CD review: Mangnitude

Manger Musikklag
Conductors: Various
Soloists: Various
WOS Recordings: WOS165
Double CD

Manger Musikklag held a special 100th anniversary concert at Bergen’s Grieg Hall this year. 

It celebrated a century of memories, milestones and magnificent achievements; from a fledgling community ensemble based on the small island of Radoy north of Bergen to European Champion.  

On multiple occasions they have been crowned National and Siddis Entertainment winners  – a reflection of a proud competitive history that has seen them remain at the forefront of a Norwegian banding movement that over the past half century has also grown in artistic as well competitive excellence.

Greatest hits

This double CD is a highlights package of ‘greatest hits’ taken from their series of critically acclaimed recordings; from the pre-digital era with the LP, ‘Altitude’ (1982), and the cassette ‘Spitfire’ (1985) to the CDs ‘Circius’ (1990), ‘The Binding of the Wolf’ (1995), ‘Graffiti’ (2001), ‘Mangernetisk!’ (2013) and ‘December’ (2017).

The overriding impression left on hearing this fine recording initiative is one of immense appreciation of a band that has sought and adhered to a very defined, progressive musical path

Throughout this era the band has been directed by several outstanding conductors; from Tom Brevik (who led them at the first European Championship in 1978) to Martin Phillip Winter who masterminded their latest Siddis success.  

Their influences, as well as the likes of Michael Antrobus, Helge Haukas, David King and Allan Withington amongst others, has helped mould their renowned artistic approach. 

Reflected fully

It is also one reflected fully in the selections made for this release – from George Benjamin’s lonely, vapourish ‘Altitude’  all the way through to Howard Snell’s sumptuous arrangement of Ravel’s ‘Daphnis & Chloe’. 

Works as diverse as ‘Symphony of Thanksgiving’  by Dean Goffin and Philip Sparke’s ‘Harmony Music’  are neatly packaged next to gems from Gordon Langford and Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen, Ketil Hvoslef and James Curnow.  Each recalls a time and place, a musical memory that still sounds as immediate as the day it was recorded. 

Throughout the decades Manger has also been blessed with outstanding performers – and those featured are captured at the apex of their talents; from soprano, Kjetil Morken and bass trombone, Camilla Soderstrom Tveit, to cornet player Rune Gundersen, euphonium, Thor-Arne Pedersen and more.      

The overriding impression left on hearing this fine recording initiative is one of immense appreciation of a band that has sought and adhered to a very defined, progressive musical path; one that has an embedded fearlessness that can be heard in every performance they give – be it from time past to times now.

It is a wonderful appreciation of a wonderful brass band organisation.

Iwan Fox

To purchase:



Play list:

1. Altitude (George Benjamin)
2. Aria (Sigmund Groven, arr. Tom Brevik)
Soloists: Rune Gundersen & Steinar Brevik
3. Hanen stend pa stabburshella (Trad. arr. Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
4. Symphony of Thanksgiving (Dean Goffin)
5. Concerto for Band opus 82 (John Golland)
6. A Night in June (Serenade) (Karl L. King arr. Bent Erik B. Røed)
Soloist: Thor-Arne Pedersen med Manger Musikklag
7. Jegermarsj IR 18 (Leif G. Orvan arr. Helge Haukas)
8. The Submerged Cathedral (Debussy arr. Howard Snell)
9. Recitativo accompagnato (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
Soloist: Camilla Soderstrom Tveit 
10. Hakonsiana (Ketil Hvoslef)
11. Streif av Sol (Agathe Backer Grøndahl arr. Tom Brevik)
Soloists: Bjorn Nessen Sagstad & Jarnfrid Gunnarson
12. Fanitullen (Ole Olsen arr. Tom Brevik)
13. Yorkshire Feast Song & Rondeau (Purcell arr. Martin Phillip Winter)

14. Introduction (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
15. Trygg i fare (Trad. arr. Ray Steadman-Allen)
16. Barn Dance and Cowboy Hymn (Philip Sparke)
17. Eg veit i himmerik ei borg (Trad. arr. Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
Soloist: Erlend Aagaard-Nilsen
18. Tribute (James Curnow)
19. Stille stund (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
Soloist: Helga Vetås
20. Nocturne (Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen)
21. Harmony Music (Philip Sparke)
22. Alt legger for din fot (Halvdan Kjerulf arr. Tom Brevik)
23. Allegro Concertante (Marcus Paus)
Soloist: Andreas Heier Røe
24. The Lark in the Clear Air (Trad. arr. Gordon Langford)
Soloist: Kjetil Morken 
25. Daphnis and Chloe (Second Suite) (Ravel arr. Howard Snell)

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