View Full Version : Diferencias

Oct-01-2003, 7:50am
Dear mando-friends and mandokin:

Last year I composed my first (and only, so far) work for solo mandolin, titled Diferencias, on commission from a group that performs Sephardic music and dance, i.e. of the Judeo-Hispanic cultural heritage from the 15th century on. Diferencias, accordingly, is a set of variations on a traditional Sephardic tune from Thessaloniki, Greece, were a large such community lived up until the unfortunate events of WWII.

Up until today, I was restricted from circulating this piece in the U.S. by contractual obligations with the group that commissioned it; these restrictions have just expired and I am hereby making a public offer of a free copy to any and all of my MC-friends.

If interested, please just e-mail me your snail-mail address and I will drop a copy in the mail for you ASAP. All I ask for in return is, should you ever perform it in public, that you send me a copy of the program.

Oct-01-2003, 8:08am
Dear mando-friends and mandokin:

Last year I composed my first (and only, so far) work for solo mandolin, titled Diferencias, on commission from a group that performs Sephardic music and dance, i.e. of the Judeo-Hispanic cultural heritage from the 15th century on. Diferencias, accordingly, is a set of variations on a traditional Sephardic tune from Thessaloniki, Greece, were a large such community lived up until the unfortunate events of WWII.

Up until today, I was restricted from circulating this piece in the U.S. by contractual obligations with the group that commissioned it; these restrictions have just expired and I am hereby making a public offer of a free copy to any and all of my MC-friends.

If interested, please just e-mail me your snail-mail address and I will drop a copy in the mail for you ASAP. All I ask for in return is, should you ever perform it in public, that you send me a copy of the program.
I, for one would be very interested in your piece. I believe you have my postal address. An uploaded digital version would be fine too (save on the postage).


Oct-01-2003, 8:22am
Sure thing, Richard. I will have your postal address once I receive the CD with Munier; if you wish to expedite this further, you can always drop me a note with your address through MC's messenger.

Stupidly enough, I was remiss in sending this to you anyhow, as the restrictions only applied to U.S. performances prior to 10/1/03. So far (and other than myself and the director of the group that commissioned Diferencias, of course), only our friend Alex has seen this piece.

A digital version did cross my mind, but I am hopelessly old-fashioned. In my own, rusty mind, a musical score is and will always be a kind of a fetish: a snapshot of my life's experiences, handed to a performer who might share them. Digital technology is a wonder; still, it is not my path of choice in such matters. Call me a hopeless case, perhaps...

Oct-01-2003, 9:23am
I am mightily interested as well. #However, I suspect the title of the tune might be misinterpreted. #Diferencias was the word used in Spain to describe any set of variations on any tune from the renaissance into the baroque era. #Books for vihuela de mano and early guitars are packed with reams of diferencias sobre "las Folias," "Conde Claros," "Guárdame las vacas," etc. #I'm not familiar with any one tune to get the "diferencias" moniker on its own. #Can you hum a few bars? #Can I compensate (faster than I did the last time)? #No need to mail; I'll see you in a couple weeks!

Oct-01-2003, 9:45am
Eh, well, Eugene, the full title (true to the semantic exigencies that you correctly point out) ought to be "Diferencias sobre Morenika", morenika being the seductive, dark-complexioned young woman mentioned in the lyrics of this classic Sephardic song from Thessaloniki, where I spent some of my childhood. I just opted for the generic title— you know what I mean.

No, no monetary compensation needed; I only hope you and others enjoy it. I will remember to bring a copy for you when we meet.

Oct-01-2003, 9:53am
I'm certain it's tres chic under long or short title!

Neil Gladd
Oct-01-2003, 11:23am
Victor, I had spied that on your website recently and meant to ask you about. I want one too!


Bob A
Oct-01-2003, 11:42am
Victor, I too would be very pleased to have a copy. Is it at all within reach of those of us with more enthusiasm than talent?

Jim Garber
Oct-01-2003, 12:08pm
I am also interested. We will finally meet in person at the Aonzo workshop so you can bring it there. At the moment I would have tim eto just glance at it since I am boning up on the Carlo pieces.

BTW are there any other composers on this list besides Victor and Neil?


Oct-02-2003, 7:29am
Neil, do I have your postal address? All I find in my records under your name is your e-mail. Would you be kind enough to e-mail the snail-mail address to me, so I can drop a copy of the score in the mail today?

