‘The trumpet is an instrument of sin while the cornet belongs to the angels.’
This quotation is generally attributed to Herbert Lincoln Clarke, possibly the greatest cornet-player of all time. In this celebration of the cornet and the wind band tradition, he accordingly gets to both open and close the programme with his two pieces The Debutante and Bride of the Waves. The American Clarke was for more than 20 years, from 1893 until 1917, solo cornet-player with the most famous of wind ensembles: the Sousa Band. His successor in the band, Frank Simon, is also represented on this disc, along with other leading notables of wind band music between c. 1850-1950, such as the Australian Percy Code and John Hartmann, born in Prussia but mainly active in England. Several of these sparkling and virtuosic pieces have been arranged especially for the present combination of Ole Edvard Antonsen and the Royal Norwegian Navy Band, including Ole Bull’s The Herdmaiden’s Sunday (Sæterjentens søndag), Grieg’s In the Hills (Ved Rondane) and Dinicu’s Hora staccato, usually heard on the violin. The Royal Norwegian Navy Band is one of five professional military bands in Norway. With its 32 full-time musicians this highly popular ensemble performs both in Norway and abroad. Here they provide expert backing to one of the world’s leading trumpet players. Ole Edvard Antonsen has devoted himself to a solo career since 1987 and has performed in more than 40 countries. A remarkably versatile musician, he is just as much at home working with a symphony orchestra or collaborating with pop, rock or jazz musicians such as Lisa Stansfield, Ute Lemper, the Willem Breuker Kollektif and his own ensembles. He also has a special interest in the repertoire for military bands, and is himself principal conductor and artistic director of the Royal Norwegian Air Force Band.