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The second half of the 19th century is often called the “Golden Age” of Norwegian music. The reason lies partly in the international reputations established by Johan Svendsen and Edvard Grieg, but it also lies in the fact that musical life in Norway, at a time of population growth and economic expansion, enjoyed a period of huge vitality and creativity, responding to a growing demand for music in every genre. The Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces (to use its modern name) played a key role in this burgeoning musical life not just by performing music for all sections of society, but also by discovering and fostering musical talent in performers and composers. Johan Svendsen, Adolf Hansen, Ole Olsen and Alfred Evensen, whose music we hear on this album, can therefore be called part of the band’s history.