In 1843 Johan Gottfried Conradi organized a Male Quartet at the University of Oslo and a Male Chorus of about twenty academicians and craftsmen in Oslo. He is considered the founder of the organized Norwegian Male Chorus (choral) movement together with Johan Didrik Behrens (1820-1890) who in Oslo on July 13, l845, organized Den Norske Studentersangforening (The Norwegian Students Singing Society), recognized as Norway’s first Male Chorus.

Fierce rivals, the two “musical titans” are mostly responsible for the “giant strides” in the development of 19th century musical life in Norwegian society. While Behrens dedicated his efforts to the male chorus movement, Conradi devoted himself with the total musical life of society as conductor, orchestra instructor and music teacher.

Conradi traveled to numerous cities –– among them Drøbak, Kongsberg, Moss, Porsgrunn, Skien, Tønsberg –– as well as organizing Sangerfester (Bastø 1850, Tønsberg 1851, Horten 1852). The “Sixth Great Sangerfest” (Sjette Store Sangerfest) was held June 16-18, 1883, [this time] in Trondheim. Twenty-eight choruses and 698 singers were in attendance at a time when there was estimated to be approximately 200 choruses in Norway. Grieg’s famous song “Sangerhilsen” (Singer’s Greetings) to the text of Sigvald Skavland, was premiered by a 200 voice host chorus –– “trönderkoret” –– under the direction of Conradi. The song was an immediate success and by request was performed numerous times throughout the festival. It has since become a tradition to be sung by the Sangerfesthost chorus, greeting fellow visiting singers.

The multi-talented poet, musician, composer and accomplished pianist Frantz Johannes Hansen (1810 –1852) followed a career in the Danish Ministry of Justice ending up as an Administrator. He studied with Danish author and poet Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) and was also a pupil of Danish composer Christoph Ernst Friedrich Weyse, (1774-1842), whose prolific compositions of song are found in the Norwegian repertoire.

Det spredes mer og mer det dunkle grå,
mildt aftensolen ser på grønne Strande,
hav-fladen samler det smukke blå,
som svømmedhimlen på de stille vanne.
More and more the dark gray breaks up,
gradually the evening sun sees, on green beaches,
the surface of the sea gathering the pretty blue,
as if the sky swam across the calm/still waters.
Hvor deilig skinner vesten over muld!
Det er, som Himlen hist i aftenstille
opsamled i sitt skjød alt jordens gull
at ej det skulle brødres hjerter skille.
How lovely shines the west across the soil!
It is as if the Heavens yonder in the calm/ [still] of dusk
gathered in its ‘lap’ all the world’s gold
thus never tear apart brothers’ hearts.
Fred mellem mennesker, Guds fred på jord!
Hans dug på hver uskyldig blomst hernede!
Du gyldne sol, som daler mild og stor,
O! Dal ej over nogen broders vrede.
Peace among people/humans, God’s peace on earth!
His dew on each innocent bloom [down here]!
You, golden sun, which sets mild and big,
Oh, Don’t set on feuding brothers.*
* Oh, Don’t set on feuding brothers.?//Oh, Don’t set on brothers feuding.?//
Oh, Don’t set while brothers are feuding.

Oh, Don’t set over anyone’s brotherly wrath.
Oh, Don’t set on feuding brothers.


milt aftèhn-solensèhrpawgrunnèhstràn-dèh
Somesvømmèt him-lèhnpawdee still-èhvàhn-nèh.

Vòhrdailyshin-nèrvèst-n over moohl!
dèhèhrsome him-lèhn his-t eeàftèhn still-èh.
Àht ”a” dèhskool-lèhbrøh-drèdsyèhr-tèhrsheel-èh.

Frèhdmèl-lom men-èhskèr, Goods frehdpawyôhr!
Do yûld-nèhsôl, somedàh-lèhrmillawestôhr,
Ôh! Dàhl ”a” over nô-èhnbrôh-dèhrsvrèh-dèh.