Konrad Wölki (-> Wikipedia) (* 27. Dezember 1904 in Berlin; † 5. Juli 1983) has composed some works for a large mandolin orchestra with additional instrumentswhich are typically used in a symphony orchestra. Especially his Ouvertures in A-Major and F#-Minor were very popular in the 1930s and 1940s in Germany. Another composition from this time is the Symphony in One Movement in E-Minor.
The Mandolin Orchestra Ensemble Amedeo from Japan has played this Symphony during its 25th Anniversary Concert and has uploaded two videos to youtube. A great chance to hear this composition by Konrad Wölki.
I have made a playlist with works by Konrad Wölki that starts with the Symphony in One Movement:
Some time ago I have discovered the videos by the Duo Maple, a duo with mandolin and guitar from Japan. The duo occasionally adds other players with instruments like the Japanese instruments shamisen and shakuhachi, a second guitar, an accordeon or even a bagpipe to its program.
Yoko Eto (mandolin) and Shinji Nordtor (guitar, mandola) have founded the duo in 2006 if I understand the information from the Japanese website correctly.
Now some selected videos with the Duo Maple!
Core’ngrato von Salvatore Cardillo (1874–1947)
Wikipedia about the song Core ‘ngrato and the composer of this song Salvatore Cardillo:
Salvatore Cardillo (1874–1947) was the Italian songwriter whose richly scored sentimental Napuletano classic “Core ‘ngrato” (“Ungrateful heart”) written in 1911 for Enrico Caruso, has remained a staple of the Italian tenor concert repertoire, having been recorded by Corelli, Domingo, and Pavarotti.
“Core ‘ngrato” is the only famous Neapolitan song to be written in the United States by an Italian immigrant.
Some time ago I have discovered another great popsong from Japan that has been arrangend for mandolin orchestra – Song of the Wheel by Bump of Chicken. The famous Japanese rock band Bump of Chicken used the mandolin for the recorded version of this song, the mandolin is also used in the official video of this song. When they play the song life the mandolin part is played on guitar.
Mandolin orchestra version:
車輪の唄 / BUMP OF CHICKEN
The mandolin part of the Song of Wheel is demonstrated in the following video:
簡単 BUMP OF CHICKEN/車輪の唄のイントロをフラットマンドリンで弾いてみた
In this video the mandolin is tunes one halftone lower to f# c# g# d# – it might be that Bump of Chicken used a mandolin in this tuning for the recording? There is a second video with a mandolin in standard tuning, but this requires to play the melody in a higher position and makes it more difficult.