Valdres (arr Curnow flex)

From Wind Repertory Project
Johannes Hanssen

Johannes Hanssen (arr. James Curnow)

Subtitle: Concert March

General Info

Year: 1904 / 1985 / 2015
Duration: c. 3:40
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00; (digital) - $60.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • B-flat Clarinet
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Violin

Part 2

  • B-flat Clarinet
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • Violin

Part 3

  • B-flat Clarinet
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • E-flat Alto Clarinet
  • Horn in F
  • Violin
  • Viola

Part 4

  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • Euphonium T.C
  • Horn in F
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium B.C.
  • Bassoon
  • Cello

Part 5

  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium B.C.
  • Bassoon
  • Euphonium T.C.
  • Cello
  • B-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Tuba
  • String/Electric Bass

Percussion I-II-III

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Valdres is one of the most famous marches ever composed. The fact that it is evocative and expressive of its land of birth, Norway, is also significant. While march enthusiasts have typically been drawn to the vastly larger and better known repertoires of the United States, Germany, England, and Spain, Valdres remains a greatly loved petite Norwegian tone poem in march time. Its composer, Johann Hanssen, began his career as a tenor-horn player in the Oslo Military Band in 1900. In 1903-1904, he composed Valdres.

The opening tune is a bugle call from the Valdres Battalion; Valdres is a valley is southern Norway. The second subject is an old tune for hardanger-fiddle; the trio is a pentatonic tune based upon Norwegian folk music.

- Program Note by Loras john Schissel

Hanssen began writing this march in 1901; it was not completed until 1904. Followings its premiere, during an open-air concert in Oslo, the composer (who was playing trumpet in the band) heard only two people applaud -- his two best friends. He then arranged the work for the Orchestra of the National Theater, but Johan Halvorsen, the conductor (and also a composer), turned it down. Later he sold the march to a publisher for 25 kroner (about five dollars). From this inauspicious beginning, Valdres March has become known in almost every country where these are brass or wind bands. Although it was his first composition, Hanssen admitted near the end of his life that he had never written anything better.

The title has both geographic and musical connotations. Valdres is a beautiful region between Oslo and Bergen. The first three measures contain the old signature fanfare for the Valdres Battalion, an ancient melody formerly played on the lur (or lure) -- in this instance a straight wooden "trumpet" which was long enough to play the same partials played on a modern bugle. Other melodies derive from a Haranger fiddle tune and a pentatonic fold tune, above a typical Norwegian drone bass.

- Program Notes from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) University Band (Joshua Neuenschwander, conductor) - 3 May 2021
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Symphony IIB (Michael Rucker, Jr., conductor) - 3 March 2021

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Valdres (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Curnow) (1904/1985/2015)

All Wind Works


  • Hanssen, J.; Curnow, J. Valdres: Concert March [score]. Norsk Musikkforlag: Oslo, Norway.
  • Perusal score
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 271.