Fredrik Wilhelm Klint (1811−1894)


Fredrik Wilhelm Klint. Organist, music teacher and composer. Born 7 February, 1811 in Visby, died 1 June, 1894 in Stockholm. Studied at Uppsala University, later at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Stockholm. Organist for the French Reformed Church in Stockholm from 1842, active on the island of Gotland from 1854 as organist for Östergarn Church 1859−1878.


Fredrik Wilhelm Klint’s path in the service of music was as remarkable as it was unusual: he was active in two completely different environments − first in central Stockholm, later in Östergarn on Eastern Gotland, the island in the middle of the Baltic Sea − and appreciated equally in both. His compositions reflect his time in both places: chamber music works and light music from his Stockholm period, and Gebrauchsmusik (utility music) for organ and choir from his years on Gotland. Many of his works lack information about the period and context of their composition, and our image of Fredrik Wilhelm Klint the composer is thus far from complete.

Klint was born in Visby. His father, Georg Fredrik Klint, was a pharmacist born in Stockholm who came to Visby to take over the city’s pharmacy, and to marry his predecessor’s widow, Johanna Elisabeth Fägersten. The couple had two sons, Johan Georg and Fredrik Wilhelm.

Fredrik Wilhelm Klint received his first musical education as a pupil in the Musikaliska sällskapet (the Musical Society) in Visby, which is still active today. In his hometown he also took lessons from the city chaplain Carl Enequist, who was a prominent figure in Visby’s musical life.

Although Fredrik Wilhelm Klint attended secondary school at Visby Läroverk (Visby’s secondary school) he graduated in Uppsala, where he then registered at the university and Gotland’s student nation in the autumn of 1829. His studies at Uppsala University and later Karolinska Institute would accredit him as a pharmacist and allow him the possibility of taking over his father’s pharmacy. However, his passion for music was stronger than the desire for a stable career in his father’s footsteps. While a student Klint took lessons from the esteemed Dutch pianist Jan van Boom, who had lived in Stockholm from the age of 18. Klint’s change of career was cemented when he started studies at the Musikkonservatoriet (the Royal Conservatory of Music), from which he graduated in 1844.

Upon graduation Klint was hired as the organist for the French Reformed Church in Stockholm. The position was not full-time, and Klint taught and composed on the side. His compositions from these years recall good contacts in the city’s musical life.

In 1846 Fredrik Wilhelm Klint married Euphrosyne Dorothea Christoffersson, an actress at the Kungliga Dramatiska teatern (the Royal Dramatic Theatre). They had two children: a son, Frans Wilhelm (b. 1847), and a daughter, Dorothea Johanna (b. 1848). In the autumn of 1854 Klint left his position at the French Reformed Church to return to Visby with his family. Once back in his hometown he started teaching. Among his students were sisters Fredrika (married Stenhammar) who later on became a prominent opera singer, and Elfrida Andrée, subsequently a successful organist and composer.  Klint also became active in Visby’s Musikaliska sällskapet. From 1856−1858 he was its music director.

In 1858 Fredrik Wilhelm Klint was hired as ‘school teacher, teacher of singing and organist’ in the Östergarn parish, a big change for him and his wife, but regardless something that provided a secure income. The work included far more than just music. Rather, his duties varied greatly and were, to say the least, exhausting. In spite of this he was still able to compose and give music lessons. He composed for more than just his own work in the church and the local musical life. He also wrote music alluding to that which lay beyond little Östergarn’s horizons. A song for male choir, ‘Skogsblomman’, (The Forest Flower) was dedicated to Princess Eugenie, who lived for long periods in Fridhem outside of Visby. Another example is Minnen af Stockholm 1866 for violin and piano that Klint dedicated to the well-regarded violinist and composer Adolf Fredrik Lindroth. One of Klint’s students during his years in Östergarn was Jakob Adolf Hägg (1850−1928) who would later become an accomplished pianist and composer.

In 1877 Klint left his position in Östergarn. A year later he and his wife moved back to Stockholm where his son lived. In 1882, after a successful application, they were granted a place in the retirement home at Danviks Hospital where Fredrik Wilhelm Klint ended his days in 1894.


