The Rossini anniversary of 2018 presented an opportunity to shed new light on these familiar works, but in a form that the composer himself would have recognised. This long-established mandolin quintet took a mix of old and newly commissioned arrangements and toured them across Italy to great success before making the present recording. The quintet takes its name from the mandolin virtuoso Giuseppe Anedda (1912-97) who popularised the instrument throughout his native Italy with his own ensemble and established for it a place in classical concert halls and modern works beyond the ‘early music revival’ of the 50s and 60s. He took part in pioneering recordings of Vivaldi and early performances of Stravinsky’s Agon.
They commissioned Michele Di Filippo to arrange the first four overtures on this album: L’Italiana in Algeri (1813), Il Viaggio a Reims (1825), La Cenerentola (1817) and La Scala di Seta (1812). The other four overtures are from Il Signor Bruschino (1813), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (1816), Tancredi (1813) and La Gazza Ladra (1817), for which the quintet performs from transcriptions made and published in the first half of the 20th century by Mario Macchioci and Enrico Marucelli. All the arrangements preserve the heady excitement of the famous ‘Rossini crescendo’ as well as the chamber-like dialogue between wind and strings in the original scores.
The Berkeley Mandolin Ensemble was a classical mandolin ensemble. The ensemble travelled to Germany for the German Zupfmusikfest in Bonn in 1978. It was also part of the production of the CD “Rudy Cipolla – Mandolin Maestro”. It did travel again to Germany in 1982 for another Zupfmusikfest.
Kennet Frankel who played mandolin, mandola and mandocello in this group between 1976 and 1979. He has made available some recordings by the Berkeley Mandolin Ensemble on his website.
1976-1979 Berkeley Mandolin Ensemble
After my mandolin quartet, I played mandolin, mandola, and mandocello with this wonderful group in concerts, on radio, and on TV. I traveled with them to Germany as the only USA representative at the 1976 German Zupfest.
The Berkeley Mandolin Ensemble played pieces by German composers Konrad Wölki and Kurt Schwaen, transcriptions of lute music, pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven, Ragtimes by Scott Joplin and more.
Rudy Cipolla recording
The ensemble was part of the Rudy Cipolla album The World of Rudy Cipola which was recorded in 1982 and 1983.
The Berkeley Mandolin Ensemble with Owen Hartford and Rudy Cipolla gave an interview with live performances in 1987 which can be found in the Rudy Cipolla archive by Sheri Mignano-Crawford. Discussion in the Mandolin Cafe with link to a collection of recordings and sheet music by Rudy Cipolla. The ensemble plays works by Vivaldi, Owen Hartford and Rudy Cipolla.
Radim Zenkl and Sheri Mignano-Crawford played with the ensemble in 1989, there is a picture of the ensemble from 1989 on Radim Zenkls website.
The New Vintage Frets is an American mandolin ensemble based in Wisconsin. In 2018 this ensemble produced a CD titled: The Wisconsin/Vega Project CD
This unique CD offers present day recordings of century-old mandolin ensemble arrangements thoughtfully selected from Wisconsin-based mandolin orchestra libraries. Pieces in the collection were published in either the 1890s or early 1900s. The recordings were made in 2017 and 2018 with string parts played on antique, Vega brand mandolin-family instruments.
The Ensemble Hikari 光 has been invited to the show „Kaffee oder Tee?“ (coffee or tea?) of the German TV Station SWR on January 3rd, 2014. Now three videos have been made available at youtube.
The ensemble has been founded by mandolin players from Germany and Japan and it aims to make music by Japanese composers better known in Germany by their performances. In the TV show they played three pieces by Japanese composers Takashi Yuasa, Goshi Yoshida and Kunisaku Sakai.
The members of the ensemble Hikari are Denise Wambsganß (Germany, mandolin), Yasuyoshi Naito (Japan, mandolin), Hirotaka Nozaki (Japan, mandola), Michael Schwitzke (guitar) and Leo Ruf (percussion). Yasuyoshi Naito is a luthier for mandolins who has been living and working in Germany since the 1980s. He has built the Cremonese mandolin (four single strings) that is played by himself, as well as the mandola.