Niels-Ole Bo Johansen: The Danish Trombone Heritage (The Legacy of Anton Hansen)

Most of the composers included on this CD will hardly be known to the general public, not even among professionals. They were all accomplished musicians with a flair for composing who were to be found within the sphere of musicians surrounding trombonist Anton Hansen. They were either his colleagues in the Royal Danish Orchestra or the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, his former students, or musicians from the entertainment industry, a field with which Hansen was familiar due to numerous connections in the industry.

The lack of prominent composers is apparent. It would only have been natural to include a trombone piece by Carl Nielsen, who Anton Hansen had performed with and been conducted by in the Royal Orchestra. Other choices might have been Ludolf Nielsen, a colleague in the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, or perhaps Hakon Børresen, who also played in the Royal Orchestra, not to mention Louis Glass. The obvious reason for this choice is the fact that Hansen did not have access to these composers at the time, perhaps with the exception of the two Nielsens, who were his colleagues.

In this context, it must be understood that both the Royal Danish Orchestra and the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra discriminated distinctly between categories of musicians, and in this context brass players were not very highly esteemed. It was not until 1877 that the Royal Orchestra hired three trombonists and a tuba player in permanent positions. Before that time, they were employed as parttime assistants, recruited primarily from a multitude of military bands. It is interesting to note that brass players and percussionists were not considered full-fledged orchestra musicians but “secondary instrumentalists” and they were not paid by the Royal Cashier like full-fledged members of the orchestra, but by the Royal Theater Fund, which paid a fee for each performance, whenever they were needed for a concert or show.

This class division continued well into Hansen’s career, and it was not until 1919 that the salary system we know today came to apply for brass and percussion players in the orchestra. This of course meant that trombonists were far down the internal pecking order in orchestras, and the idea of associating with, much less establishing friendships with well-known composers of the time must have been unthinkable.

Another aspect is that in the period 1870-1900 the slide trombone had largely gone out of fashion in Denmark. The trombonists of the Royal Orchestra, who came from military bands, all played valve trombones and continued to do so in the orchestra. Much can be said about the valve trombone; but artistically and in terms of timbre it was hardly an obvious solo instrument matching the level of performance of a slide trombone. So, the idea that the trombone was a secunda instrument was perhaps not so far-fetched.

The CD costs 100 DKK and can be bought by contacting [email protected]


CD 1 Total time: 75:45
1: August Belcke: Preghiera 2:36
2: Christian Holger Møller: Trombone Solo 4:19
3: Alfred Andersen: Andante Dolorosa 2:55
4: Thorvald Hansen: Introduktion og Scherzo 4:34
5-6: Jens Andersen Bagge: Barcarole 4:11
7-9: V.E.Gamborg:
Elegi 2:58
Lied 1:30
Sulamiths sang på Brudekarmen 2:14
10: Siegfried Salomon: Andante Religioso 5:43
11: Niels Alfred Rasmussen: Resignation 4:27
12: Heinrich C. Petersen: Aftenro 3:06
13-14: Vilhelm Aarkrogh:
Melankoli 4:10
Andante cantabile 5:39
15: M.Carl: I ensomme timer 4:04
16: Thor Ibsen: Serenade lugubre 3:32
17-18: Aage Jersholt:
Romance 6:42
Chanson Souvenir 6:45

CD 2 Total time: 72:33
1: Alfred Andersen: Concertino for basun og orkester 14:11
2-4: Axel Hildingsen:
Koncert for basun og orkester – 1 7:12
Koncert for basun og orkester – 2 4:23
Koncert for basun og orkester – 3 4:29
5: Anker Albech: Koncertstykke for trækbasun og orkester 11:47
6: Bengt Wilhelm Hallberg: Arioso 4:27
7-8: Alfred Andersen:
Moses på Sinai 1 6:03
Moses på Sinai 2 6:34
9: Alfred Andersen: Andante religioso 5:31
10: Axel Hildingsen: Arioso 5:01
11: Alfred Hildebrandt Sørensen: Nocturne 2:47