Tag: serenade

historical recordings

Historical Recordings with Mandolin (Antique Phonograph Music Program)

Beside the Cylinder Preservation Project about which I have recently written in my blog I have found some other historical recordings. A radio staion in New York has a weekly feature with historical recordings played from Edison-cylinders and other old recordings on the original devices.

I have found the following recordings with mandolin. Those broadcasts are availabe as streaming audio. Some of the tunes are also available in the Cylinder Preservation Project, but there are some additional tunes that can be found here.

You can use the playlists to locate the tunes with mandolin, I have added the time of the beginning of the titles in some cases.

Cacliz MarchAthenian Mandolin QuartetVictor 18057 Disc 1916

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/28078 (ca. 22:30)


http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/22073 (second title)

Hungarian SerenadeAlessio’s Mandolin QuartetEdison BA 2863 4-minute cylinder 1916

http://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/37230 (11th title, ca. 35:10)

Allegro VivoWilliam Place Mandolin QuartetteColumbia A1656 Disc 1914

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/35836 (10. Stück, ca. 39:30)

Demetrius C. Dounis – mandolinSouvenirAmberol cylinder 4M-10441912

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/22002 (with a historic picture of  Demetrius C. Dounis; 12th title)

Trio Instrumental ArriagaJessey – polcaBlue Amberol cylinder 22028 (.5)1913

A comment to this broadcast about the Trio Arriaga:

By the way, i found information about the Trio Arriaga some days ago in the internet :

“The Trio Instrumental Arriaga was a very popular musical ensamble (originally a duet) created by mandolin player Joaquin J. Arriaga, and guitarist Octaviano Yanez, which sucess lead them to record some ballroom pieces in the early 1900’s for the Edison Phonographic Company in blue amberol cylinders, most of the pieces were writen by mexican composer Carlos Curti.


Samuel Siegal – mandolin, M. Lloyd Wolfe – guitarAn autumn eveningGold Moulded cylinder 90141905


RemembrancePlace Mandolin QuartetteColumbia A 1656 Disc 1914 

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/36364 (3rd piece, ca. 8:40)

See also the following discussion in the Mandolin Cafe:


My article about recordings of the Cylinder Preservation Projects:

Historical recordings with Mandolin – Cylinder Preservation Project

Additional information

Playlists and Archives for Thomas Edison’s Attic: http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/TE

Antique Phonograph Music Program with MAC: http://wfmu.org/playlists/AP

more articles about historical recordings: http://www.mandoisland.com/?tag=historical-recordings

mandolin methods

Ferdinando de Cristofaro – The Famous Mandolin Method and…

Cristofaro – Methode de Mandoline (1884)

I have recently added the first part of the mandolin method by Ferdinando de Cristofaro as a free download to my homepage mandoisland. You can find information about Cristofaro in the famous book “The Guitar and Mandolin” by Ph. J. Bone entnommen, you can view or download this complete book from archive.org:


Here is the beginning of the text about Cristofaro:

Cristofaro, Ferdinando, de, born in Naples, the home of the
mandolin, in 1846, died in Paris, April 18, 1890. The son of
respectable parents in Naples, Cristofaro rose to be one of the
most celebrated mandolin virtuosi of modern times. He received
his musical education in the Conservatory of his native city,
devoting himself to the study of the piano, and had his life been
spared, his fame as a virtuoso on that instrument would have
extended far beyond his achievements as a mandolinist. Cristofaro
was entirely self-taught on the mandolin, and he soon distinguished
himself by his performances on this instrument in Italy. To the
Neapolitans, he introduced a new and completely advanced method
of playing — accustomed as they were to hearing the instrument in
the hands of strolling players, used more for accompanying popular
songs than anything else — the classical compositions, executed by
Cristofaro, caused unbounded enthusiasm, astonishment, and
admiration. His fame spread rapidly throughout his native land,
and after appearing with success in all the important cities, he was
induced to visit Paris. It was in 1882 that he arrived in this city,
where he was immediately recognised as the premier mandolinist
of the day ; he won a widespread and enviable reputation, and as a
teacher, his services were in constant demand by French aristocracy.
During his residence in Paris, he appeared in public with the most
prominent musicians of the time — M. Gounod, upon several
occasions playing the pianoforte accompaniments to his solos. In
1888, Cristofaro visited London, and here he met with his usual
success, and was sought in this city also as a teacher, and was
appointed conductor of the " Ladies' Guitar and Mandolin Band."
and later:
Cristofaro was the author of a most com-
prehensive and artistic method for the mandolin. It consists of
two volumes, each being published in five languages: English,
French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, and treats of the
instrument fully, and is illustrated by numerous diagrams. It
commences with the elements of the theory of music, and all the
exercises are melodious and arranged with a definite object : they
are well -graded and admirably suited for pupil and teacher,, as
the majority are written as duets for two mandolins. Several of
these studies deserve special notice for their beauty of melody and
form, among such, we mention particularly, the Andante maestoso,
Larghetto, Andante religioso, in double stopping, and Allegro
giusto, style fugue, all in the second volume. The method was
published in November, 1884, by Lemoine, Paris, and it had
reached the twelfth edition previous to the death of of its author in
1890. Cristofaro had previously written a method for the mandolin
when he was living in Naples, before he was thirty years of age,
this being published in 1873, by Cottrau of that city.

