of friends) and as a military bandmaster. He was well versed in the music of his time, including male choral songs, social music as well as solo song and piano music; with some impulses from folk music. The songs, including some with his own texts, are melodically inventive with elaborated accompaniment. Many are in ballad-like in form and character, short such as ’Ögonen’ composed to a text by Esaias Tegnér, or set in various strophic forms like the ballad ’Ljungby horn’.

Several works have been published or exist in the composer’s arrangements for different media, for example male quartet, piano and/or military band − in the case of the latter, such as in the potpourris, in highly elaborated versions.

Frieberg never attempted to write in larger vocal or instrumental forms, possibly apart from a concerto overture that seems to have been lost.

Ann-Marie Nilsson © 2015
Trans. Jill Ann Johnson


Allberg, Th.: Minnesskrift i anledning av Musikaliska sällskapets i Norrköping 100-åriga tillvaro, Norrköping: Norrköpings tidningar, 1928.
[Obituary], Musikern, no. 39 1913, p. 245.
'F.A. Frieberg', Svensk Musiktidning, vol. 23, no. 1, 1903, pp. 1−2.
Edenstrand, Åke: 'Musikregemente av rang', in: Livgrenadjärregementet i slutet av en epok, Linköping: Komm. för Livgrenadjärregementets historia, 2000, p. 352.
Norlind, Tobias: 'Frieberg, Frans Alfred', in: Allmänt musiklexikon, vol. 1, Stockholm: Wahlström & Widstrand, 1916, 2nd ed. 1927.
Stare, Ivar: 'Frieberg, Frans Alfred', in: Sohlmans musiklexikon, vol. 2, Stockholm: Sohlman, 1952 (1st ed.).
Tegen, Martin: 'Frans A Frieberg', in: Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, vol. 16, Stockholm: Svenskt biografiskt lexikon, 1964−66.


Musik- och teaterbiblioteket
Kungl. Musikaliska akademiens arkiv: KMA:s protokoll A1A, vol. 12, 13: (Protokoll 1853, 1866); E 2, vol. 1 (Förslag inval) 1863−1910; D5A (Examensjournaler).
Brevsamlingen, Svenska avsändare: Brev från F A Frieberg.
Norrköpings stadsarkiv
Musikdirektör F. A. Frieberg.
Musik- och teatermuseet, Stockholm
Tobias Norlinds arkiv. H. Lappkataloger i lådor. Biografisk serie.

Summary list of works

Operetta (Skogsfrun), piano works, songs with piano, works for male choir and works for military band.

Collected works

Incidental music
Skogsfrun, operetta [with the songs Ljungby horn and Romance], 1852.


Elyséen, waltz for pianoforte. Norrköping: F. Björkman, ca 1850.
Elfvorna. Idyll for pianoforte. Stockholm: Abr. Hirsch, [1856].
Lilla Kjerstin. Namnsdagspolka for piano by Fripon [pseudonym]. Stockholm: Elkan & Schildknecht, 1894.
Polka, in Snöflingor. Dansmusik för 1869. Stockholm: Abr. Lundquist.

Piano versions in print by FAF's works for military band, voice or male quartet
Kröningsmarsch utförd af samtlige Regements-Musik-Corpser vid DDMM Konungens och Drottningens kröning den 12te maj 1873. Arrangement for piano. Stockholm: Abr. Hirsch [1873].
Artillerimarsch. H.K.H. Prins Oscar underdånigst tillegnad. Stockholm: Julius Bagge [1882].
Serenad ['Skjön jomfru luk dit vindue op!', version for piano], in: Album för Piano af Svenske Tonsättare. Stockholm: Gehrman.
Svensk soldatmarsch [from Korporal Brandts visor]. Stockholm: Gehrman [1914?].

Songs at the piano, Book 1−6. Stockholm: Abr. Hirsch. [1. ed printed ca 1853−60].
Book 1: Four songs dedicated to Mrs Carolina Stål. 1. Harmonien ('Hvem är engeln från hvars luta'), 2. Hade jag vingar! 3. Aldrig i verlden! ('Nej det aldrig sker i verlden'), 4. Sensitivan ('Lilla blomma varför sjunker armen'). Book 2: Sox songs dedicated to Mrs Mathilda Wahlberg. 1. Wallflickan (the composer), 2. Stjernorna, 3. Dansen (Anna Maria Lenngren), 4. Natursonen (Vitalis), 5. Könets fyra åldrar (Anna Maria Lenngren), 6. Lyran (Börjesson). Book 3: Songs at the piano. Four songs dedicated to Mr Julius Günther. 1. Bör jag väl sjunga?, 2. Bäcken, 3. Ljungby horn ur Skogsfrun ('Och riddaren red genom grönskande lund'), 4. Romance from Skogsfrun ('Der växte på Bråvikens ödsliga skär"'. Book 4: 3 sånger. 1. Inte ska' du vara ledsen för det, 2. Hvart trår du, 3. Till mitt hjertas vän, Book 5: Songs at the piano. Three songs dedicated to Miss Augusta Hallgren. 1. Längtan, 2. Kommer − kommer icke?, 3. Oro. Books 6: Three ballads at the piano. 1. Hvi skulle hon dröja? (Ballad), 2. Visa på förstugukvisten, 3. Den ensamme sångaren.
Från Östergötlands skärgård. Skizz i sex folkvisor af Onkel Adam [Carl Anton Wetterbergh], Norrköping 1859. M. W. Wallberg, Norrköping 1859. 1. Hjertats tvifvel, 2. De ungas segling, 3. Fiskarens hustru, 4. Stormen, 5. Gossen är karl, 6. Farmors visa.
Ögonen (Esaias Tegnér), in: Förgät mig ej. Album för sång vid piano innehållande hittills otryckta arbeten af svenska tonsättare tillegnade Sveriges unga damer. Stockholm c:a 1855.
Korporal Brandts visor, upptecknade af F. A. Frieberg, Book 1. Stockholm: Julius Bagge, 1877. 1. Soldatmarsch ('För konung och för fosterland till striden glad jag tågar'), 2. Jag är en lätt, en lustig husar, 3. Regementet ska på Fältmarsch, 4. Vid midsommarstången.
[Solo song, piano, unison song.]
Ljungby horn, in: Sången. Samling romanser och visor för en röst med piano. Stockholm: Abr. Hirsch, [1884].
Zouaven. 'Hvar fins i verlden mitt fädernesland?' ('Rdd'), in: Bassångarens album nr 38 [1885].