Bob, certainly; this piece does require some practice to bring up to performance level but is still readily playable at first sight.

OK, Jim, I will bring you a copy. Your comment regarding "boning up" for Carlo's classes is a painful reminder of my own inability to practice much mandolin at all these days; the Bach Festival I play (bass) in begins today, a gazillion rehearsals and other such stuff running concurrently... Aaaaaaargh! At least I will be among friends, who are presumed (and hoped) to be kind to my deficiencies http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Oct-03-2003, 4:18pm
I'm looking forward to recieveing Victor's piece as well.

To answer Jim's query about composers. I am a composer, though I haven't yet written a solo mandolin piece--mostly chamber music (small and large ensembles), solo instrumental, choral and vocal.

I have recently begun work on a piece for mandolin and tape. More about that when it's done...

Oct-03-2003, 5:36pm
Today's mail brought a copy of Victor's piece. I immediately took out the mandolin and played through it. What can I say -- it's a lovely piece! It has a strong theme, with a dark, arresting quality to it, and the variations are developed throughout with great skill. It is not a piece by any means for a beginning student, but everything is very playable and lies extremely well on the fingerboard (on the Vogt&Fritz scale of things, I would rate this between a 3 and a 4, sort of advanced intermediate). It should be published.
As is my custom, after playing through "Differencias" on mandolin, I then played it on classical guitar (Victor, I hope you don't mind&#33http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif. It sounds great on guitar too! So it is not surprising that the other piece Victor sent me, the "Preludio" from the "Preludio, Fantasia e Toccata" for guitar is also an excellent piece, with some unusual harmonies in the bass. Victor, can't wait for the rest of the movements!

Oct-03-2003, 5:38pm
Addendum: I think we should collectively encourage Victor to write MORE solo pieces for mandolin (and guitar)!

Alex Timmerman
Oct-04-2003, 5:30am
I completely join the party here!

What is most interesting is that Victor´s "Differencias" for mandolin solo is composed in a very much ´own´ style and that it is so well written for the instrument. And that it is a four! page composition!

If you don´t mind I will give my first impression here:

The theme is very much present throughout the piece, starting quite evocative with two long fermata chords. Then it develops in a more singing (cantabile) way, ornamented with nice thrills (prallers) and grace notes. Interestingly in bar 18 the pulse changes to a 3/4 rhythm through which the melody, now accompanied with sixteenth chord notes, an even more flowing character is given.

Unlike bar 5 to 17 - where chords were placed in a vertical manner - now a much more polyphonic sphere is created.
A well-found transition bar leads the sixteenth notes into a 6/8-measure section in bar 46 and will really challenge the player. Here one just feels the growing excitement! Followed in bar 75, where sixteenth accelerando notes on the open d string (acting like a kind of pedal organ point) have to be played before being shout down by sixteenth interruptive notes which have to be executed on the a string.
This fine section -clever writing- is repeated after a rapid eight bar scale passage.
A great a suggestive find appears just before the end in bar 92 where one has to work from subito piano - alternating the melody with the open d string - up to forte arpeggio chords.
This runs into the last scale passage: a strong descending scale in thirds of which the last three sixteenths are accentuated before the work ends with a long open sforzato tremolo note. # #

Of course there is much more to tell like (the up- and down strokes that are required) about this piece. But that is perhaps something for later, when we all play the work. His "Differencias" is surely worth it!

Like many of us here, lets hope that Victor finds the time to compose more works for or with mandolin.

Many greetings and thanks to you Victor,


Oct-04-2003, 8:54am
Many heartfelt thanks for all your kind words, friends. What a supportive community we have! I am honored to be among you all.

Robert, as it seems you have, ehm... survived my Preludio http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif I will take the liberty of sending you also the Fantasia e Toccata that go with it. Now, let me see where I put the e-mail with your postal address (the "absentminded professor" strikes again...)

Composition-wise, this year looks like many others: I have turned in the piano/vocal score of my eighth and most recent chamber opera to its producers; I am meeting with the conductor this Fall, making some minor musical alterations/corrections; the fair-copied score goes to the singers for their practice/preparation soon thereafter; I spend the end of 2003, beginning of 2004 orchestrating; we go into rehearsal by Spring 2004, on to the stage by May/June.

