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Jeffrey Lewis
Mar-30-2005, 8:47pm
If anyone has any sheetmusic, sound files, jor links to websites with traditional Italian floks songs, i'd appreciate it.

Thanks, jeff

Mandobar
Mar-30-2005, 9:49pm
take at look on ebay. there is a book by terry pender with some italian folksongs there right now.

flairbzzt
Mar-30-2005, 11:28pm
Go to oldmandolin.com and click on neopolitan folk songs.

Martin Jonas
Mar-31-2005, 3:37am
There are 72 Italian folk dance tunes here (http://members.yline.com/~zeiler1/abc/czital.abc) in ABC format as free download. Lots of intriguing tunes, including a wonderful saltarello. They are from a site intended for the diatonic accordion; some work well on mandolin, others not at all or only after extensive rejigging. There are links to more downloadable tunebooks on the main ABC page (http://members.yline.com/~zeiler1/abc_eng.html) from that site, including a rather nice collection of 124 waltzes, mostly French. To convert to sheet music, use ABC Navigator (http://abcnavigator.free.fr/abcnvgt.php?lang=eng) and open the .abc file in this program.

Martin

Paul Hostetter
Apr-07-2005, 2:43am
Sheri Mignano is about to release a big book of Italian tunes at the SF Mandolin Festival coming right up. She's an accordion player and I imagine the book, like the site Martin mentioned above, will require some adapting for mandolin. She got pretty tight with Tony Flores, the Sicilian mandolinist I played guitar for for 25 years, during the last year of his life and will be including some of his repertoire in the book. In any case, it should be good.

She's in cahoots with a guy named Bruce Zweig who has a large online trove of the music of the late Matteo casserino here: http://www.brucezweig.com/music/matteo/ . Matteo played mandolin and had a staggering repertoire. A very colorful guy as well. Soundfiles and charts here.

Jeff, it's interesting you asked for "folk songs" as a great deal of what passes for folk music in Italy is Neapolitan song. There are also lots of folksongs, but many of the popular chestnuts were composed pieces that had words (which made them songs) but also had distinct enough melodies that they stood on their own as tunes. Tony and I played lots of this stuff.

http://www.lutherie.net/Tony.1.jpg

Martin Jonas
Apr-07-2005, 6:30am
Paul -- Thanks very much for the link to the Matteo Casserino soundfiles and sheet music; I hadn't seen these before, and there's a lot of lovely stuff there.

I see that Tony Flores was holding an A style with f-holes in the photo: do you know whether Matteo Casserino played bowlback, or whether he too went American in his choice of instrument?

Martin

Apr-07-2005, 8:12am
I was looking at tabs the other day at alltabs. I went on the meassage board and they had a topic about these italian mando tunes. I think someone was offering to mail the sheets as well.

Anyway check on the message board Here (http://www.alltabs.com)

Jim Garber
Apr-07-2005, 8:17am
Paul: I would also mention the two CDs of Tony's music which I believe you play on. Are those still available? They are wonderful.

I also have some italian sheet music in gif format here (http://www.paperclipdesign.com/19ctunes/).

Also: I don't have it in front of me, but there is a nice paperback book of italian traditional dances with sheet music written in English by Beppe Gambetta's wife. It came with a nice CD of some of the tunes played by Carlo Aonzo, Beppe and other musicians. I am not sure how to get it but i bought it at a concert that Beppe and Carlo played.

Jim

billkilpatrick
Apr-07-2005, 8:29am
another very interesting - if costly - source of material is the alan lomax collection of italian folk songs he recorded in the 1950's.

www.alan-lomax.com/home.html

chow (!) - bill

Paul Hostetter
Apr-07-2005, 12:34pm
Martin: Matteo played a Gibson A-something. He had heavily worked it over, replacing the carved back with a flat piece of plywood, repainting the front an opaque pale beige. When people asked about it he would crow that he'd built it himself, though it still had "Gibson" inlaid in the headstock. I think the back and the paint job described the actual extent of his lutherial skills.

Hereís the old boy at CaffŤ Trieste:

http://www.lutherie.net/matteo..sm.jpg

I played on just one of the Tony CDs: Ricordo di San Vito, which I also produced. The other one was assembled from several direct-to-cassette recordings produced by Billy Packard many years earlier, on which Billy played guitar as well. Tony kept a number of guitar players pretty busy, including Joe Weed, Greg Swim, and his daughter Lisa. Tonyís son Vince often played bass if the gig called for it.

