To All and Sundry
For six years "Over Stok og Steen" (over hill and dale) have specialized
in folk music from
Hedemarken, the flatland villages east of the lake
Mjøsa. The musical traditions of this
region are wide-ranging in their history,
form, and expression, something we have wished to take into account on
the present recording. You will hear minuets from the 18th century, the
peasant’s polka, the farmer’s fandango and the ballad singer’s wistful
With all respect for the folk music
traditions of Hedemarken, we have adapted the melodies in our own way. A
number of them we have kept in a traditional style, while taking some
liberties with others and introducing new elements to the old melodies.
is an homage to composers, village fiddlers, ballad singers, farmers and
peasants — to all and sundry.
From the farm hand’s
to the ball room…
always had a rich and varied musical tradition, a result of
the region's proximity to Oslo, the capital of Norway. Since musical
impulses arrived early on, different traditions were also quickly
forgotten with the arrival of new ideals.
music that was played on large farming estates, and "drengestuemusic",
music that originated in the quarters of the farm hands, are two terms
frequently used to describe the different forms of musical expression
found in the flatland villages — music for
farmers and peasants. This phenomenon is primarily associated with the
19th century — before that time,
farmer and farm hand were not so far apart on the social ladder. Several
of the melodies on this CD derive from that period, among others the
minuets by Johannes Stenberg.
Over Stok og Steen
accordion, piano and
harmonium Ronny Kjøsen
accordion, "enrader" and
clarinet Thomas Nilssen
guitar og dobro
Reinlender by Anders
Anders Sørensen [1821-1896] is one
of the most influential players and composers ever to have worked on
Hedemarken. He had the opportunity to reach great heights, but his life
kept alternating between success and tragedy. Early in his career he
played in both Copenhagen, Stockholm and Christiania – until he married
and had two children. But his wife and offspring left him and emigrated
During the rest of his life Anders Sørensen travelled around most of
Southern Norway, giving concerts. He met various fiddlers in the small
townships to whom he taught his music. In this way his compositions have
survived, scattered across all of southern Norway.
When Sørensen composed this piece, he was probably strongly influenced
by Johan Strauss and his Pizzicato-Polka…
Polonaise by Lars Hollo, Hamar
[1826-1902], along with Anders Sørensen, remains one of the most
important fiddlers and composers from Hedemarken. Hollo was born on
Fluberg, on Land, but moved to Hedemarken with his parents at an early
age. His father was also a fiddlers, and Lars early on joined his
father's ensemble. Lars Hollo spent the whole of his adult life on
Hamar. Contrary to Anders Sørensen, Lars Hollo was a quiet and shy man,
who kept to his hometown. He worked as a teacher at Hamar's
Teacher-college, in addition to keeping a famous ensemble that played at
innumerable dances all around Hedemarken. Lars Hollo's musical notebooks
have been preserved, making hundreds of his compositions available to
Andreas Moestue, Tangen
Andreas Moestue [1855-1939] was
a farmer at Vik on Tangen in the shire of Stange — a farm where Andersen
Sørensen spent much time. Moestue was an excellent fiddler, but hardly
ever played in public. The exception was the new year's sermon in church
at Tangen, but it probably never featured any folk music. Eivind Groven
at NRK actually managed to make Moestue play on the Radio once — they
had to rig a studio in his home at Vik. Unfortunately this was before
the recorders came, so Moestue's fiddling hasn't been preserved.
Our bridal march is taken from a collection by Lars Gunhildsberg
[1916-1987] from Vallset. This bridal march can also be found in a
collection of music after Hans Borgersen from Eidsvoll. It's title there,
however, is "Brude Marsch af Prosten Nikolai Wergeland".
Damerne Gaar gallop
by Oluf Melvold, Åmot
Oluf Melvold [1843-1897], "The
Strauss of Østerdalen", was a central figure in music in both Åmot,
Elverum and Hamar — where he resided. In all of these places he had his
own ensembles, and he instructed choirs and marching bands. The fact
that Melvold was born blind, never stopped him performing. It must have
been impressive to see him march through the streets of Hamar with Hamar
Musikkforening, where he instructed as well as playing clarinet. But the
fiddle was still his main instrument. His skill was such that the king,
on several occasions, asked him to the castle to perform.