But all this is technical, nuts & bolts stuff, i.e. not creative work, as in creating something new, from step #1. If you think that some sort of mandolin composition would be particularly welcome to our wonderful community, please let me know. Neil, for example, suggested a set of songs with mandolin, considering that vocal music is my everyday milieu. Any other suggestions?

Alex Timmerman
Oct-04-2003, 9:33am
Hello Victor,

Oh yes, if we may ask you something to write, I would love to make a request to you to write a composition for mandolin quartet (two mandolins, mandola and mandoloncello).

I hope I can do something in return...

(Where can we find time and inspiration for all the nice things one would like to happen?)



Bob A
Oct-05-2003, 5:35pm
A public Thank You to you, Victor. My copy came in yesterday's post, which I saw at midnite. I look forward to playing it tomorrow, when I can escape the coils of toil.

Anything from your pen is a delight. We are well favored by your presence among us.

Plamen Ivanov
Oct-06-2003, 4:01am
Am I too late? I would like to have a copy too!

Oct-06-2003, 7:45am
Plamen, despite the maddening pace of events in our lives, I am happy to say that at least some things are NEVER too late http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Just e-mail me your postal address; I will get a copy in the mail for you as soon as I know where to send it.

Speaking of postal addresses: Bob M. (margora), in the spirit of corporate responsibility, data confidentiality, etc., etc., I stupidly enough did not retain your postal address. Now —and if I am not imposing, as I understand your post above— I have made copies for you of the Fantasia e Toccata that go with the Preludio you seem to have liked, but... http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif If you still want them, would you be kind enough to remind me? http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blush.gif

And, Bob A, you are most welcome. A composer's dealings with the world are nowhere more, ehm... bona fide than among our mando-community.

Oct-06-2003, 7:55am
Victor, yes I want the Fantasia e Toccata, I sent you a private message with my address.

Re: Alex's request for a piece for mandolin quartet, how about mandolin orchestra?

Oct-07-2003, 12:15pm
Hi Victor - May I have a copy of your "Diferencias" as well? I've had a lot of catching up to do around the Cafe lately, being so caught up in the Cubs playoffs mania! ;-)

Thanks for your generous offer!


<span style='color:blue'>Eamus Catuli!</span>

Oct-08-2003, 8:03am
Why, sure, bratsche; just please remind me your address... ehm... when you get up http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

On the subject of mandolin ensemble works, what is the notation of choice for the mandola part? (Uh-oh... the idea is beginning to simmer.) Alto clef, "octava bassa" treble clef, "universal" notation?

Alto clef I can read fluently, if under tempo— after all, I am a composer, not a violist; what I have is score-study skills, not up to tempo, viola-in-hands reading speed. Is that a general standard?

The octava bassa notation would also be convenient, as I write for choirs and vocal ensembles routinely. This solution would be no more difficult to imagine than a regular choral score, with the (sung) tenor part in its customary notation; all else, just like a choral score, i.e. soprano, (vocal) alto, and bass would be as usual.

Or would people prefer "universal" notation, which, to my non-mando-expert understanding, is simply F-transposition? I can also read that (again, with composer-ish limitations of speed) but is that what actual players prefer?

Hmm... perhaps, when the day comes for me to actually write this still imaginary piece, I should have a whole stack of alternate notations of this, third-from-the-top part. Still, your advice would be welcome at this point.

Oct-08-2003, 8:06am
Re: mandola part, I think it varies with the preferences of the player. This summer I played in a mandolin orchestra in which some of the mandola players were reading in alto clef, and others in treble clef (transposing down an octave, I believe).

Alex Timmerman
Oct-09-2003, 6:59am
Hello all,

If the Mandolin Orchestra/Ensemble work is to published for the European market as well, perhaps it is a good idea to publish the part for mandola in both the Alto- and Treble (octava bassa) clef.

Today, with our PC that is done within seconds.

Cheers, Alex.

Mark Levesque
Oct-12-2003, 7:38am
Hi Victor,

Please count me in, I would love to read through "Diferencias".
Do you also have a few books of Greek Folksongs that you have published? (if I remember correctly)
Are they for solo mandolin?
Is there a place on the web where I might find information?

(Sigh), I wish I could make the Aonzo workshop and hang with you and my amigos Jim G. and Eugene but hopefully we will all hook up in the future.


