Tag: mandolin

mandolin ensemble

Ensemble La Volta – Plucked Instruments of the World

The La Volta ensemble has been around for more than 25 years. A concert for the 25st anniversary was given in 2009, and the videos of this concerts are now available on youtube.

On the homepage of the ensemble you can find the following text:

LA VOLTA, ein Ensemble der Musikschule Reinach/Basel-Land (CH), besteht aus 8 bis 9 Jugendlichen im Alter von ca. 10 bis18 Jahren.

Zusammen mit ihrem Leiter, Jürgen Hübscher, beherrschen sie ein vielfältiges Repertoire, das von Musik des 16. bis 18. Jahrhunderts über Internationale Folklore bis zur «POPulären Musik» unserer Zeit reicht.

Das Instrumentarium besteht aus Gitarren verschiedener Grössen, historischen Instrumenten wie Laute, Barockgitarre, Barockmandoline, Pandora etc., folkloristischen Zupfinstrumenten aus ganz Europa, Nordamerika und Lateinamerika, Violine, Panflöten und über dreissig Percussionsinstrumenten.

translated to English:

LA VOLTA, a group of the music school in Reinach/Basel (Switzerland) is composed of studens ot he music school aged between 10 and 18 years.

Together with the director Jürgen Hübscher they play a repertoire which contains music from the 16th to the 18th century as well as international folk music and pop songs of today.

The enseble uses different sized guitars, historical instruments like the luth, barock guitar, barock mandolin, pandora etc.,  folk instruments from all over Europe, North America and South America, violins, pan flutes and more than 30 percussion instruments.

For now 25 years Jürgen Hübscher has again and again found young students for his ensemble and prepared  interesting programs. Many times this ensemble has also been invited to other countries and made successful tours.

The instruments are used in a very creative way. In the following video folk instruments like the charango or the Puertorican cuatro are used for the barock music replacing the barock guitar, the Mexican Guitarron is used as the bass instrument.

Villan di Spagna (printed 1657)

Ensemble La Volta (Switzerland) Italian 17th Century music by Giuseppe Giamberti. Performed with “baroque Charango” (tuned like baroque guitar), Jarana Huasteca from Mexico, Pandora, Cuatro Puertorriqueño & Mexican Guitarron.

The program does also contain a Ciacona by Leopold Sylvius Weiss for soprano luth and bass luth, and a suite by Giuseppe Antonio Brescianello.

Then follows an Italian tarantella, folk dances from Greece and Bulgaria and finally dances and choros from South America.

Two well known pieces from Brazil are played in the following video:

Manha de carnaval / Brasileirinho

The ensemble La Volta has produced several CDs, they have also published some South American dances for a mixed ensemble. On the homepage of the ensemble you can find more information about CDs, sheet music and also seminars held by Jürgen Hübscher for working with mixed ensembles. You can also order a newsletter.

This is another video with Irish and American melodies, played with a lot of joy and creativity – that’s fun for the players and for the audience too.

Irish Reel – Hornpipe – Breakdown

Website La Volta: http://www.la-volta.com/

Playlist with all videos of the anniversary concert of Ensemble La Volta

Playlist from a concert given in 2011


Play by Jason Vieaux

(Amazon partnerlink)

historical recordings

British Pathé – Historic videos with mandolin, banjo, ukulele…

The French ukulele site ukulele.fr pointed me today to British Pathé.

British Pathé is one of the oldest media companies, the founder of the company – Charles Pathé – began already in the 1890s to work with moving images.

They produced weekly movies with the events and news of the week for the cinamas and by this have collected a huge archive of movies from between 1900 and 1970 when they stopped producing the cinema newsreel.

The movies are now freely available for viewing on their website British Pathé

You can search for words like mandolin, ukulele or banjo to find movies with those instruments.

Einige interessante Videos mit Mandoline habe ich hier einmal zusammengestellt:

Dyke’s Romany Mandolin Band (1938)

This video shows some nice mandolins, obviously Calace models, and also a big mandoloncello. There are also some other videos with groups of mandolins and guitars.