Fredrik Wilhelm Klint did not compose any larger works, which could explain his absence from musical-historical descriptions. Chamber and light music, as well as Gebrauchsmusik for the church dominate his output. Although his solo pieces and choral works are not few, his body of work stands out as something special due to two types of compositions. Klint’s six string quartets, most of which were composed before he moved back to Gotland, demonstrate his good technical knowledge and his great ambitions as a composer. According to music historian Bo Wallner, they were ‘composed more in a classical than a romantic style’. Musikaliska konstföreningen (the Swedish Art Music Society) demonstrated a contemporary appreciation for Klint the composer in their decision to publish his sixth quartet in 1882, after he had returned to live in Stockholm. Klint made an equally conscious effort to compose and publish Gebrauchsmusik for the country’s organists. He wrote chorale preludes and other liturgical music in a simple style, often for three parts. The music was not innovative, but certainly gladly received by Klint’s less experienced colleagues. Or, as contemporary descriptions express it, the compositions are noteworthy for ‘their tidy harmony, their sacred style, their briefness and for the few difficulties the less advanced have in mastering them’ (from the newspaper Gotlands tidning, 15 Nov. 1873).

Gunnar Ternhag © 2013
Trans. Nicole Vickers


Hedin, SvanteFredrik Wilhelm Klint, 1811−1894 − folkskollärare, klockare, orgelnist, tonsättare (photo copied article from Visby landsarkiv).


Musik- och teaterbiblioteket

Summary list of works

6 string quartets, works for piano (among others the Sonata in D minor), works for organ, songs with piano, choral works.

Collected works

String Quartets
String quartet no. 1 in G minor op. 10:1. Dedicated to King Oskar I.
String quartet no. 2 in D minor op. 10:2.
String quartet no. 3 in D minor op. 11:1.
String quartet no. 4 in A minor op. 11:2.
String quartet no. 5 in F major op. 25:1.
String quartet no. 6 in A major op. 25:2. Published by Musikaliska konstföreningen 1882.

Violin and piano

Minne af Stockholm 1866. Impromtu quasi Elegia for violin and piano op. 27. Dedicated to A. F. Lindroth.

Piano solo

Sonata for forte-piano in D minor.
La convalescence. Grand valse pour le piano.
Two string quartets op. 10:1−2. Also arranged for piano by the composer.
Two string quartets op. 11:1−2. Also arranged for piano by the composer.
Two string quartets op. 25:1. Also arranged for piano by the composer.
Minne af Stockholm. Impromtu quasi Elegia op. 27. The composer’s transcription of the original work for violin and piano.

Piano four hands

Sonate pour le piano à 4 mains A-flat major.
String quartet [no. 1] op. 10:1. Arranged for piano four hands by the composer.
String quartet [no. 2] op. 10:2. Arranged for piano four hands by the composer.
String quartet [no. 6] op. 25:2. Arranged for piano four hands by the composer.


Prelude, 2 postludes and 4 marches for organ.
80 chorale preludes and 3 postludes for organ op. 19.
70 orgel-förspel till alla uti svenska koralboken förekommande psalmer, jämte trenne efterspel och tvenne marscher… [70 chorale preludes for all hymns in the Swedish Book of Psalms, withal 3 postludes and 2 marches]. Published by Abr. Lundquist 1871. Reprinted by Wessmans Publishing Company 1995.
Fantasy for organ in D minor op. 16:1. Dedicated to Mr Niklas Hägg.

Mixed choir a cappella
Swedish Folk Song ('Sverges folk! I samdrägt sjung', Johan Magnus Rosén) op. 22:1.
Sömnen ('Hvem är ynglingen som nalkas'), op. 12:3.
Tonerna ('Vi vänliga toner som flyga'), op. 22:2.
Evig frid, op. 28:1.