Oct-12-2003, 11:35am
Mark, I have replied to you via direct e-mail. The folk mandolin editions you write of are on the Café's classifieds, although by now they must have receded chronologically to the 4th or 5th page; you can look them up there, if you wish. They are scored for mandolin and guitar, i.e. in the format in which they were usually performed in their own era.

I have not mingled my Mandolinatas with my public offer of the Diferencias, as they are, ehm... different: The former are compilations, collections, anthologies of traditional Greek music for mandolin, and are for sale; the latter, for all its simplicity, is technically a "concert"-piece, of folk derivation but still in a sense original, and offered to any and all of my mando-friends gratis. I certainly do not intend to make this offer seem as a marketing ploy for my other editions.

Yes, it would have been great to have you at Carlo's workshops this coming weekend, although this would enlarge the circle of people to realize that I am more talk than pick http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif Oh, well... between friends...

Jonathan Rudie
Oct-13-2003, 8:46pm
Hi Victor,

Thank you very much for your "Differencia" mandolin solo. #I have been working my way through the piece and enjoy it throughly. #It is truely a soulful composition, and I hope to learn to play it well and with all the soul and spirit it deserves. Thanks again.


Oct-14-2003, 2:09pm
Many thanks for the piece, Victor! It looked somewhat intimidating but I was happy to notice I could play it sight reading, anyway. To "play it well and with all the soul and spirit it deserves" - that will definitely take some time!

It nice to play some modern, a bit different music. The classical stuff I have played has been mainly Baroque and 18th century music - the Romantic turn-of-the-century virtuosos are far beyond my technical abilities.

As my notation reading skills come from piano playing, there are some markings I would like to clarify. The small ´o´ below the note means open string? But what is ´+´? A short trill? Pulled-off grace note? Pardon for my ignorance...

with thanks for your kindness and generosity,

Plamen Ivanov
Oct-15-2003, 2:02am
Hello Victor!

Thank you for the piece! I like it! It`s not a Calace prelude, but it`s OK!http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

OK now I`m serious... I see some very positive things in the whole thing. First of all it`s obvious, that the piece has been written from a composer, that knows the specifics of the instrument "mandolin" and the specifics of the mandolin playing. I find this to be very important! In the last years there are some Italian composers, that come to Bulgaria, in order to record their own music (usualy soundtracks), because it`s cheaper and the quality of the musicians is excellent. The pieces are of course for simphony orchestra, but sometimes, there are also one or two mandolins included. I had the chance to take part in some of this recordings and it`s always clear, when the composer knows the specifics of the mandolin and when he has written a part for the mandolin just because of any other reasons.

The second positive thing is that the piece is not complicated and could be played by more non-professional mandolin players like me, for example. I`m not a follower of the maxima "Art for the Art" or "Art for itself".

Third - Yes, it`s a modern piece, but it has kept in itself some specifics of the music, that it`s based on. That`s what I also like - It`s personal perhaps, because it`s a Balkan piece and it`s close to me.

Victor, I hope you will go on with your noble undertaking - to compose for our beloved instrument. I`m sure the next compositions will become better and better. It`s also very good, if the Classical Area on the Board has something to do with your inspiration. I personally will be very happy to see here other people with any interest to the mandolin - composing, playing or just learning about it.

Thank you once again and good luck!http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Oct-15-2003, 7:21am
Thank you for your kind words, both.

Arto, yes, the little circle means open string; the little cross (as you guessed), a pulled-off grace-note or in general a note sounded by plucking with the left hand, i.e. not picked separately. Both effects are native to the style of folk playing, which this piece aims to evoke.

Again, what a supportive community this is!

Oct-17-2003, 11:58am

I had a look at the piece. It is interesting but am I to assume that the entire piece is played 'sans tremolo'? The tempo is slow enough to allow it but the way it is written makes me think that it is simply played with simple strokes.

Oct-18-2003, 6:21pm
Yes, Richard, you are right: No tremolo is intended. Now, if a performer feels it is imperative to his/her interpretation, well, I certainly would not object. Still, my personal conception of the piece involves no tremolo.

As Richard Strauss once told Lotte Lehmann in a rehearsal of Der Rosenkavalier: "No, no, I had NO such intention! Keep doing what you are, though..." #http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Jim M.
Oct-20-2003, 11:45am
I finally had time to sit down and try the piece. Very nice Victor; thank you! A bit challenging for me but good practice. I especially like the cross-picked parts (is there a classical term for cross-picking?). I'd appreciate ensemble parts of the piece, if you create them. Thanks again.