Despite the fact that all of Melvold's sheet music was lost in the great
Pipervika-fire during WW2 in Oslo 1943, a lot of his compositions
managed to survive. One of them is this one — a regal gallop.
by Johannes Stenberg, Romedal
Johannes Stenberg [1776-1801] is
one of the mysterious fiddlers from Hedemarken. He died only 25 years
old in 1801, but still had time to develop a musicality and a
compositional technic that was quite remarkable considering him being a
farmer's son from Romedal. We don't know of to many of his compositions,
but quite a few minuets in addition to some English waltzes have surived.
The minuet was a popular dance on Hedemarken in Stenberg's time, but has
since totally disappeared. It is said that the last time a minuet was
danced in Stange, was during a ball on the farm of Saxlund in 1847.
This minuet was written down by the folk music-collector Ludvig M.
Lindeman [1812-1887] in 1866.
vise jeg vil synge
after Guttorm Flisen, Elverum
Hedemarken has, like every other
place, had a rich tradition for vocal music. One of the central sources
on Hedemarken is Guttorm Flisen [1908-1992] from Elverum. Folk songs
were his greatest passion during his teenage years, and he eventually
started collecting them. He learned these songs mainly at home from his
parents and siblings, but also from other elders in the vicinity.
"En vise jeg vil synge" was taught to him by his siblings Ole, Margit
and Agnes. This song is quite popular in the Solør-area.
Her is the lyrics!
Graaberg Masurka by
Daniel Sæter, Elverum
Graaberg is the legendary tavern in
Elverum with very long traditions. Graaberg is usually associated with
the Grundset fair, that at one point was one of the biggest fairs in all
of southern Norway. Many are the fiddlers whose fiddle-strings have been
worn out at Graaberg, and perhaps it was these fiddlers Daniel Sæter had
in mind when he wrote this mazurka.
Daniel Sæter [1873-1959] was from Jømna in Eleverum — a fellow townsman
of the renowned fiddler and composer Severin Jevnager [1869-1928]. Sæter
and Jevnager played together for many years, and founded a large
orchestra in their community. We know of around 80 of Sæter's tunes, and
even though Sæter had a classical education, his compositions are
strongly influenced by Elverum's folk music traditions.
after Nikolai Evensen, Nes
Nikolai Evensen [1887-1979] was a
farmhand from Nes in the county of Ringsaker. At the early age of 14 he
began to play the single-rowed accordion, and innumerable performances
was probably a nice extra income to his farmhand salary. When Evensen
was 83 his son-in-law Erik Ballangrud made a recording of him. This
gives us an insight to a style of play which is fairly uncommon among
accordionists today. His technique and sense of beat is second to none.
Christian Horne, Romedal
In 1910, the folk music collector
Paul Sandvik [1847-1936] wrote down some pieces after Christian Horne
[1838-1912] from Romedal. Horne was not a fiddler himself, but was, as a
college-man, probably inspired by the "national cultural inheritage",
such that he could contribute with a few melodies to the folk music
In Romedal, the country-dance is named by some as "runtom", and we have
combined three of these.
jeg reise langt herfra
after Guttorm Flisen, Elverum
Guttorm Flisen learnt this song at
Her is the lyrics!
by Hans Balstad, Nes
Hans Balstad [1815-1858] is named
as one of the four "greats" from Hedemarken, the three others being
Anders Sørensen, Lars Hollo and Johannes Stenberg. Hans Balstad was a
farmer, on the farm of Balstad at Nes in Ringsaker. When Hamar became an
independent city in 1849, the demand for musical ensembles grew, as it
had in other cities. There wasn't much of a musical life in Hamar those
first years, so the musicians resident in the near-lying townships where
hired. Of these, Balstadmusikken was undoubtedly the most popular. Later
Lars Hollo's ensemble took over as Hamar's number one dance-orchestra.
Menuett by Johannes Stenberg, Romedal
Another one of Johannes Stenberg's
many minuets. His number of minuets shows what a high status this dance
had on Hedemarken in earlier times. Christen N. Ringnes [1835-1910]
writes in 1909:
"The young were given to hear by the elders, that
the youth no longer knew how to have fun such as in the older days,
while they were young and fit to dance. In that time one could dance
both Springdans and Halling, even Minuet
that was something, that gave the dance more life than what is used
today, and then one would prepare and make a jump-around, so one reached
the ceiling with one's toes, whereas now all this is missing!"
Fandango by Lars Hollo, Hamar
Fandango was an immensely popular dance on Hedemarken from around 1820
until the start of the 20th century. Headmaster Olaf Koppang from
Stor-Elvdal tells in an interview:
"The Norwegian fandango was a quick dance, but it probably had nothing
to do with the Spanish one. Nonetheless fast movements were needed, and
it took such a long time, with all the pairs standing in row down the
hall, that it was mostly suited for the young."
ikke kjære pike after Guttorm Flisen, Elverum
This song was taught to Flisen in
1926 by Marie Gleditsch [1875-1962] from Tørberget, Trysil. Once in a while people
would gather in Marie and her husband Herman's house, and there would be
talking, cardplay, and singing.