In a sort of mad dash before he passed away, Tony was giving away boxes of the remaining CDs to anyone and everyone because he didnít want anyone to be stuck with too much of his stuff. I have about ten copies left of my own! I own the masters of Ricordo di San Vito and have the contract with the pressing plant, but a new fresh pressing would run a lot of money, so Iím not quite sure what to do.

I love Traversata, the second Gambetta/Aonzi CD. Tony also really dug it, and neither of us cared much for the first one at all. The secret ingredient on the second one was Dave Grisman, who spent a lot of time with Rudy Cipolla, another SF mandolin wizard. David profoundly understands Italian music and managed to make the Italian bluegrass guy and the Italian classical mandolin player sound like Italians after all. Iíd love to know more about this book you picked up at the concert!

Jim Garber
Apr-07-2005, 1:04pm
I love Traversata, the second Gambetta/Aonzi CD. Tony also really dug it, and neither of us cared much for the first one at all. The secret ingredient on the second one was Dave Grisman, who spent a lot of time with Rudy Cipolla, another SF mandolin wizard. David profoundly understands Italian music and managed to make the Italian bluegrass guy and the Italian classical mandolin player sound like Italians after all. Iíd love to know more about this book you picked up at the concert!
Interesting... I felt just the opposite. I liked Serenata better with more of a sense of italian --perhaps more than Italian-American. Beppe and Carlo did a lot of groundwork listening to the old Italians, notably Pasquale Taraffo and Nino Catania. My feeling of the weakness of Traversata is DG's contributions. he is no doubt a great player in many respects but did not mesh all that well with the Italian style IMHO.

One the third hand I have practically worn out Rounder 1095 - Italian String Virtuosi (http://www.rounder.com/index.php?id=album.php&catalog_id=5584), which has a few of the cuts, notably Costumi Siciliani by Giovanni Giovale who even Carlo calls one of the greatest Italian folk virtuosi.

BTW I forgot to mention that Rouynder CD. Run and get it if you don't have it.

I will dig out that book when ui get a moment.

Jim

Paul Hostetter
Apr-07-2005, 2:54pm
My standard for playing style is the old 78s, such as you hear on Rounder 1095. I have quite a stash of those 78s, in fact had a good many of those pieces before the CDs even came out. Those old guys played polkas, mazurkas and the like for dancers. They had an oomph and conviction that was, for me, entirely missing on the first Aonzi/Gambetta CD. That one really sounded like a classical mandolinist (which he was) and a bluegrass guitar player (which he was) in search of a sound and one another. David plays with balls, as do most of the mandolin guys he and I admire (though I watched Rudy Cipolla play Dave right under the table at his 90th birthday gig once). Dave made them play like Italians do.

One of the guys on the Rounder CD is Giuseppe Vicari, who later appeared in the wedding scene in Godfather II (I think) with his DíAngelico mandolin and his entire orchestra. Terry Zwigoff visited him in Little Italy around the time of the filming and said the old guy was still hanging out in barber shops playing with friends in that old duo and trio style, and still barely spoke English.

But you could be right about a certain Italian-American sound. If there is such a thing, it's what I like because it's what I have been immersed in all these years. But I think itís more about musical intent than geography, because I hear so many examples that arenít really Italian-American.

I have a penpal in Rome who played with his late father and *he* thinks the real sound is like Matteo and Tony and so on. Tonyís favorite album was the Barbers of Taormina, a mystery cheapo 33 thatís also some great playing.

http://www.lutherie.net/mandolino.cover.jpg

This is not to diss classical mandolin or anything; I just prefer the more vibrant and gutsy style of the old dudes on the 78s and this vinyl above.

For over thirty years I have only played this music with Italians. They're all dead now, and Iím trying to reckon with that.

Jim Garber
Apr-07-2005, 3:18pm
One of the guys on the Rounder CD is Giuseppe Vicari, who later appeared in the wedding scene in Godfather II (I think) with his DíAngelico mandolin and his entire orchestra. Terry Zwigoff visited him in Little Italy around the time of the filming and said the old guy was still hanging out in barber shops playing with friends in that old duo and trio style, and still barely spoke English.
I understand your attraction toward the gutsy. Coming from the folk end of things I feel the same way.

BTW Giovanni Vicari lived in the NY area. There were quite a few folks in the New York Mandolin Orchestra who took lessons with him. I have my doubts about the Zwigoff story, or at least the one that Vicari told to Zwigoff. Vicari made tons of records and many Latin style ones under the name of Juan Vicari. I have an LP of some of his playing from a small NY label from the 1950s or 60s. Incredible playing tho I actually prefer Giovale's more relaxed but equally virtuosic style.

