Tag: piano

favorite tunes

Russian Rag – by Robert Linus Cobb – Interpolating…

The Russian Rag by Robert L. Cobb has been made popular in the Mandolin World by the recording made by Dave Apollon in the 30s. David Grisman has published the recordings by Dave Apollon in the 70s (The Man with the Mandolin). The transcription of the Russain Rag for mandolin has been published in the Mandolin World News at the same time.

Since then the Russian Rag is a favorite tune also for mandolin players, bluegrass bands, mandolin ensembles and even big mandolin orchestras. I have studied the Mandolin World News transcription and like to play the tune every now and then. So it was much fun to search through youtube to find many other versions of the Russian Rag.

Originally this ragtime was composed for the piano, and we still can listen to some early piano rolls with the Russian Rag:

Ampico Lexington – 88n – Russian Rag

The Modern Mandolin Quartet with Mike Marshall has played the Russian Rag, the mandolin orchestra of the Mandolin Symposion Orchester in 2009 has played it (sheet music for the orchestra version was available as free download…), the European Guitar & Mandolin Youth Orchestra conducted by Carlo Aonzo has played it,  and even mandolin ensembles in Japan enjoy playing this music.

This Russian version of the Russian Rag is played with Balalaika and Piano – especially interesting is the slower middle part (does anyone understand what they are singing?):

Russian Rag

This is one of  the versions from Japan:

トゥクトゥクスキップ – Russian Rag (ロシア民謡~Dave Apollon, Sam Bush)#

The following thread in the Mandolin Cafe gives some information and also a link to the Indiana University where a scan of the original version for piano is available as free download.

Mandolin Cafe: http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?53213-Russian-Rag-for-quartet

Try here for the piano sheet music

If that doesn’t work, go to http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/inharmony/welcome.do
then enter russian rag in the search box at the top.


Playlist Russian Rag – Robert L. Cobb

With versions for piano, mandolin solo, mandolin quartet, mandolin orchestra, banjo ensemble, banjo and washboard, bluegrass and, ragtime band – enjoy the Russian Rag by Robert Linus Cobb!

Addtional Information

Some links about Ragtime:

Tabs for the Russian Rag are available at:

Sheet music is available in the Petrucci Library:


aa mandolin guitar

Herbert-Baumann Composition Competition for Mandolin, Mandolin Duet, Mandolin and…

The Musikforum Schweinfurt e.V. is a community of musicians, music lovers and teachers. They have selected the following motto for their activities:

Im Mittelpunkt steht die Musik.

My translation (if you have a better translation please let me know):

In the center there is the music.

The Musikforum Schweinfurt e.V. arranges musical competitions every year. The last competition – the Michael-Tröster-Competion for Guitar Duos – took place this year.

In October 2011 the International Siegfried-Behrend-Competition for Mandolin Orchestras will take place.

And there will also be a competition for composers:

Herbert-Baumann-Kompositionswettbewerb: “Neue Musik für junge Mandolinenspieler”

Herbert-Baumann-Competition: “New Music for Young Mandolin Players”

This competition is advertised for new compositions in two categories, short pieces for the first and second grade (“Unterstufe” and “Mittelstufe” according to the syllabus of the Association of German Music Schools VdM) :

Category I:

  • Mandolin Solo
  • Duets for Two Mandolins


  • Mandolin and Piano
  • Mandoline and Guitar

On the homepage of the Musikforum Schweinfurt you can find an interesting 10-page document with a description of all possible techniques of the mandolin and the notations for those compiled by Marga Wilden-Hüsgen.

The winning compositions will be published in  two separate volumes titled Aachener Mandolinenbuch. I think this is a big chance to get a nice collection of new pieces for mandolin, mandolin duet, mandolin and guitar and mandolin and piano.

I have selected 3 videos with works that have been composed for the Herbert-Baumann-Competition in 2009 which was advertised for new composition for guitar. The winning compositions have been published in the Schweinfurter Gitarrenbuch. Michael Tröster plays three compositions:

Playlist Michael Tröster – Schweinfurter Gitarrenbuch

Additional Information

Musikforum Schweinfurt: http://www.musikforum-schweinfurt.de/

More competitions for composition: http://www.cmc.ie/opportunities/competitions.html

mandolin and piano

Mandolin & Piano: The Duo “Esposito-Ameglio” – Calace, Barbella,…

The Duo “Esposito-Ameglio” has made available some videos from a concert given  Jan. 29th 2011 in Gennaio.

The program included works by Raffaele Calace for mandolin and piano, a beautifull Ave Maria by Caccini and the Concerto for Mandolin by Emanuele Barbella.

Paola Esposito

Born in Savona in 1978. She brilliantly concluded her mandolin studies in 2003 at the conservatory of Padova under the supervision of Maestro Ugo Orlandi, becoming one of only two qualified mandolin players in all of Liguria.

She plays a “Pandini” mandolin (Ferrara 1998), and a “Calace” mandolin (Napoli 2006).

Together with Giorgio Ameglio on the piano she has founded the Duo Esposito-Ameglio to play the original music composed for mandolin and piano as well as selected transcriptions for mandolin and piano.

More videos from concerts given in 2009 can be found in the youtube channel of Paola Esposito. It is also possible to download several mp3 files with recordings from the homepage of the duo.

There are several concerts planned for this year 2011, including a concert in Wolfsburg in Germany on March 22.

Caccini – Ave Maria

Playlist Duo Esposito -Ameglio

Additional information

Homepage: http://www.duoespositoameglio.com/

mp3 downloads: http://www.duoespositoameglio.com/download/mp3/

youtube channel Paola Esposito: http://www.youtube.com/user/paolamandolino

youtube channel Duo Esposito Ameglio: http://www.youtube.com/user/DuoEspositoAmeglio

More blog posts about Italy: http://www.mandoisland.com/?tag=italy

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Raffaele Calace – Rhapsodia Napoletana for Mandolin and Piano…

I have just discovereda new video with the Rhapsodia Napoletana by Raffaele Calace. Yasunobu Inoue plays this Rahpsodia on a mandolin built by Calace in 1926.

Calace used several famous Neapolitan songs in this Rhapsodia – you will definitively recognize some of the songs.

Yasunobu Inoue was born in 1975. He has successfully taken part in several mandolin competitions and is very active in the Japanese mandolin scene. He has conducted the ArsNova mandolin orchestra and is the current director of the Arte Mandolinistica mandolin orchestra that organizes a competition for new compositions for mandolin orchestra every two years.

Calace:Rhapsodia Napoletana(1)

Mandolin:Yasunobu Inoue Japan

Instrument : Raffaele Calace 1926 type Classico A

Calace:Rhapsodia Napoletana(2)

More information about Yasunobu Inoue:

Homepage of Yasunobu Inoue: http://www.inouemandolin.com/

Youtube channel of Yasunobu Inoue: http://www.youtube.com/user/mandolinoue

Profil of Yasunobu Inoue (google translation): http://translate.google.de/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.inouemandolin.com%2Fprofile.htm