Bob A
Oct-20-2003, 3:05pm
Two weeks or more down with the flu, plus a confluence of events, has kept me from a serious attempt at resolving my differences with this piece. I'm mightily impressed with it, and mightily impressed with the thought that, given time, I might be able to play it. I'm certainly enjoying the process.

Oct-21-2003, 6:09am
Victor, I have a chance to read through this piece a couple of times and am really enjoying it. Thank you for making this available to us as a community. This really is a treat to play through. It is really good to see mandolin pieces being written today.

Oct-21-2003, 7:48am
Thank you, Jim, Bob, and Charlie.

Jim, I don't know what the "classical" term for cross-picking would be; whatever the actual technique is, well, I have always known it to be part and parcel of mandolin playing— MY ignorance, as always.

Bob, I am glad to hear (and surmise) that you are feeling better. Yes, the piece was intended to be playable by anyone with some basic skills, after, of course, some practice. Heck, if I can play it... http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Charlie, it's all a chain-reaction: Had it not been for Mandolin Café, it would have never crossed my mind to write a piece for solo mandolin— but, fortunately for all of us, there IS Mandolin Café, a wonderful community, some sporadic education for the uninformed like me (see thread on the Aonzo Workshop et al), a handful of real mandolinists around (see RSW, Neil Gladd, Aonzo, Mair, etc.) and so the mandolin culture lives on and prospers.

I am both happy and honored to have planted another little seed in the garden. And, who knows, perhaps someone will perform the Diferencias some place where another composer will hear it and be inspired to write something of his/her own, and some members of HIS/HER audience will think of starting the Local Mandolin Society, and the culture lives on...

Oct-23-2003, 1:29pm
Got it Viktor!
Much thanks! Will try to make time to work through it this weekend and will let you know what my uneducated ears think.

Oct-24-2003, 11:53am
A dear friend (and world-class performing artist) just asked me a question so obvious that I am embarrassed to not have answered it preemptively, earlier on. To wit: What does the song, on which these variations are based, actually say? Obviously, that has a HUGE significance to the character of the mandolin-piece.

To make amends, then: The text is naturally in Ladino, that colorful blend of 14th/15th-century Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, and (post-exile) Greek, Arabic, Turkish (i.e. any language spoken where the Sephardim crash-landed). This is the original, to the best of my non-expert knowledge:

Morenika a mi me llaman;
Yo blanka nasí.

El sol del enverano
Me hizo a mi ansi.

Morenika, graciosika sos.
Yo moreno, tu morena,
Mavra matia.

(In the last line, most strikingly, the text abandons Spanish altogether and switches straight into Greek for the "mavra matia" bit.)

The gist of it, as I understand it, is this: A young woman is making a flirtatious mock-apology for her olive/tan complexion, saying that she doesn't quite understand why people call her "morenika" ("little Moorish one", i.e. dark-compexioned), when in fact she was born fair.

She offers as a logical (but probably untrue?) explanation that the summer sun made her so tan.

Her suitor/lover replies most diplomatically that she is both dark-complexioned AND graceful. And, after all, if she is, so is he, dark-skinned and dark-eyed.

My interpretation of the text is love-play, amorous repartée. The musical variations are ornamentation, embroidery, filigree; different veils, earrings, bracelets, same mysterious, charming young woman.

Linda Binder
Oct-31-2003, 1:34pm
Hello Victor,
I received "Diferencias" in yesterday's mail. It's beautiful! Thank you so much,both for writing it and sharing it. I'm looking forward to spending more time playing it.
Regards, Linda

Nov-24-2003, 9:16am
Well, folks, one thing leads to another and then...

I am happy to report that my major compositional project for 2004 (other than seeing the latest opera to the stage) will be a 15-minute Sinfonia for Het Consort.

Alex and I have agreed to it and are in the process of ironing out the specifics; a "merry bond", really, not a "contract". Have no fear, though: No pound of flesh expected to be forfeited from either side of the bargain http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

My gravest concern remains that, as Alex informs me that his house is not provided with a fireplace but only with central heating, he may have a terribly difficult time disposing of the voluminous pack of score & parts he is doomed to receive from yours truly by next Fall. Well, I will let him worry about that.

