America - Norway
America – Norway.
Oscar Borg was asked to write music to the opening of The Norwegian America Line' s opening in 1913, and when the ship 'DS Kristianiafjord' started it's premier tour to America Oscar Borg and his 1st Brigade's Band was lined up at the harbour and played this splendid march. In the composition we find Borg's use of wellknown musical quotation in his own compositions. 'Ja, vi elsker' – the Norwegian National anthem is easy to hear, but if you listen carefully you will find that the intervals in the 7th bar is the opening of The Star Sprangled Banner'.
sometimes called the March King of Norway, was born in Fredrikshald in 1851, the towns name has since been changed to Halden. Living in a nation where military music has played an importent role for centuries, and where his own father and grandfather had been member of the local Brigade Band, Oscar Borg joined the same group at the age of thirteen. His rapid progress was observed by many, including the crown prince (later King Oscar II), who offered to finance the young musician's education at the Stockholm Music Conservatory if he agreed to return to Fredrikshald after finishing his studies.
After returning to his home town in 1872, he became director of the military band and thus began honoring his agreement with the king. His contract called for five years of service, but he remained in the same position for forty years. He also conducted choirs and orchestras in the area, and his music become widely known.
Borg retired as a first lieutenant in 1918 after a military career of over fifty years. After his death in 1930 the people of Halden had a sculpture erected in his memory.
Det Norske Blåseensemblet
was founded in 2003 and are today the only professional civil windorchestra in Norway. It build its history on the military-music tradition connected to the fortress Fredriksten in the town of Halden, near the Swedish border. The orchestras history can be followed back to 1734.
Text: Roger Fjeldet