Rinck, Johann Christian Heinrich



Famous German organist and composer; born at Elgersburg, SaxeGotha. After studying under several organists he went to Erfurt for lessons from Kittel, a pupil of J. S. Bach. His first position as organist was at Giessen, for which he received an annual salary of about twenty-one dollars, and eked out a bare living by such teaching as he could get, clerical work, and a place as usher in a school. Shortly after the beginning of the Nineteenth Century his prospects brightened, and he rose by degrees to a position of eminence. In 1805 he became town organist at Darmstadt, and teacher in the seminary there; in 1813 Court organist, and in 1817 chamber-musician to the Duke. He was considered one of the best organists in his time, and made concert tours with much success, receiving various honors, chief among which was the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy, bestowed on him in 1840 by the University of Giessen. He died at Darmstadt. His compositions, which number in all one hundred and twenty-five, were  chiefly for his instrument. They include also sonatas for piano; trios; sacred vocal-music; a mass; a Paternoster for four voices; hymns; chorals; motets, etc. For organ he wrote an immense number of choral preludes; two Choralbücher; postludes; variations on chorals and other themes; numerous pieces; Hints on Organ-Playing, both theoretical and practical. Rinck's didactic works are his best. His Organ School is a standard work, not only in Germany but in other countries. From a musical standpoint his compositions, while they exhibit good qualities, are not especially inspired, and do not rank with those of some later German composers for the organ.