Tag: France

free sheet music

La Serenade – Valse Espagnole – A Famous Spanish…

Olivier Metra has composed some famous and often played pieces. La Serenade – a Spanish Waltz –  is one  of his big successes

I had previously heard the name Metra because some of his compositions are played by mandolin orchestras. But I haqve never played or really recognized one of Metras compositions.

But some time ago I could by a pack of sheet music that had belonged to a mandolin orchestra, and in this pack I found the music for La Serenade – Valse Espagnole by Olivier Metra. Metra died in 1889, and so the copyright for his compositions has expired.

So I have decided to add a scan of the music for La Serenade by Olivier Metra for mandolin orchestra (mandolin 1 and 2, mandola, guitar) to my page with free sheet music for the mandolin.

La Serenade is a composition that is very well suited for mandolin and guitar or mandolin orchestra, and I am sure that the audience will like La Serenade if it is played well.

I have found some videos of La Serenade at youtube. My favorite version is this video with Ralf Leen (mandolin) and Yvonne Azaert (guitar)

METRA – Sérénade Espagnole – Ralf Leenen & Yvonne Azaert

Sérénade Espagnole – (Olivier METRA)
live performance – 4th July 2010 “Les Petits Concerts du Sablon” : www.jacobnorden.be
Ralf Leenen, mandolin (Embergher N°7-1900 ex-Ranieri)
Yvonne Azaert, guitar (Ramirez III – 1976)

Another interesting video is the following version played by the Victor Orchestra played from an old 78 record. I do especially like the Spanish snappers that are used to create the typical Spanish mood in this performance:

Waltz by Olivier Metra

Victor orchestra conduced by A. Cibelli
RCA Victor

Playlist Olivier Metra – La Serenade

With recordings with mandolin and guitar, mandolin orchestra, accordeon and others:

Additional Information

Wikipedia about Olivier Metra (German): http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivier_M%C3%A9tra

NAXOS biography of Olivier Metra: http://www.naxos.com/person/Olivier_Metra/24629.htm

Free sheet music for mandolin, mandolin orchestra, guitar, including La Serenade for mandolin orchestra by Olivier Metra: http://www.mandoisland.de/eng_kostenlose_noten.html

CD recommendation (Amazon partnerlink)

Mandolino e violino in Italia – Anna Torge

aaa to be reviewed

Hervé Coufleau – Beautiful Mandolins and Guitars made in…

I have just found an article on LaGuitare.com

with the presentation of a mandolin built by luthier Hervé Coufleau. This mandolin is highly decorated with mother of pearl inlays – a very special and beautiful instrument.

The mandolin is is also shown on the myspace page of Hervé Coufleau:

More picures and an article about this special mandolin can be found on the LaGuitare homepage:


Hervé has taken part in the Montreal Guitar Salon in 2008, a short video shows pictures from this event:

Luthier Hervé Coufleau Salon guitare Montréal

Video Guitar Salon in Montreal

Another video shows pictures from an exhibition in Ballainvilliers (France):


You can find other videos from this exhibition with reports about other luthiers on this page:


Homepage LaGuitare.com: http://www.laguitare.com/

Album of my red mandolin built by Hervé Coufleau: http://www.mandoisland.de/album_coufleau01/

Homepage Hervé Coufleau: http://www.creationgo.net/coufleauguitars/

mandolin methods

Ferdinando de Cristofaro – The Famous Mandolin Method and…

Cristofaro – Methode de Mandoline (1884)

I have recently added the first part of the mandolin method by Ferdinando de Cristofaro as a free download to my homepage mandoisland. You can find information about Cristofaro in the famous book “The Guitar and Mandolin” by Ph. J. Bone entnommen, you can view or download this complete book from archive.org:


Here is the beginning of the text about Cristofaro:

Cristofaro, Ferdinando, de, born in Naples, the home of the
mandolin, in 1846, died in Paris, April 18, 1890. The son of
respectable parents in Naples, Cristofaro rose to be one of the
most celebrated mandolin virtuosi of modern times. He received
his musical education in the Conservatory of his native city,
devoting himself to the study of the piano, and had his life been
spared, his fame as a virtuoso on that instrument would have
extended far beyond his achievements as a mandolinist. Cristofaro
was entirely self-taught on the mandolin, and he soon distinguished
himself by his performances on this instrument in Italy. To the
Neapolitans, he introduced a new and completely advanced method
of playing — accustomed as they were to hearing the instrument in
the hands of strolling players, used more for accompanying popular
songs than anything else — the classical compositions, executed by
Cristofaro, caused unbounded enthusiasm, astonishment, and
admiration. His fame spread rapidly throughout his native land,
and after appearing with success in all the important cities, he was
induced to visit Paris. It was in 1882 that he arrived in this city,
where he was immediately recognised as the premier mandolinist
of the day ; he won a widespread and enviable reputation, and as a
teacher, his services were in constant demand by French aristocracy.
During his residence in Paris, he appeared in public with the most
prominent musicians of the time — M. Gounod, upon several
occasions playing the pianoforte accompaniments to his solos. In
1888, Cristofaro visited London, and here he met with his usual
success, and was sought in this city also as a teacher, and was
appointed conductor of the " Ladies' Guitar and Mandolin Band."
and later:
Cristofaro was the author of a most com-
prehensive and artistic method for the mandolin. It consists of
two volumes, each being published in five languages: English,
French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, and treats of the
instrument fully, and is illustrated by numerous diagrams. It
commences with the elements of the theory of music, and all the
exercises are melodious and arranged with a definite object : they
are well -graded and admirably suited for pupil and teacher,, as
the majority are written as duets for two mandolins. Several of
these studies deserve special notice for their beauty of melody and
form, among such, we mention particularly, the Andante maestoso,
Larghetto, Andante religioso, in double stopping, and Allegro
giusto, style fugue, all in the second volume. The method was
published in November, 1884, by Lemoine, Paris, and it had
reached the twelfth edition previous to the death of of its author in
1890. Cristofaro had previously written a method for the mandolin
when he was living in Naples, before he was thirty years of age,
this being published in 1873, by Cottrau of that city.