The complete mandolin method (part 1) by Cristofaro is available for download on my homepage: http://www.mandoisland.de on page “Free Sheet Music” or also on “Mandolin Methods”

An original Mandolin Pick from the 19th Century!

After I had prepared the method for download I tried to find once again informations about Cristofaro with searching the internet – and I found one very interesting article. A collector of vintage guitar picks has bought some old picks from a seller in France.One of thepicks is stamed with “Cristofaro – Paris” which made him curious. He found the information about Ferdinado de Cristofaro (i guess that he got it from Bone’s book) which brought him to the conclusion that this pick  must have been produce at the time when Cristofaro’s mandolin method was published, abd probably befor Cristofaro’s death – somtime between 1884 and 1990. This pick has been made from celluloid – so it may be the oldest pick made from celloloid.

You can find the complete post about the original Cristofaro mandolin pick here:

Cristofaro: The Oldest Pick?


Some time ago I have made a video of a Mandolin Serenade composed by Desormes and arranged for the mandolin by Cristofaro:

Mandolin Serenade – Sérénade de Mandolines – Classical Mandolin

aa mandolin guitar

Mandolin, Guitar and Ukulele Videos

Here are my latest youtube Videos:

I Skovens Dybe Stille Ro – Classical Guitar Solo

Guitar Arrangement of a Danish Folk Song:

Ragtime Medley – Mandolin Solo

Sérénade de Mandolines – Mandolin Serenade

Hallo Sommer / Hello Summer – Ukulele Solo

Thanks for watching and subscribing to my youtube channel!

favorite tunes

Mandolin Serenade – Charlie Chaplin

I knew already, that Charlie Chaplin composed some music. But I did not know, that he did also compose a piece for the mandolin – the Mandolin Serenade used in his movie A King in New York.

Recently I have discovered videos with this Mandolin Serenade. The first video is from a record with the Mandolin Serenade conducted by Charlie Chaplin. This record was published in 1957. I did not find any note about the mandolin player who played on this recording. As the movie was filmed in the UK, maybe this recording was also done in the UK with a British mandolin player?

Charlie Chaplin – Mandolin Serenade

Another version of the Mandolin Serenade was recorded by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Carl Davis eingespielt and has been published on a double CD The Essential Film Music Collection. The mandolin has been played by Gareth Williams on this recording. I did not find any information about a mandolin player with this name.

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Composed by Charlie Chaplin

Mandolin Serenade theme from Charlie Chaplin’s A King in New York (1957) performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Carl Davis (Aufgenommen 2005)

Playlist Charlie Chaplin – Mandolin Serenade

When I tried to find some information about Charlie Chaplin as a composer, I found the following article from a 1940 issue of the time magazine.


There you can read:

Charlie Chaplin had no musical training, cannot read a note. But he plays the piano well for an amateur, the violin and concertina very well. Chaplin composes by humming, whistling or playing his themes on a piano while someone takes his tunes down. Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,764630,00.html#ixzz0kK4tkKka

More information about Charlie Chaplin as a composer can be found in the following two articles:

Charlotte Higgins: The great composer; The Guardian Monday 27 November 2000 01.20 GMT:


Chaplin as a composer; Extract from « Charlie Chaplin » by Theodore Huff, published by Henry Schuman Inc., New York 1951:


Additional information

Homepage about Charlie Chaplin with a lot of informations: http://www.charliechaplin.com/

Review of the CD The Essential Film Music Collection: http://www.musicweb-international.com/film/2006/jun06/essen_chaplin.html

Wikipedia about “A King in New York”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_King_in_New_York

Deeproots Magazine about Charlie Chaplin – with many great videos

CD tip (Amazon partnerlink)

Charlie Chaplin – Thomas Beckmann