I have recently discovered this great video produced by the Philharmonia Orchestra from London (UK) with Nigel Woodhouse.
Nigel Woodhouse is a guitarist who does also play the mandolin, the banjo and other fretted instruments.
Nigel plays a Neapolitan (or Roman) mandolin based on a mandolin by Luigi Embergher and made for Nigel in 1993 by Japanese maker Yoshihiko Takusari. He also plays an A-style mandolin built by Mike Vanden. You can find some pictures of the two mandolins on Nigel’s website.
Nigel presents examples by Mozart, Mahler, Webern, Strawinsky, Prokofiev, Respighi and other important composers who used the mandolin in a symphony orchestra. He also shows the most important features and playing techniques of the mandolin.
Nigel Woodhouse – The Mandolin
In this film, Nigel Woodhouse introduces the mandolin. The mandolin has been used by many composers across the centuries to give special colour to the orchestra, often evoking folk music.
I have recently started working on a new tune with my student – Dargason.
This tune goes back to John Playfords book about dancing – it just one line of music with instructions how to dance to the tune.
On the abc notation website you can find this tune as well:
This tune is related to the very popular tune Irish Washerwoman which has a very similar melody in the first part.
Dargason is a great example what you can do with a simple tune when you work with it creatively. Swedish composer Gustav Holst who is best known for his “Planets” suite has composed the St. Paul’s Suite for String Orchestra. The Finale from this suite is based on Dargason which is played over and over while the other instruments play chords, accompaniment or counterpoint – including the usage of another famous melody – Greensleeves. A fascinating piece which was invented by working creatively with this one-line melody from the 17th century.
As this composition belongs to the public domain ther are no restrictions for arrangements. I was happy to find the following version played by the San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra:
San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra – Dargason
Including versions for String Orchestra, lute, harp ensemple, maqrching band, percussion ensemble, recorder and more:
Sheet music – Dargason – The Dancing Master
In the Petrucci Library you can find the original source “The Dancing Master” by John Playford in several editions:
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:
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. 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.
The Wikipedia article contains a link to a PDF version of an interesting article about Angy Palumbo by the B. M. G.
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.
Simon Mayor is maybe the most active mandolin player in the UK. He plays everything from classical music to bluegrass. Simon has also releases many instructional books and mandolin methods.
I have found the following video of the famous Minute Waltz some months ago, it was filmed during a Christmas concert. This video shows that Siman has a lot of humour, it is one of the funniest mandolin videos that I know:
Simon Mayor & The Mandolinquents ‘Minute Waltz’
Simon Mayor & the Mandolinquents live at New Greenham Arts. Band members Simon Mayor & Gerald Garcia attempt a serious rendition of Chopin’s Minute Waltz in the face of some seasonal silliness from Richard Collins.
The Mandolinquents play everything from hot swing and ragtime instrumentals from the mandolin orchestras of the 1930s: Irving Berlin, Mozart, Ravel and Tchaikovsky to lively reels and beautiful traditional Irish airs to Chinese and Brazilian folk tunes. All this played with infectious fun, off-beat humour and stunning virtuosity on mandolin, mandola, mandocello, mandobass and classical guitar, with the occasional burst of song or fiddle.
Simon has just released a new CD.
I have compiled a large playlist with videos with Simon Mayor, including solo performances and performances with his band The Mandolinquents.
Ich habe eine umfangreiche Playliste erstellt mit Videos mit Simon Mayor, allein und zusammen mit seiner Gruppe The Mandolinquents. Viel Spass beim Ansehen!