Edgar (Pierre Joseph) Tinel

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Born: 27 March 1854 — Sinaai-Waas, East Flanders — Belgium
Died: 28 October 1912 — Brussel — Belgium
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(selective list)

  • Operas: Godelieve, op.43; Katharina, op. 44
  • Choral: Klokke Roeland, op. 1 7, cantata; Kollebloemen, op. 20, cantata, 1879, rev. 1889-90; Vlaamsche stemme, op. 25, 4 male vv; Te Deum, op. 26, 4vv org, 1883; Psalm vi, op. 27, 4 male vv 1891; Franciscus, op. 36, oratorio, 1890; Aurora, op. 37, 4 male vv (1885); Psalm xxix, op. 39, 4 male vv; Missa in honorem BMV de Lourdes, op. 41, 5 vv 1905; Cantique nuptial, op. 45, S/T, org, pf/harp; Te Deum, op. 46, 6vv, org, orch, 1905; Psalm cl, op. 47, 4 male vv, 1907
  • Kbd: Pf Sonata, f, op. 9; Org Sonata, g, op. 29; Bunte Blätter, op. 32, pf
  • Orch. music, songs

Principal publishers: Breitkopf & Härtel, Schott (Brussels).

(The following was sent by P.J. de Pagter" <pj.depagte(at)consunet.nl>.)

  • Kollebloemen (lyrical poem)
  • Drie ridders (‘Three knights’, ballad)
  • Polyeucte
  • Te Deum
  • Organ sonata
  • Piano music
  • Oratory ‘St. Franciscus’

He wrote a treatise on plain-song.


Belgian composer and pianist. After studies at the Brussels Conservatory with Brassin (piano) and Gevaert (composition), he began a career as a virtuoso, but soon abandoned this for composition. In 1877 his cantata Klokke Roeland won him the Belgian Prix de Rome, and in 1881 he succeeded Lemmens as director of the Malines Institute of Religious Music. He devoted himself to a study of old church music, and his ideas gave rise to Pius X’s Motu proprio. Appointed inspector of music education in 1889, he moved to the Brussels Conservatoire to become professor of counterpoint and fugue in 1896, and director at the end of 1908. He was made maitre de chapelle to the king in 1910, having been elected to the Belgian Royal Academy in 1902. His liturgical music is polyphonic in the Palestrina style, but this technique conflicted with Tinel’s lyrical and mystical temperament, and he had much greater success in his two concert settings of the Te Deum, the oratorio and the religious dramas. These works indicate his total admiration for Bach, but the orchestration, dominated by the strings, is Romantic. Tinel’s piano pieces and songs recall Schumann, Mendelssohn and Brahms; the Bunte Blätter for piano are particularly spontaneous and touching, and his songs to melancholic texts have a most moving sincerity expressed through unexpected modulations (e.g. the Adventlieder). He published Le chant gregorien (Mechelen, 1890).


  • E. Closson: Sainte Godelieve de E. Tinel (Leipzig, 1879)
  • A. van der Elst: Edgar Tinel (Ghent, 1901)
  • P. Tinel: Edgar Tinel: Le recit de sa vie et I’eregese de son oeuvre de 1854 a 1886 (Brussels, 1923)
  • -: Le ‘Franciscus’ d’Edgar Tinel (Brussels, 1926)
  • -: Edgar Tinel (Brussels, 1946) J. Ryelandt: ‘Notice sur Edgar Tinel’, Annuaire de I’Academie royale de Belgique, cxvi (1950), 207
  • C. van den Borren: Geschiedenis van de muziek in de Nederlanden, ii (Antwerp, 1951), 239ff, 287ff, 335f, 367f
  • F. van der Mueren: ‘Edgar Tinel’, Musica sacra, 1xiii (1962), 113
  • J. Vyverman: ‘Tinel, Edgar’, BNB

(Source: New Groves Dictionary (1981), Volume 18)

(The following was sent by P.J. de Pagter" <pj.depagte(at)consunet.nl>.)

Belgian composer.

From 1863 he studied at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels with Vrassin, Gevaert and Kufferath. In 1877 he won the Prix de Rome with his cantata "Klokke Roeland".

He started his career as a piano virtuoso. In 1881 he succeeded Lemmens as director of the Institute of Church Music in Mechelen (Belgium). He became an Inspector of the state schools of music in 1889. In 1897 he was appointed professor of counterpoint (successor of Kufferath) at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels and in 1909 as director, by which he became the successor of Gevaert.


  1. Hugo Riemann, Musik-Lexikon, 9th ed., Max Hellers Verlag, Berlin, 1919.
  2. S.A.M Bottenheim, Prisma Encyclopedie der Muziek, Het Spectrum, Utrecht, 1957.
  3. Sylvia van Ameringen, Elseviers Encyclopedie van de muziek, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 1962.
  4. Percy A. Scholes, John Owen Ward, The Oxford Companion to Music, 10th ed., Oxford University Press, London, 1974.

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Picture of Edgar (Pierre Joseph) Tinel.
(sent by Yves Tinel)

Sheet music for Tinel

[details ←] Judge Me, God Of My Salvation, vocal, , choral, vocal,
[details ←] Dich anbetend lag ich im Staub, choral, vocal,
[details ←] Herr, ich bin ein arger Sunder, choral, vocal,
[details ←] Voll Blut und lauter Wunden, choral, vocal,
[details ←] Wacht auf, der Engel Gottes spricht, choral, vocal,
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