DANISH MUSIC FOR BRASS
Is a series of recordings with brass players from the Royal Danish Orchestra
as chamber music players or soloists
Arr. Mogens Andresen:
MUSIC FROM THE ROYAL COURT OF
KING CHRISTIAN IV (1596-1648)
CHRISTAN 4 (1577-1648)
Magnus Thomsen: SERENADE
Alessandro Orologio: INTRADA
Truid Aagesen: EMILIA MIA GENTILE
William Brade: DIE NACHTIGALL
Mogens Pedersøn: ECCO LA PRIMAVERA
John Dowland: THE KING OF DENMARK’s GALLIARD
John Dowland: FLOW MY TEARS
Trad.: LET IT RING SWEETLY ON HIGH
ROYAL DANISH ORCHESTRA BRASS ENSEMBLE
Ketil Christensen, Bjarne Nielsen, Søren Emtoft – trumpet / Henning Hansen – horn / Thorbjörn Kroon – alto trombone / Keld jørgensen – tenor trombone / Mogens Andresen – bass trombone & euphonium / Jørgen Arnsted – tuba / 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.
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
During the reign of the danish King Christian 4 (1596-1648) music in Copenhagen flourished and the danish capital became one of the leading music centers in Europe. The king was very found of music and he succeeded in getting some of the most famous European musicians to the royal danish court.
THE MUSICIANS CEILING (1617) in the kings chambers, Rosenborg Castle with portraits of the king musicians. The painting is attributed to Frantz Clein.
MAGNUS THOMSEN (1596-1609) was a german trumpeter employed at the royal danish trumpet corps. His Serenade is one of the few impaired pieces for trumpet corps. Only one part was written down, the other 4 trumpet parts and the timpani part was improvised. Magnus Thomsen’s Serenade is reconstructed for this recording by Mogens Andresen.
The trumpet corpses of the court were in a way ”a sound symbol of power”. They followed, headed by timpani players, the regents on their way to party and dance, to meetings and sessions of all kind, announcing the arrival, the presence and depart of kings and sovereigns, announcing and thus illustrating the splendour of the events.
The trumpeters were organized in a guild, and they had a tremendous self esteem. They were aware of ”not to mingle”: to play with ordinary town- or ”not established” musicians and in that way undermine their position.
All over Europe only the regents were allowed to have trompeter in their train. Only at times of war, the trumpeter were transferred to the military. They had other functions like ”courier” or Kings Messenger.
The trumpet corpses played by head, to not to reveal their melodies. The few examples of written melodies are probably for teaching purposes, as show in a ”Trumpeter Book”, by Magnus Thomsen, the trumpeter of the court of King Christian 4th. The music is written down in codes, and only the second voice is given, the other four were to improvise, following special rules. There were two ways of playing, the PRINCIPAL played fanfare-like with a lot of tongue technic (2nd-, 3rd-, 4th- and 5th voice). The CLARIN played more lyrical in the high register (1st voice). The Fanfare of today, is in fact a reminisence of the playingmethod of the trumpet corpses of the renaissance court. Most places the trumpets were pitched in D: in Danmark Fanfares are still played in D. In Sweden the trumpets were pitched in Eb, likewise their Fanfares are in Eb!
In the military they used trumpets to give signals, in times of war, as in times of peace, as a form of communication between the different troups and cohorts.
FROM THE TRUMPETER BOOK by MAGNUS THOMSEN, about 1600
THE TRUMPETER TOWER AT KRONBORG CASTLE, ELSINORE, DENMARK
When The Royal danish Trumpet players performed on Kronborg Castle it took sometimes place on the balcony of the Trumpeter tower. They were also present during the Royal meals. It was reported that this happened when King Frederik 2 was partying at Kronborg Castle: When the king got up, raised his glass and brought out a bowl, the drums would roll and the trumpets would sound. Outside the fortress ramparts, the artillerists stood ready at the cannons and when the trumpets sounded, the artillerist saluted the king’s bowl with deafening bangs that could be heard completely across the water to Sweden (see the text after fig.22).
The Royal Danish Trumpet Players had a high rank and was well-respected, but their path to the balcony of The Trumpet Tower on Kronborg Castle was very cumbersome and “down to earth”!
First they had to go up a very narrow spiral staircase:
Next they went through a narrow run full of beams and rafters:
From there, they could finally get out to The Trumpeter Balcony:
The Trumpet Balcony seen from “The Canon Tower”:
ALESSANDRO OROLOGIO (1551-1633) Was an Italian trumpet player and composer. He was not employed in Copenhagen but the recorded INTRADA is dedicated to Chr.4.
TRUID AAGESEN (1593-1625) was a teacher for the royal children.
WILLIAN BRADE (1560-1630) was a viola player and composer from England.
MOGENS PEDERSØN (1585-1626) was one of the leading danish musicians at the court. As a young member of the King’s Chapel Choir. He was sent on a one-year study trip to Venice and took lessons with Giovanni Gabrieli. He later became vice chapel master.
JOHN DOWLAND (1563-1626) was one af the most famous musicians in Europe. Dowland was highly estimated in Copenhagen. He got an unusually high salary, the same size as an admiral in the Danish Navy. When he came to Copenhagen he had a “Battle Galliard” with him. For this occasion he changes the title to THE KING OF DENMARK’s GALLIARD. The full title are: “The Most High and Mighty Christianus the fourth, King of Denmark – his Galliard”.
Although THE MUSICIANS CEILING was painted long time after Dowland left Copenhagen, one of the portrayed musicians is supposed to be Dowland:
The 16th century precursors of today’s brass instruments were the natural trumpet (seen on the engraving of the royal trumpet corps), the cornetto (a recorder similar instrument with trumpet mouthpiece) and the trombone, called sackbutt. On this 2 closed ups there are portraits of the royal cornetto players and sackbutt players:
2 ROYAL CORNETTO PLAYERS
3 ROYAL SACKBUTT (TROMBONE) PLAYERS