Dieses Video zeigt die Spieler des Ensembles, die teilweise schöne Calace Mandolinen spielen, ausserdem ist ein großes Mandoloncello zu sehen. Es gibt noch einige andere Videos mit Ensembles mit Mandolinen.

Gaston Palmer (1937)

Gaston Palmer is using a mandolin with a small bowl and juggels with it, and at the end plays some notes on this mandolin.

Read more “British Pathé – Historic videos with mandolin, banjo, ukulele and guitar”

bluegrass

Bluegrass Special – Bill Monroe – A great Bluegrass…

When I heard Bluegrass Special for the first time, I was immediately fascinated by this tune. This tune is contained on the CD 16 Gems with 16 early recordings by Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.

I have learned this tune from the CD and wrote it down for me, and soon we started playing this tune in our bluegrass band, and we still like to play it today. This tune is very good to improvise, because its based on a simple blues harmony scheme in A.

Bill Monroes recording – mainly the guitar accompanyment – remembers me very much to the gypsy swing of Django Reinhardt, I wonder if Bill Monroe listened to this kind of music when he composed Bluegrass Special. Anyway – this tune has much power, and when you play it a little bit harder it almost sounds like a rock and roll tune.

One special thing in Bill Monroes version is the use of an accordion at the end of the tune.

I have found a great live version played by Bill Monroe in the following youtube video:

Bill Monroe Blue Grass Special

A biography of Bill Monroe in German can be found in the German wikipedia: Bill Monroe

A biography in English can be found at ask.com: http://www.ask.com/music/artist/Monroe/663

I have found another video of this tune that is interesting. Frank Wakefield and some friends play this tune spontaneously and with much energy and interesting improvisations. This was recorded at a mandolin camp, where Frank Wakefield was teaching.

Bluegrass Special

Frank Wakefield ran into some old friends who were playing at Bill Monroe’s childhood home in Rosine, Kentucky and decided to join them. Frank, Campbell Mercer and Skip Gorman on mandolin, Wayne Lewis and Joe Isaacs on guitar. Josh Jonston on guitar, Mike Fulkerson on banjo and Mark Hargis on bass. This was part of the weekend activities for the Monroe style mandolin camp put on by The International Bluegrass Music museum in Owensboro, Kentucky. Frank was a teacher at the mandolin camp.

CD Tip: 16 Gems – Bill Monroe (Amazon partnerlink)

stringed instruments

Ricardo Sandoval and Alexis Cardenas – Recoveco – Great…

Ricardo Sandoval was born in Venezela, but he lives in France now. He plays the mandolin and the typical Venezuelan instruments cuatro and bandola llanera. In 2007 he played together with his band Recoveco on the french television. They played a piece composed by Ricardo Sandoval name Ibagué me quieras. In this video Ricard Sandoval played the mandolin:

RECOVECO sur France Musique

“Ibagué me quieras” de Ricardo Sandoval / Recoveco en el programa de Arièle Butaux “Sur tous les tons” / France Musique – Radio France

Another member of Recoveco is the fantastic violin player Alexis Cardenas. Alexis Cardenas is known as a classical violin player, but he also plays the music of his homeland Venezuela very well.

In this video Recoveco plays their version of a Pajarillo, a very popular tune in Venezuela, which goes back to the Spanish fandango nad is usually played on the Venezuelan cuatro. Alexis Cardenas combines this tune with barock music by J. S. Bach – a very interesting combination of styles. Later a long solo part played on the maracas follows, and then the plucked instruments take over the lead. Ricardo Sandoval plays the venezuelan cuatro in this video. This is really good music, I have watched the video several times – enjoy this!

YouTube – Alexis Cardenas y RECOVECO

See also: Pajarillo – The Cuatro Venezolano – Venezuela

Related articles:


CD Tipp (amazon partnerlink)

Los Pajaros Perdidos; CHRISTINA/ JAROUSSKY,PHILIPPE / L’arpeggiata PLUHAR