Barry Mitterhoff was playing a concert in Westchester years ago and played as one of his pieces Migiliavacca a virtuosic mazurka. After the concert a small Italian woman approached Barry and told him that her husband used to play that. Of course it was Mrs. Vicari. Barry later went over to her house in Queens. There are quite a few home recordings but it is questionable whether they will be reissued at any time.

The amazing thing I find, after speakig the Gus Garelick, is that you left coasters seem to have found all these great italian players whereas in NY are they seem to be all gone at least I know of none who had been still playing as of say 15-20 years ago.

Jim

Paul Hostetter
Apr-07-2005, 3:51pm
When I mentioned that Terry Zwigoff had visited Vicari in his apartment in Little Italy, I thought it was understood that was in the New York area, lower Manhattan to be precise. I don't remember much about the stories he told to Zwigoff back then, but the barbershop situation was personally observed, as Terry went there with him. He was teaching a bit at the time, living in the neighborhood he'd lived in all his life, and was playing great. The entire orchestra in the Godfather was his orchestra, he could provide music on any scale for an Italian event and was still doing so. The movie paid better than most, but he did alright. A duo to a medium-sized orchestra, he was your guy. I have no reason to doubt a word Terry said. What do you think he might have gotten wrong?

I had a nice conversation once with Francis Coppola about that scene and that orchestra.

Augusto Migliavacca was a pretty remarkable musician and composer. Is there a connection between Mitterhof's piece and that composer?

Jim Garber
Apr-07-2005, 4:05pm
Migliavacca piece was apart of some latrger concerto by Arienzo. Very confusing because I have also seen it attributed to someone named Migliavacca.

My comment about the Zwigoff thing was no slight against Zwigoff or Sr. Vicari, just my own experience with old timers. Sort of like the old country guys who would love those city folk to believe that they never left their small town. I find it hard to believe in Vicari never leaving Little Italy etc. I think he was too smart the business person, viz "Juan Vicari." he had to make a living as a musician and would play those cha-chas that everyone was dancing to. I also think he did a fair amount of studio work as well. he was a guitarist and banjo player as well.

I took lessons for a few years from Roy Smeck and there was a bit of friendly BS about him as well, in a charming way, of course. That is all I was saying.

Jim

Eugene
Apr-07-2005, 4:29pm
Thanks for the link to that page of charts, Paul. #I wish there was more fake-book-style Italian folk material abvailable. #As I've said to Jim, I think Terry Pender's little book works best when approached as a fake book and the written accompaniments are ignored.

Alright! #Vicari, Giovale, Taraffo, etc. #These were the guys. #I'm glad to see them not forgotten. #When you listen to old recordings of these guys, even characters like Siegel, they tended to be consistently loud, in your face, brassy... #That conviction is fun for a bit, but I prefer more refinement and variety in dynamics and phrasing. #de Pace had that way back then; I think Aonzo does today too.

On Traversata and Serenata, I love both...but differently. #I think there was plenty of Italianate bravura on Serenata, sometimes maybe too much (I know the obscene tempo of Calace's Bolero rubbed some the wrong way). #However, the non-musical bits of ambient noise from daily Italian life on Serenata were a little distracting. #Much of the material on Serenata was drawn from the recorded repertoire of chitarrista Pasquale Taraffo. #Of course, on several of the tracks from Traversata, Grisman doesn't appear at all. #I like Traversata best when Grisman is playing a rather straight back up to Aonzo. #I love Grisman's improv, but when he improvises on this disc, it always seems a little out of place to me; instead of the flowing, passionate lyricism I expect, I get a quirky assemblage of blue notes and syncopated lines. #This works great on albums like I'm Beginning to See the Light or even the Tone Poems series, but, again, simply felt out of place to me on Traversata. #Listen, e.g., to Costumi Siciliani. #It's a great tune and a great track, but when Grisman wings it, it is a decidedly contrasting feel; I find it just too different in context.

Martin Jonas
Apr-07-2005, 5:31pm
In a sort of mad dash before he passed away, Tony was giving away boxes of the remaining CDs to anyone and everyone because he didnít want anyone to be stuck with too much of his stuff. I have about ten copies left of my own! I own the masters of Ricordo di San Vito and have the contract with the pressing plant, but a new fresh pressing would run a lot of money, so Iím not quite sure what to do.
Paul, thanks for the details on Matteo and the lovely photo.

If you own the rights to the album but think that there won't be enough commercial interest to cover the costs of a repressing, you could always put it up for download. I'm sure there'll be some appreciative folks right here...

