Category: historical recordings

historical recordings

Strolling Mandolins – Raoul Meynard His Mandolins and Orchestra…

I was searching for videos of Mattinata by Amedeo Amadei today and did also find some videos of Mattinata by Leoncavallo. Those videos included a video by an orchestra named Raoul Meynard His Mandolins and Orchestra which made me curious.

Obviously the LP Strolling Mandolins  with 12 tracks was published by Warner Brothers Records in 1961, an EP Strolling Mandolins with only 4 tracks was published in the same year in Germany.

This is a great example of using mandolins and even a complete mandolin orchestra in a professional dance orchestra or bigband in the early 1960s.

This is the back cover of the LP that I have found:

… a quartet of mandolins, the bubbling style of Raoul Meynard, and all the romance of Italy

The subject of this lush album my Maestro Raoul Meynard is the mandolin – heard in solo, in duet and as a full orchestral section. He has taken the mandolin – a musical instrument traditionally associated with Romantic Italy – set in from of his sometimes lush, sometimes jaunty orchestra, and produced a sound that is both totally new and totally fetching.

And no wonder. Although admittedly a symbolic sound of Italy, the mandolin – no less than love itself – carries an International visa. It can be heard, enjoyed, and romanced to in any land.

For this recording, Raoul Meynard employed awhole section of mandolins, implemented them with several deeper-throated, rarely-heard mandolas, and wove them together with the sound of a guitar, a string bass, and a brisk percussion section. With these instruments, Meynard has fashioned a rich and brilliant sound, one evocative of every nuance of “the irresistible sounds of an Italian night.”

In Italy, the mandolin is known as “la voce cantante” – the singing voice. It is always carried close to the heart. Here is instrumental music with a singing voice. And here is music close to the heart. A magnificent serenade to lovers around the world.

Details about the Album at discogs

I have tried to find some information about Raoul Meynard, but I did not find anything useful. This is strange because Raoul Meynard has recorded several LPs except Strolling Mandolins.

You can listen to the tracks of Strolling Mandolin and some other tracks on youtube, I have compiled the following playlist:

Playlist Raoul Meynard His Mandolins and Orchestra

Another orchestra with a similar style in Europe was the Mandolin Club de Paris – see the following post:

Merken

favorite tunes

Ernesto Becucci – The famous waltz “Tesoro Mio” and…

Ernesto Becucci (1845 – 1905) was a popular and succesful Italian composer during the second half of the 19th century. Especially his composition “Tesoro Mio” has been successful all over the world.

His compositions have also been arranged for mandolin and mandolin orchestra. In the monthly reports about published music (Hofmeisters Monatsberichte) from 1906 I have found a note about the composition “Erhaschte Küsse Op. 294” in a version for mandolin solo or with piano or guitar accompaniment:

a224-becucci

The composition “Che Ridere!” played by the mandolin ensemble “Mutinae Plectri” can be seen in the following video:

I have also found a historical recording with Troise and his Mandoliers (Selecta Plectrum Orchestra), a recording of  “Che ridere” by the Ensemble Ansamblul “ANIMO” from Moldavia and another version of “Tesoro Mio” with mandolins, mandocello and guitar (sheet music for this arrangement can be found in the Mandolin Cafe forum – see below).

There are many other versions with piano, accordion, carouselorgan or with bigger orchestras.

I have compiled compositions by Ernesto Becucci in the following playlist – enjoy the music by Ernesto Becucci!

Playlist Ernesto Becucci

Additional Information and Sheet Music

This is a well-known Italian waltz, originally written in 1895 for piano and adapted to many other settings over the following century. The original piano score is at IMSLP and there are many recordings, old and new, on Youtube. Pasquale Troise recorded it at one of his very first Decca sessions around 1929/30 (Link) with his Selecta Plectrum Mandoline Orchestra, shortly to be renamed “Troise & His Mandoliers”.

Becucci was a popular composer of the day and this is his best-known tune. He was a contemporary of Carlo Munier in Florence, and Munier dedicated his Duettino I to Becucci.

My recording is based on an arrangement for two mandolins and guitar published around 1910/20 by A. Paolilli’s Music Co., Providence R.I., and uploaded by Sheri in her Dropbox thread. I have recorded the original mandolin parts on vintage Italian bowlback mandolins, and have added a mandocello bass line to the guitar rhythm.

