Sabinin, Martha von [Sabinina, Marfa Stepanovna]
- Pauline Pocknell
[Sabinina, Marfa Stepanovna]
(b Copenhagen, May 30, 1831; d Crimea, Dec 14, 1892). Russian pianist and composer. The daughter of the Eastern Orthodox priest to the Grand Duchess of Weimar, Sabinin was court pianist and teacher at the Noble Girls’ Institute in Weimar (1854–60). Tsar Aleksandr II, nephew of the grand duchess, then appointed Sabinin music teacher to his children. She was a pupil of the Schumanns (1850–51), Peter Cornelius (1853–5) and Liszt (1853–60), who praised her ‘musically well-tempered freedom and flow’. She wrote the text as well as the music for her choral work Franziskus-Lied and Liszt later set her text for male voices (soloists, chorus and instrumental ensemble) as An den heiligen Franziskus von Paula. She excelled in Classical and ensemble performance, and as the accompanist of such gifted singers as Johanna Wagner (niece of Richard Wagner). New artistic influences inspired her pieces for salon and court; songs to contemporary German Romantic lyrics led to the composition of music for melodramas and impressionistic piano solos. A nurse from ...