About the album
NORWAY, MY NORWAY
The combination of band and male choir is perhaps not so common today, but it was rather widespread around 1900. In addition to the works on this album, Friedrich A. Reissiger and Ole Olsen composed for band and choir in Norway, and from abroad we know works for this combination by Anton Bruckner, Franz Liszt, Gustav Holst and Kurt Weill.
The repertoire consists in the main of music written for solemn occasions usually held outdoors. The choice of pure wind instrumentation in addition to the choir probably was due to both acoustic and meteorological considerations related to an outdoor performance. Moreover, we must not forget that military bands were Norway’s only professional full-time ensembles when these pieces were written and, then as now, were the obvious choice for making music on days of national celebration.
There are no earlier recordings of most of the pieces on this album, and we are not sure whether or not some were ever performed again after being premiered. This makes it all the more satisfying to shed light on them now in the hope that they may once again find their way back into concert programmes. A special thank you to Professor Harald Bjørkøy, who drew our attention to Johan Selmer’s “Hilsen til Nidaros” and put us onto this project.
NORWEGEN, MEIN NORWEGEN
Die Kombination von Band und Männerchor ist vielleicht nicht so gebräuchlich, war aber um 1900 ziemlich weit verbreitet.
Das Repertoire besteht in erster Linie aus Musik, die für feierliche Anlässe geschrieben wurde, die gewöhnlich im Freien stattfanden. Die Wahl der reinen Blasinstrumentierung neben dem Chor war vermutlich auf akustische und meteorologische Überlegungen im Zusammenhang mit einer Outdoor-Performance zurückzuführen. Darüber hinaus dürfen wir nicht vergessen, dass zur Zeit der Kompositionen Militärbands Norwegens einzige professionelle Vollzeit-Ensembles waren.
Es gibt keine früheren Aufnahmen der meisten Stücke dieses Albums und wir sind nicht sicher, ob irgendwelche nach der Uraufführung jemals wieder aufgeführt wurden. Das macht es umso befriedigender, sie jetzt in der Hoffnung zu beleuchten, dass sie wieder in Konzertprogramme zurückkehren könnten. Ein besonderer Dank gilt Professor Harald Bjørkøy, der unsere Aufmerksamkeit auf Johan Selmers "Hilsen til Nidaros" lenkte und uns auf dieses Projekt brachte.
THE ROYAL NORWEGIAN AIR FORCE BAND
The Royal Norwegian Air Force Band was established in 2006, yet it will celebrate its bicentenary in 2018. Founded in 1818 as the Band of the Trondhjem Brigade, and later called the Band of the Fifth Division and the Band of the Armed Forces Trøndelag, it was for over one hundred years Trondheim’s only professional ensemble.
After the transition to the Air Force, the band has expanded its arena of activity from Central Norway to the entire country. At its main venue, Byscenen in Trondheim’s city centre, the band has performed with Elise Båtnes, Hilde Louise Asbjørnsen, Randi Stene, Tora Augestad, Australian jazz trumpetist James Morrison, and the jazz-rock band, PELbO. Other projects have included the children’s theatre performance Musika Mobile, together with the free theatre group, Cirka Teater, and the stand up concert Lufta er for alle (The Air Is For Everyone), in collaboration with Åsleik Engmark. The band performs under the motto "No genre unfamiliar to us".
The Royal Norwegian Air Force Band collaborates closely with the Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy and Ørland Main Air Station, and it gives regular guest performances at air force bases and centres around the country.
Christiania Mannskor is made up of 18 professional singers under the direction of conductor Marius Skjølaas. The ensemble has regular concert engagements in Oslo and countrywide and has performed at the invitation of the Norwegian government and parliament in connection with, among other things, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Christiania Mannskor was established in 2009 and is dedicated to the renewal and revitalisation of men’s choir singing in Norway. The ensemble wishes to be an active and effective resource for Norwegian choirs, singers, composers and conductors with a focus on music for men’s choir, and we attach special importance to working with amateur and local choirs in our performances and on concert tours.