DANISH MUSIC FOR BRASS
Is a series of recordings with brass players from the Royal Danish Orchestra as
chamber music players or soloists
DANISH MUSIC for BRASS ENSEMBLE
FROM THE 18century
Vilhelm Ramsöe: VALVE FANFARE
Michael Hofmann: VALDEMAR CASTELS DANCES
Wilhelm Ramsöe: ALLEGRO MODERATO for BRASS QUINTET
Johannes Fröelich: RONDO for 4 HORNS
Thorvald Hansen: INTRADA for 4 trumpets
ROYAL DANISH ORCHESTRA BRASS ENSEMBLE
Bjarne Nielsen, Ketil Christensen, Søren Emtoft – trumpet/Henning Hansen – horn / Thorbjörn Kroon – alto trombone / Keld jørgensen – tenor trombone
Mogens Andresen – bass trombone & euphonium / Asger Fredericia – tuba / Ole Pedersen – percussion
Executive producer – Ole Høglund
THE ROYAL DANISH ORCHESTRA
The Royal Danish Orchestra’s emblem, the Royal Trumpeter Corps. Engraving from 1583. The Royal Danish Orchestra is the the world’s oldest orchestral institution. It started out 1448 as a trumpeter corps, and today it is an opera and symphony orchestra based at the Royal Opera in Copenhagen.
When the valve brass instruments were invented in the beginnig of the 1800s one would expect that chamber music for brass instruments would florish with all these new chromatic brass instruments. However, there was no tradition to build on, people should almost ”invent” it. So there is surprising little chamber music written for brass in the 19th century. It is possible that the brass sound was more associated with a big orchestra or with the popular wind band music repertoire as marches, various dances, national tunes etc.
In performing this popular repertoire many small ”brass” orchestras (or rather ensembles) came into being. In Denmark and Norway they were called horn orchestras (hornorkestre), in Sweden Brunns sextet (seven musicians included percussion) or hornseptett, in Finland torviseitsikko, in Germany they were called Trombone choir (Posaunenchor- which mostly played in churches) and in USA: Brass bands (which had nothing to do with the English Brass bands).
WILHELM EMILIO RAMSÖE (1837-195)
WILHELM EMILIO RAMSÖE (1837-1895) – Danish composer and conductor. He worked in Copenhagen, for example at the ”Folketeatret”. In approximately 1877, he moved to St.Petersborg,first working as a viola player in the Italian opera orchestra, and later at the Bolshoi Theater with the Russian opera orchestra. In 1887 he was engaged as Royal “music director” at the Mikhaylovsky Theater, known as the “French Theatre”. The VALVE FANFARE is originally for 3 trumpets, here arranged for brass ensemble by Mogens Andresen. Ramöe’s ”6 quartets for brass” are exceptional and were written between 1866 and 1888. They were published with parts and score, first at the publishers Horneman & Erslev, and later at Wilhelm Hansens Music Publishers. Ramsöe’s ALLEGRO MODERATO is the first movement from Ramsöe’s quartet no.5 here arranged for brass quintet by Mogens Andresen.
VALDEMAR CASTLE DANCES were written shortly before 1850 by Johan Michael Hoffmann, who had a combined position as musician and forest ranger. The dances were written for the castle musicians and the local town musicians – in this case arranged for brass ensemble with percussion by Mogens Andresen.
JOHANNES FREDERIK FRÖLICH (1806-1860)
Johannes Frölich was a composer and conductor at Royal Danish Orchestra at The Royal Theater in Copenhagen. The Rondo for 4 horns was written for the Royal Danish Corps of Volunteers’ (Livjaergerkorps’). This Ensemble existed from about 1785 – 1850. It consisted of 9 natural horns with different pitches that could produce all tones as clear natural tones – this was a quite unique ensemble!
MARCH and HUNTING PIECE
by Johannes Frederik Frøhlich (1806-1860) FOR 9 HORNS – is the Pearl in the repertoire from The Danish Livjaergerkorps’ Orchestra. It is written for: 2 horns in G, 2 horns in F, one horn i E, one horn in Eb, one in horn i D og 2 horns in C.
THORVALD HANSEN (1847-1915)
THORVALD HANSEN (1847 – 1915) – came from The Danish Lifeguard Band to The Royal Danish Orchestra where he was principal trumpet 1884 – 1915. He was regarded the most prominent trumpet and cornet player at his time – maybe the most prominent brass player in Scandinavia. He was the first trumpet teacher at The Royal Danish Academy of Music, acted as organist substitute in our Lady’s Church (Copenhagen Cathedral): In addition to this he was vice conductor and played Viola in the Tivoli Garden Symphony Orchestra – and then he was a composer. All his compositions for cornet/trumpet and piano are dedicated to count W. Schultz, who donated the cornet on which he played all the solos in the music for the Bournonville Ballets. The INTRADA come from a collection of pieces for 3 trumpets. Here arranged for trumpet quartet by Mogens Andresen.
Principal trombone in The royal Danish Orchestra Anton Hansen (1877-1947) writes in his memoirs about Thorvald Hansen: “Thorvald Hansen was unique. To hear him perform the various themes in, for example, Wagner’s operas was a pleasure, performed so wonderfully that one was always delighted with them. This artist had a phenomenal embouchure; there was not the slightest hint of effort to look at his face, although he played with full power. Hardly anyone, be it here or abroad, has had such a beautiful tone and he never exaggerated a forte or fortissimo.
The loss for The royal Danish Orchestra when Thorvald Hansen died has never been completely replaced. – His successor Lauritz Sørensen, who for many years was second trumpet player in the orchestra, was a very skilled musician, and when he possessed a unique imitation talent, he had understood to acquire almost all the good qualities of the predecessor.
TRUMPET PLAYER LAURIDS SØRENSEN IN THE FILM-RECORDING FROM 1923
– shows a recording from 1923 with the use of a special system for reproduction of sound in films developed by Danish Engineers Aksel Petersen and Arnold Poulsen. Here the audio sound was recorded separately and the system was used for the first Danish sound feature films at Nordisk Film. At the minute 3:06, there is a recording of the principal trumpet player in the royal Danish Orchestra Lauritz Sørensen.