Male Choir/Male Quartet

Den älskades gåva ('Jag skiljdes från dig, då skänkte du mig'), op. 8:4.
Hoppet ('Möter mitt öga dig från det höga'), op. 12:1.
Harmonien ('Vem är engeln, från vars luta'), op. 12:2.
Sömnen ('Hvem är ynglingen som nalkas med en vallmokrans i håren'), op. 12:3.
Tonerna ('Vi vänliga toner som flyga så lätt'), op. 22:2.
Jesu namn. Printed in Manskören. En samling körer och kvartetter för mansröster, enligt uppdrag af förbundsstyrelsen för Sveriges K.F.U.M. Collected and published by Hugo Lindqvist, n.d., no. 96, p. 185.
Skogsblomman ('Jag gick uti en blomsterlund'). Dedicated to Princess Eugenie.
Swedish Folk Song ('Sverges folk! I samdrägt sjung', Johan Magnus Rosén) op. 22:1.
Vid Astorgas graf ('Du söker en lindring för sörjande hjertat').
Våren ('Våren med himmelsblå sippor bekrönt kullen'), op. 12:3. Performed in Stockholm on Easter Day 1891.
Till de sköna ('I blomstrande tärnor, som tjusen vårt öga', Carl Fredric Dahlgren).
Den gamle ungkarlen ('Kors för tusan, hvad den tiden lider!').
Till tonerna ('Toner, o toner! Kring jordens zoner ljuder').
Swedish Folk Song ('Så tager jag min bössa och min lilla hund'). Chronicled and arranged by F. W. Klint.
Swedish Folk Song ('Och minns du hvad du lovade'). Chronicled and arranged by F. W. Klint.
Swedish Folk Song ('Allt under himmelens fäste'). Arranged by F. W. Klint.
'Stjernornas Herre! Andarnas Gud!' Cantata for soprano, alto, tenor and bass, arranged for two tenors and two basses.

Mixed choir with accompaniment
Two 4-part choral works for mixed choirs with church-organ op. 17. Flauti, oboi, clarinetti, fagotti, corni, clarini, cornetti, trombi, timpani ad lib. Dedicated to King Oscar I.
Vi gingo alla i mörkrets villa, op. 17:1.
Verldarnas Herre, op. 17:2.
Förtvivlan och tröst. For mixed choir and bass solo (Carl Enequist) op. 29.

Songs with piano

Korsaren ('När jag far ut på skummig våg', Leonard Höijer) op. 8:1.
Den unge fiskaren ('När rodnande vestern har famnat sin sol', Leonard Höijer) op. 8:3.
Den älskade gåvan ('Jag skildes från dig, då skänkte du mig') op. 8:4.
Sommaren ('Till mognad ljusets lilja vuxit upp'). op. 9:2.
Wintern ('I trängre cirkelfart sig solen svänger') op 9:4. Printed in Från tonernas värld. Musiktidningens julnummer 1913, p. 7.
Hvar är du? Song in folk tone, op. 9:4 [?].
Hoppet ('Möter mitt öga dig från det höga'), op. 12:1.
Harmonien ('Vem är engeln från vars luta'), op. 12:2.
Sömnen ('Hvem är ynglingen som nalkas'), op. 12:3.
Kärlek ('Jag älskar dig men vågar ej förråda'), op. 14:2.
Skogsblomman ('Jag gick uti en blomsterlund', Richard Gustafsson) op. 21:1. Printed in Svensk sång, vol. 1, pp. 112−113.
Hjertats hem ('Var är ditt hem?', Karl XV) op. 21:2.
Morgonbön ('Haf tack, o Gud, för hvilans stund', Carl Wilhelm Böttiger).
Strid och frid ('Ack, vad är som mig tär').
Svensk folksång ('Sverges folk! I samdrägt sjung', Johan Magnus Rosén).
Wåren ('Wåren med himmelsblå sippor').
Öfvergiven ('Från dig i smärtans tårar skild').
Vid Astorgas graf ('Du söker en lindring för sörjande hjertat').
Wid vännens graf ('Hvila med ro i eviga friden'), funeral march.

Works by Fredrik Wilhelm Klint

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

Number of works: 54