Pieces not found
En glad visa.
Soldatmarsch och beväringsvisa . . . Ord af Onkel Adam, Stockholm.
O, lad mig synge. Köpenhamn.

Choral works
For four-part male choir
Ballads by Elias Sehlstedt set to music for four male vocies. Stockholm: Abr. Hirsch, ca 1853. 1. Sjömanssång (‘Gunga mitt fartyg på böljorna blå!’), 2. Flickan vid forsen (‘Jag vet väl vad du sörjer för’), 3. Om hundra år (‘Hva sa! Ja nog är tiden svår’), 4. Liten fogel (‘En liten fågel är jag’).
Four quartets for male voices, dedicated to the Musikaliska Soirée-Sällskapet in Norrköping. Norrköping ca 1850. 1. Svensk frihetssång (‘Söner af Götarnes mandom och ära’), 2. Suck på en sommarafton (‘Lugn sig natten sänker’, ‘’), 3. Vårsång (‘Bröder hur herrligt sången klingar’, ‘–n.’), 4. Båtfärden (Potpourrie). [Polka, waltz, march.]
Serenade ‘Sakta! Hon slumrar redan’ (F. A. Frieberg), in: 100 äldre och nyare svenska sånger för fyra och fem mansröster, ed. by J A Josephson & Fr Arlberg, Part 1, Stockholm 1873
‘Skjön jomfrue, luk dit vindue op.’ Serenade for male voices (Adam Oehlenschläger). Stockholm: Julius Bagge, [1880].
Sångarfanan (‘Sångarfanan åter höjes’, F.A. Frieberg), in: 100 äldre och nyare svenska sånger för fyra och fem mansröster, ed. by J. A. Josephson & Fr. Arlberg, del 1, Stockholm 1873.
Kung Oscars minnesruna. March for male voices, in: Konung Oscars drapa. Minnesrunor af svenska tonsättare. Stockholm: P. A. Norstedt & söner, 1859.
Jaktkor, in: Odinslund och Lundagård, Stockholm ca 1860.
Låt bägaren gå! Quartet for male voices, dedicated to Sällskapet P.B:s Sångchör (A.M.). Stockholm: Elkan & Schildknecht 1884.
Norrköpings skarpskyttemarsch, march (‘För kung och fosterland ännu klappar hjertat varmt i Nord’), ‘Wårtoner klinga’ och I det gröna (‘Här är oss godt att vara’), in: Joh. Broddéns partitur (handwritten manuscript).
Not found: Änglasången.

For mixed choir and organ
Hymn afsjungen vid Fru Alfhild Grewillii jordfästning i Norrköping den 3dje Jan. 1873. Printed, n.d.

Works, handwritten manuscripts, in versions for military band
All of the works below are preserved at the Musik- och teaterbiblioteket (Music and Theatre Library of Sweden), in the score collection Musikkårens vid Första livgrenadjärregementet notsamlingar. See Mac Wassbergs catalogue, Ref.ex. at Musik- och teaterbiblioteket. Other scores should be found at the Krigsarkivet’s (War Archive’s) different uncatalogued score collections from regimental military bands.

His own compositions
Waltz for military music. (PK XXIII no. 13).
Polka. Score dated 31/1 1868. (PK XXII no. 5).
Polka no. 2. (PK XXII no. 21)
March. [OPK 1.01].
March. [OPK 1.02].
Grenadier march. (OPK 1.25).
March. [E-flat major] Score dated Lkp 21/2 1872. (P 58).
March. Score dated Lkp 21/2 1872. (P 59).
March no. 4 for military band. (P 62).

Instrumental arrangements and revisions of his own vocal compositions
Jägarchör av Frieberg. For brass sextet (undated P 57).
Serenade [‘Sakta! Hon slumrar’]. För mässingssextett. (P 61).
Från Östergötlands skärgård, six ballads (for military band). (PK XXIII.23). [Score dated Lkg 7/6 1870.
Gamla visor i ny form, Book 1. [Potpourri, for military band. Autograph. PK XXIV no. 5. Score dated Lkp 29/5 1871. Andante con moto, Recitative, Jägarchör, Ballad (Ljungby horn).]
Gamla visor i nya former, Book 2. [Potpourri, for military band. Autograph. PK XXIV no. 8. Score dated Lkp 3/10 1871. Serenade, Romance (from Skogsfrun), Duo (Allegretto) E-flat major, Choir (Pastorale).]

Melodies [Potpourri, for military band. PK XXV no. 2]
[Serenade in E-flat major ¾, Romance [from Skogsfrun], Vivace − Jägarchör, Ballad (Ljungby horn) − Pastorale.]

Works for military band not found
The works below are mention in Mac Wassberg’s catalogue, but are missing in the Livgrenadjärregementet collection.

Concert overture.
Minne af Neckudden.
En sommarafton, vals.
Fader Jonas visor.

Works by Frans Frieberg

This is not a complete list of works. The following works are those that have been inventoried so far.

Number of works: 9