The complete mandolin method (part 1) by Cristofaro is available for download on my homepage: http://www.mandoisland.de on page “Free Sheet Music” or also on “Mandolin Methods”

An original Mandolin Pick from the 19th Century!

After I had prepared the method for download I tried to find once again informations about Cristofaro with searching the internet – and I found one very interesting article. A collector of vintage guitar picks has bought some old picks from a seller in France.One of thepicks is stamed with “Cristofaro – Paris” which made him curious. He found the information about Ferdinado de Cristofaro (i guess that he got it from Bone’s book) which brought him to the conclusion that this pick  must have been produce at the time when Cristofaro’s mandolin method was published, abd probably befor Cristofaro’s death – somtime between 1884 and 1990. This pick has been made from celluloid – so it may be the oldest pick made from celloloid.

You can find the complete post about the original Cristofaro mandolin pick here:

Cristofaro: The Oldest Pick?


Some time ago I have made a video of a Mandolin Serenade composed by Desormes and arranged for the mandolin by Cristofaro:

Mandolin Serenade – Sérénade de Mandolines – Classical Mandolin

aaa to be reviewed

Joseph Rico – The famous Neapolitan Composer

Joseph Rico (1876-1957) was a composer from Napoli at the beginning of the 20th century who is famous for his slow waltzes. But he has also published a series of collections for the mandolin. I do possess 5 books with compositions for the mandolin by Joseph Rico and I have just made a video with one of the pieces.

When I played through one of the books a piece named Schottisch Indiscrète was the one that I liked immediately. A Schottisch is a dance similar to a Poka, and is also seen as a predecessor of the Ragtime. I have added photos of the mandolin books by Joseph Rico in my video.

La Mandoline en France – Joseph Rico – Schottisch Indiscrète

Eternel Souvenir – Joseph Rico – Romance Sans Paroles

One of the most famous compositions by Joseph Rico is the slow waltz J’ai tant pleuré, which was very successfull in 1907. This composition is also contained in one of the mandolin books that I own. There are several videos of the original versions of this song at youtube.

Bérard – J’ai tant pleuré – 1907 (Belle Epoque)

J’ai tant pleuré (J. Rico)
(Valse Chantée)
(avec accompagnement d’Orchestre)
Mr. Bérard
de l’Eldorado, Paris

Disque Odéon, chanson n° 60518
ca. 1907

Encore une chanson d’Adolphe Bérard, mais j’aime beaucoup ce chanteur. D’abord parce qu’il a une voix qu’on reconnait tout de suite, et aussi pour les chansons qu’il chante. Ici, c’est une chanson mélodramatique, une valse typique de la Belle Epoque, et un énorme succès en 1907 (à un tel point que 50 plus tard, “J’ai tant pleuré” était encore enregistré par Réda Caire et André Dassary!). Cette valse a été enregistré par Dickson, mais la version enregistré la plus connue est sans doute celle de Bérard, qui date de 1907/1908. Un des succès de Bérard dans son registre “chanteur de charme”. L’autre face du disque est aussi un succès, c’est “Gaby”, encore plus mélodramatique!

Marjal “J’ai tant pleuré”

Valse Belle époque crée par Dickson en 1907. L’interprétation de Marjal est plus récente (!!!) bien entendu. Des infos sur Marjal??? Dur dur…. sinon qu’il a beaucoup enregistré les tubes des autres.

Now a modern version of this song by a singer who calles himself Wanderratten – maybe a little bit to fast:

J’ai tant pleuré pour toi

In 2003 a CD with compositions by Joseph Rico was produced, a CD that I like very much. On the homepage http://www.josephricomusic.com/ you can listen to examples from this CD and find more information about Joseph Rico.

Joseph Rico is also connected to the Rico company which is the biggest producer of reeds for saxophone and clarinet today, he sent high quality reeds from France to the USA where his brother had started to sell reeds in the USA.

Links about Joseph Rico

Homepage: http://www.josephricomusic.com/

Informationen about Joseph Rico: http://www.delabelleepoqueauxanneesfolles.com/Rico.htm