Martin

Martin Jonas
Apr-27-2005, 2:54pm
I've now been playing around with the charts for the Matteo songs, as linked above, for a couple of weeks and I absolutely love them. Most of them are straightforward to play, but so much fun to wail away at the tremolo. Thanks again, Paul, for the link. Anybody who hasn't checked these out yet should do so!

Martin

layers5
Apr-28-2005, 4:51pm
Want to hear some baroque violin music with strong Italian classical roots? Check out the violin sonatas of Guiseppe Tartini, eighteenth-century virtuoso and pedagogue. The recordings by Elizabeth Wallfisch are particularly well-done, on the Hyperion label.

Another source of wonderful Italian tunes is the CD Espaniola by the Chatham Baroque ensemble. It's on the Dorian label.

I love this period, the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century, when folk melodies were being played by both fiddlers and violinists.

Jim Garber
Apr-28-2005, 5:11pm
Thanks, Layers5.

It looks like Berkshire Record Outlet has some of the Wallfisch (http://www.berkshirerecordoutlet.com/cgi-bin/seek.pl?StartRow=1&QueryText=Elizabeth+Wallfisch&AndOr=AND&Meth=Some&RPP=25) recordings at discount prices.

Amazon says that Chatham Baroque CD EspaŮoleta is not available but it is listed on their site (http://www.chathambaroque.org/record4.html). However, it also says that it is "Baroque Music of Spain"... no mention of Italian. And I see nothing labelled Espaniola.

Jim

Eugene
Apr-28-2005, 9:39pm
I love the Wallfisch recordings of Tartini, even more of Locatelli, but they are rather academic, and I don't think they are particularly folksy. More frenzied and perhaps folk-like would be Manze's approach to Tartini (1997. The Devil's Sonata. Harmonia Mundi, HMU 907213). ...And even more folk-like might be the guitar music of the very early baroque; check out Ensemble Kapsberger's remarkable Alfabeto CD (2001. Naive/Astree, E8852). ...But this probably is better suited to its own thread in the classical section.

billkilpatrick
May-01-2005, 12:38pm
my stepfather has become involved with the local golf course of the town he lives in in southern vermont and wants to organize a meal in august with a tuscan theme. they would like to have live music of the solo mandolin or mandolin/violin/guitar trio variety - hardly tuscan but who cares! ... we're in italy!

if there's anyone on the list who could do a gig of this nature - "popular" italian songs of the "finiculi-finucula" variety - and is free in august, please contact me. i have no idea how much money is involved but i assume the club will pay union wages.

thankin'-a-you - bill

layers5
May-02-2005, 6:09am
I agree with Eugene that the Manze recordings of Tartini sonatas are wonderful, with an almost jazz-like improvisatory quality. A very inspired and inventive player!

Paul Hostetter
May-04-2005, 3:19am
Bill - I might have a suggestion for you. Contact me offlist (and forgive the spam filter procedure).

Mandophile
Sep-08-2015, 2:27pm
Just found this thread and wanted to add a bit more about Augusto Migliavacca from Parma. V. Arienzo gets credit but he only introduced it to American as an arrangement. He did not actually write it. The blind violinist Augusto himself 'composed' it in the sense that the blind poet Homer 'wrote' the Iliad and the Odyssey. Yes, it was part of what I'd call a medley. I've uploaded the di Bella version in the Drop box and a Gaviano arrangement is in the accordion folder. Here's a brief bio on this remarkable old guy. This mazurka is probably right up there with Speranze Perdute in terms of the most famous to cross the Atlantic. http://www.parmaitaly.com/migliavacca.html

journeybear
Sep-08-2015, 6:56pm
I hope the OP has found some sheet music in the ten years since he started this thread. ;) For anyone interested, I found the pdf file available through the link in Post #25 on the Southern Italian Mandolin (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?51083-Southern-Italian-Mandolin&p=826930&viewfull=1#post826930) thread very helpful. I found it several years ago when I got a gig playing background music in an Italian restaurant, and have done so again when I got another such gig a month ago. :mandosmiley:

These transcriptions aren't of folk songs but dance tunes, and much of them are actually played on accordion, but they work well for mandolin. Also, many of them are in G. And Martin Jonas uploaded a lot of videos of himself playing a bunch of these tunes on that thread, which is very helpful.

Inasmuch as restarting this thread may not be the way to go, it's current now, so I thought I would mention this. For anyone looking for such sheet music, my search for that thread using the terms "southern italian" turned up a couple of pages of threads, some of which are bound to have sheet music or other productive links. I'm going to work my way through those threads looking for new material. Buon' fortuna!