DANISH MUSIC FOR BRASS
Is a series of recordings with brass players from the Royal Danish Orchestra
as chamber music players or soloists
RUED LANGGAARD and CARL NIELSEN:
MUSIC FOR BRASS
BERENGARIA for brass ensemble. Arr. Mogens Andresen
DIES IRAE for tuba and piano. Revised: Jørgen Andersen
PRELUDE for brass quintet and organ. Arr. Mogens Andresen:
RIBE EARLY IN THE MORNING for brass quintet. Arr. Mogens Andresen:. I Along the Cemetery Wall / II Wild Ducks / lII Minuet
5 PRELUDES for brass ensemble. Arr. Mogens Andresen
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 / Jørgen Arnsted & Asger Fredericia – tuba / Søren Monrad & Ole Pedersen – percussion
Executive producer – Ole Høglund
THE ROYAL DANISH ORCHESTRA
THE ROYAL DANISH ORCHESTRA’s EMBLEM, THE ROYAL TRUMPET 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.
RUED LANGGAARD (1893-1952)
Rued Langgaard was a special musical genius. Already, at the age of 11, he debuted in 1905 as an organ improviser in Copenhagen, and when he was 14, his first piece for orchestra and choir was performed. He wrote in a late romantic style and for that reason he was in opposition to the leading Danish composer Carl Nielsen. Langaard was not appreciated by his contemporaries and came into conflict with the spirit of the time and the powers of Danish music. “Carl Nielsen is Humbug” is a typically bitter statement by Langgaard. At the age of 47 Langgaard was ‘exported’ to Ribe, where he finally obtained a permanent job as organist in Ribe Cathedral. In 1968, 16 years after his death, Langgaard was ‘rediscovered’ and accurately described as an “ecstatic outsider”.
BERENGARIA (1948) with the subtitle “RIBE FUNERAL MARCH” refers to the queen of the danish king Valdemar Sejr (1170-1241). The piece was originally scored for a strange mix of winds and brass. In this recording rearranged for brass ensemble by Mogens Andresen.
DIES IRAE for tuba and piano. Though the tuba was invented in the middle of the 19th century, it took about 100 years before solo literature was written for the instrument -, disregarding light music of an “omphaa-omphaa” character. DIES IRAE was written in 1948 making it one of the world’s first serious compositions for the tuba!. Langgaard seemed to have an affinity for the tuba. Towards the end of his symphony no.11, four unison playing tubas placed in front of the orchestra is added. Langgaard has worked with two more compositions for tuba, a so-called “Concert” for Tuba and Harmonium, which has been lost, and partly a tuba “Concert No. 2” for tuba and piano. It is known only in sketch form and unfortunately has never been completed.
OLD DRAWING OF DANISH MILITARY MUSICIANS
RIBE EARLY IN THE MORNING was written to 4 military musicians. Langgaard was often walking around in Ribe Town from the early morning. This piece was written such a morning the 16 of July 1949. He started composing 5:30 in the morning and the piece was finished 18:00. For this recording the music has been rearranged for brass quintet by Mogens Andresen.
CARL NIELSEN (1865-1931)
Carl Nielsen is considered to be Denmark’s greatest composer and has almost the status of being Danish national composer. Only 14 years of age Carl Nielsen became a member at the THE 6. REGIMENT BAND in Odense 1879. In this band Carl Nielsen played the valve alto trombone and bugle until 1884.
CARL NIELSEN AS A 14 YEAR OLD MILITARY MUSICIAN
After his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Music he got a position in The Royal Danish Orchestra as violinist. Later in 1908 he even began to conduct his orchestra, which was and still are placed at The Royal Theater in Copenhagen. From his time in the military band Carl Nielsen had a good knowledge of brass instruments, influencing his powerful use of them in his orchestral work. His contemporaries criticized him for that. Today it is almost reversed, Carl Nielsen’s instrumentation has become a part of his brand. Carl Nielsen wrote one of the worldwide most performed woodwind quintets. His youth in the military band resulted in some small pieces for brass. However, the small pieces for brass have completely disappeared and unfortunately he never later wrote any chamber music for brass. If he had done that, it might have sounded a bit like the 5 preludes on this recording. These 5 Preludes are from Carl Nielsen’s ” 29 Small Preludes” Op.29 from 1929, here arr. for brass quintet by Mogens Andresen (published on BRASSMUSICONLINE.DK).
THE 6. REGIMENT BAND IN ODENSE 1890 , 11 years after Carl Nielsen left the band.
THE LUR PLAYERS. STATUE FROM THE TOWN HALL SQUARE IN COPENHAGEN
The LURS are the Danish national instrument. They originate from the Bronze Age (ca.1000 BC), 3000 years old and thus one of the world’s oldest instruments. The lurs have been found as sacrifices in bogs together with weapons and jewelry. The Lurs are cast of bronze and have always been found in pairs. The curved shape of the naps appears like a copy of the animal horn, but you know nothing about what you actually used the instruments for – it has probably been for religious or ceremonial use.Carl Nielsen’s LUR SIGNALS is a part of the music for a play, Hagbart and Signe, Nielsen wrote 1910 for outdoor performances in Dyrehaven north of Copenhagen.
MUSIC OF THE LUR’s
The lures work just like brass wind instruments (trumpet, horn, trumpet and tuba). By breathing and “buzzing” with the lips of the funnel-shaped mouthpiece, you can play the “natural tone range”, as you know it from a signal horn or from a hunting horn – about 8 tones.You do not know what has been played on the lures or how talented Bronze Age musicians have been.When two different natural tones are played at the same time, dur- and minor-like sounds are formed which harmonize well with the contemporary music perception. In fact, Western music is based on the range of natural tones, so it can be difficult for us to imagine that you have not played at all – if not by mistake? But don’t the Bronze Age people necessarily have the same perception of music as we do? In India and in China there are also “lip-blowing instruments” but traditional Indian and Chinese music is not at all based on the range of natural tones. When you play two identical instruments today that can be reminiscent of the naps there, the two instruments either play unison (- the same thing at the same time) or switch to playing.
The lures are depicted on the so-called rock carvings – religious images carved into stone in the Bronze Age. They are not carved or scratched, but carved with a hand-sized stone.
STONE CARVING SHOWING “TWO SHIPS. PERSON – THE 2 FROM LEFT IN THE UPPER BOAT COULD BE A LUR-PLAYER
STONE CARVING WITH 3 LUR-PLAYERS