Niggli portrait
Friedrich Niggli, titel

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     Also the Aargovian Friedrich Niggli (1875 Aarburg - 1959 Zollikon) had his ties with the german Romanticism; he profiled himself by publishing folk songs and marches and was the son of Arnold Niggli, the Aarau city and music literate.
He, who was the same age as Maurice Ravel, was tought by Robert Freund, Friedrich Hegar and Lothar Kempter in Zürich, and was able to study in Frankfurt, Rom, Berlin and Paris thanks to a Mozart-scholarship, where he went to composition-classes given by Ravel’s teacher Gabriel Fauré. He came back that same year and taught at the Conservatory of Music of Zürich from 1921 - 1936 and piano at the Music Academy.

     In 1900, he founded the Swiss Composer-club (Schweizerischer Tonkünstlerverein) together with Friedrich Hegar, Hans Huber and Hermann Suter. He also wrote a series of song cycles to swiss dialect poetry. The «Buechfinkeliedli» from «Acht Lieder in schweizerdeutscher Mundart von Josef Reinhart» op. 16 have stayed in the repertoire of singers that felt the charm of those poetic miniatures, more so than the 6 songs in swiss dialect (A. Frey) op. 5, illustrated by Cuno Amiet, and the «Schwyzer Liedli» (M. Lienert) op. 10. With the light staccati of the right hand in «Nach dem Regen» show the falling rain with the same artistic feeling as in «Heimliche Liebe» or «D’Liebi» with surprising harmony changes.

     All the «Buechfinkeliedli» were published with additional lyrics in french and german, but they no doubt earn to be published beyond their Solothurn dialect version.

Walter Labhart    
Illustration: Dokumentationsbibliothek Walter Labhart CH-5304 Endingen AG
© Vision of Paradise, Music + Art Ruth Juon and Evi Juon, Switzerland