Her is the lyrics!
Masurka by Lars Hollo,
Lars Hollo was by nature a quiet
and shy man, but as he entered the festivity-hall along with his
orchestra, there was a certain authority and dignity about him, that
made people stand up along the walls.
Stok og Steen gallop
after Olaus Jensen, Gausdal
Over Stok Og Steen is the gallop
from which we have taken our name. The gallop represents, in many ways,
the tradtion in which we play. The melody is by origin an Austrian
gallop: "Über Stock und Stein", but has wandered all the way up to us,
and can be found in a number of different varieties around Norway. We'll
allow Arild Hoksnes to recapitulate from his journey in Salzkammergut,
where he met the fiddler Blån-Lois and his fellow musicians:
"Then the master gives the signal. He searches out
his fiddle, and strokes. It is sermon-time. But suddenly he breaks
through the sacral mood, and waves forward the instruments that have
been discreetly hidden away on the kitchen floor and in the hallway. No
hesitation anymore: Two fiddles, a viola and a double-bass fill the
kitchen. "Now, what to play?", Blån-Lois smiles. Han knows that everyone
around the table will join in on most of the tunes he knows. "Über Stock
und Stein?" They nod, ready their bows, and start playing away in a
polka-beat. The Norwegian immediately pictures Gunvor Hals and "Tango at
Toten". His eyes water. To much apple-brandy? No, his thoughts fly
straight to a TV-show where the group Oslodølene played an old gallop
from Ottadalen. The tune has a funny name: "All the old housewives". But
what is this old gallop from Lom doing in Blan-Lois' kitchen? Some
trickery must be about. "I learnt this polka from a fiddler here in
town, called Carl Schwandtner. He wrote down a lot of music from the
local tradition. Especially the music that was played in the
emperor-family's summer-residence", Alois reveals when the Norwegian,
with eyes wide open, asks him from where he has the tune. Naturally even
Blån-Lois gives a start. He is more than a little surprised when he
finds out that the polka is also played in townships of which he's never
heard. Beyond log and rock — far, far to the north, in
Our version is after the fiddler Olaus Jensen [1846-1920] from Gausdal.
Springdans fra Hedemarken
after Ludvig M. Lindeman
We found this old tune in
Lindeman's "Norwegian Mountain-tunes", published in 1853.
Melody-material in the tune shows some kind of likeness with newer tunes
of the same kind. Perhaps it bears witness of an older form related to
the Swedish polska?
Hege Nylund vocal /
fiddle and cello
Einar Olav Larsen fiddle
buy the CD from
I seks år har vi i "Over Stok og
Steen" spesialisert oss på folkemusikk fra Hedemarken, flatbygdene øst for
Mjøsa. Denne tradisjonen er
omfangsrik både i
tid, form og uttrykk, noe vi har ønsket å ta hensyn til på denne
innspillingen. Du kan høre 1700-tallets menuetter, husmannens polka,
storbondens fandango og visesangerens sørgelige kjærlighetsviser.
Med all respekt for
har vi bearbeidet melodiene
på vår måte. Noe har vi
gjort i tradisjonell stil, mens
med andre melodier har vi
tatt oss noen friheter og tilført de
gamle melodiene nye
Innspillingen er en
hyllest til komponisten, bygdespellmannen, visesangeren, storbonden og
Fra drengestue til ballsal…
Hedemarken har i all tid hatt en rik og
variert musikktradisjon, noe som skyldes områdets sentrale beliggenhet i
forhold til hovedstaden. Musikkimpulsene kom tidlig til Hedemarken, noe som har ført til at
ulike tradisjoner også har hatt lett for å bli raskt glemt pga. nyere
drengestuemusikk er to begreper som ofte er brukt for å beskrive de ulike
uttrykkene i musikken på flatbygdene — musikk for bønder og husmenn. Dette
er et fenomen som i hovedsak kan knyttes til 1800-tallet. Før den tid var
den sosiale avstanden mellom storbonde og dreng noe mindre. Flere av
melodiene på denne produksjonen er fra denne tiden, bl.a. menuettene av
Over Stok og Steen
trekkspill, flygel og
trøorgel Ronny Kjøsen
og klarinett Thomas Nilssen
gitar og dobro