The album contains familiar and unfamiliar works from the golden age of the Norwegian men’s choir movement. Besides well-known songs like the Norwegian National Anthem (“Ja, vi elsker …”), “Norges fjelde” (“Norway’s Mountains”), “Olav Trygvason” and “Naar fjordene blaaner” (“When the Fjords Become Blue”), there are less familiar gems by composers such as Valter Aamodt, Edvard Bræin, Ludvig Irgens Jensen and Paul Okkenhaug. Many of the songs have been recorded for the first time with all the verses in their original versions. This is a reference recording that will contribute to the renewal and revitalization of an extremely important chapter of Norwegian musical history. The men’s choir movement and men’s choir literature is an established part of our common cultural heritage. This new recording by Christiania Mannskor will help to strengthen existing interest.
Today the Norwegian choral singing movement is in the best of health. Choral song is an art form that suits both the musically ambitious and happy music-makers. The movement originated from student singing and began earlier in Norway than in any other Nordic country. One important reason for this was the fact that Norway was the last Nordic country to get a university. The ideas of self-government (the Constitution given in 1814) and a national university (founded in 1811, realized in 1813) went hand in hand. The university became a symbol of freedom. The students were not only part of an academic milieu, but also existed as a group representing a whole free nation.