You can also find a number of free sheet music downloads for piano in the French National Library bnf:

Another compostion can be found on the site of James Garber:

Sheet music by Becucci from the Nakano library

historical recordings

Troise and his Mandoliers / Banjoliers – Historical Mandolin…

Pasquale Troise (1895 – 1957) was born in Naples in 1895. He came to Great Britan during the 1920, first as a member of the London Radio Dance Band, but soon founded his own orchestra, the Selecta Plectrum Mandoline Orchestra, which was later renamed to Troise and his Mandoliers. When the banjo became more popular than the mandolin (mainly because it was louder) the orchestra replaced the mandolins by banjos and played as Troise and his Banjoliers. The orchestra existed from the 1930s until 1957 directed by Troise, and continued until the early 1970s then conducted by Jack Mandel.

The orchestra did regularly appear in a radio broadcast named “Music while you work”. The history of Troise and his Mandoliers can be found on the website Masters of Melody. There you can also listen to two complete recordings of the broadcasts from 1956 and 1964. It is also interesting to read that some important classical mandolin players including Hugo d’Alton played with Troise and his Mandoliers.

Their personnel changed very little over the years — classical mandoline player Hugo D’Alton, Billy Bell and Terry Walsh were all there to ensure stability, with accordionist Emile Charlier or Albert Delroy and pianists such as William Davies and Sidney Davey.

Many recordings and also movies (filmed by British Pathe between 1932 and 1940 ) with Troise and his Mandoliers are also available at youtube, I have compiled everything that I have found in the following playlist:

Playlist Troise and his Mandoliers

Additional Information

Website about Troise and his Banjoliers

Wikipedia about “Music while you work”

Discussion in the Mandolin Cafe about Troise and the Mandoliers

Wikipedia about Angy Palumbo who was a member of Troise and hia Mandoliers

Palumbo was a specialist of various fretted instruments, and his advertisements in the trade journal B.M.G. shows that he taught guitar as well as banjo, mandolin and violin playing.[1] He himself also played several of these instruments as a member of “Troise and his Mandoliers”, a band led by fellow Italian immigrant Pasqual Troise (1895–1957). This band recorded frequently and also made regular radio appearances.[2]

The Wikipedia article contains a link to a PDF version of an interesting article about Angy Palumbo by the B. M. G.

German article about Troise and his Mandoliers

Troise And His Mandoliers – 78 RPM – Discography

The Tommy Douse Mandoliers

Written by Brian on The Tommy Douse Mandoliers were formed in 1940 and entertained audiences in and around the North East of England until 1980.

Article about Bernard Sheaff on the zitherbanjo website

During the 40’s and early 50s Mr. Sheaff’s main occupation was composing and arranging for professional fretted instrument bands; in particular, Troise and His Mandoliers (and Banjoliers), the Troise Novelty Orchestra, the Serenaders, etc.

historical recordings

Mandolin Serenade ❤ Love Melody ★ Bonetti Brothers Melody…

Recently I have discovered two videos with historical recordings from a 78 record by the group Bonetti Brothers Melody Makers with mandolin.

The Mandolin Serenade has been composed by Dario C. Bonetti. I have found some information about Dario C. Bonetti in the archive of the University of Iowa Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century. Chautauquas were very popular until the end of the 1920s when the movie business changed the situation and Chautauquas became less popular.

The flyer about Dario C. Bonetti stems from a later time, after World War II. Here are two quotes from this flyer:

Dario C. Bonetti, who was one (of) Italians formost plectrum guitarists, ranks with the world’s great guitarists. He now is an American citizen and will make his first American concert tour with a special electric guitar under Redpath management.

Dario Bonetti was a seargeant-musician in World War II and entertained in Europe with Joshua Logan, Mickey Rooney, Bobby Breen, Red Buttons and Eugene List.

The flyer can be found on the following page:

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/S?ammem/tccc:@FIELD%28OTHER+@od1%28+bonetti,+dario+c++%29%29

I have not found other information about the Bonetti Brothers or about the mandolin which has been used on the recording. I have found some information about the history of the Okeh label, and for me it looks like this record has been made around 1945.

This is my playlist with the two pieces:

Mandolin Serenade (Dario C. Bonetti) + Love Melody (V. Cesarino)

Bonetti Brothers Melody Makers

Additional Information

OKEH Records – labels and history: http://rateyourmusic.com/label/okeh_records/