Thanking you all for your warm encouragement,

The Wizened Man of the Theater, Ever Struggling to Climb out of the PIT!!! http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Jim Garber
Nov-24-2003, 9:49am
Great news that among two of my favorite correspondents on this board have joined forces!! I can't wait to hear the results.


Nov-24-2003, 12:43pm
Very cool! I am very eager to hear the result.

Plamen Ivanov
Nov-25-2003, 3:41am

I think, that there are not just two of the members of the Board that have joined forces. I feel, that everyone here gets an impulse to do something more regarding the mandolin - learning new things, improving playing, writing music, searching for any mandolin related things, etc. I personally have received support from a lot of people here (and I hope, that I also have contributed for the friendly and beneficial atmosphere here) . So, I think we all have joined forces for something better. I`m waiting eager for the day, when we all will see each other somewhere, I mean, till we are still on Earth. http://mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Go on!!!

Alex Timmerman
Nov-25-2003, 6:41am
Well Victor, I think I found a solution for your high-quality music paper. You see, the Dutch have this strange habbit of burning all their Christmas trees in the open, right after New Year´s Day...

But I don´t think that will be necessary, for I´m sure your composition will be something special. I already informed the ´crew´ and we can´t wait to see and play it!

Best and warm greetings,


Greetings from ´Het CONSORT´.

Alex Timmerman
Dec-23-2003, 8:13pm
Hello Victor,

Ferdinand has studied your Diferencias and we thought it could be nice to have a sound-sample of it here.

Is that OK with you?



Dec-24-2003, 8:21am
Certainly, Alex. It would be nice to hear the piece as played by a more, ehm... adept mandolinist than yours truly. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Dec-26-2003, 6:45pm
Dear friends,

in a few hours we are embarking on the obligatory pilgrimage to DisneyWorld; we do, after all, have a 6-year-old daughter growing up in America and we would not wish her to be culturally deficient, would we? # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

In light of our projected absence for a week, and should Alex post Ferdinand's performance of my Diferencias in the meanwhile, please do not misconstrue my non-response as indifference or (worse yet) tacit disapproval.

And no, I am NOT taking a laptop with me to DW. Doing so would be a sign of dreadful, serious dysfunction! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Talk to you Sunday after. Happy New Year to you all in advance!


Dec-29-2003, 10:42am
Victor, I am really interesting about your work - can you please contact me? I would be very pleased to have a copy!! Thank you and happy new year!!

Dec-30-2003, 7:16pm
vic, the girl of samos, samiotissa, whatever its called..... I have heard this song all of my life, and I have often played it, except with different changes, or a different chorus I should say. Is that the "one true" version, or are their variations of this tune? also I am used to hearing it in G major, of course, that makes no difference.... aside from mandolins, earlier I had told you of my mothers family being athenians. (contredemus) pardon, it has been many many years since I have ever seen that name written. I think I have seen it spelled differently of different documents. I guess greek to english is messy business. makes you wonder how people believe the bible "word for word" when they dont even know what it really says. anyway, my father also, his mother, is also greek,(shuniak is carpathian) Constantitives is his mother's family name. that may be spelled wrong, I'll have to edit this later. well anyway, I just found all of this out when my dad gave me his accordeon. my greatgrandfather, was the admiral in the greek navy during the wars with the turks around the turn of the last century. I guess in greece they call an admiral a "cheif engineer". anyway, my dad is emailing me a page from a greek history book that credits my great grandfather for liberating the isle of chois from the turks. ( I am not trying to brag, he was great, I am just regular old meatball jeff) I remember when I first joined the cafe, someone was asking if its ok to mix greek with turkish music, well personally I could care less, but I would guess someone more "greek" could be really offended. It would be like playing Nazi war music to jewish people.

Jan-05-2004, 8:41am
Happy New Year to all!

Aleko, sure, I would be glad to send you a copy of my Diferencias. Just e-mail me your full name (I just realize I never knew your last name) and your postal address and I will put a score in the mail to you immediately.

Jeff, as regards "Samiotissa": I presume (?) you are speaking of the particular edition of this song/dance in my Aegean Mandolinata, measures 19-29. Well, what I have published is actually the only way I have ever heard it or played it. Hmm... This, of course, is not to say that MY edition of it is THE one and only true one. After all, this is a Aegean folk-song that goes back a couple of centuries perhaps.

As regards different "changes", i.e. chord progressions, I believe there is a tendency to try to make folk songs "fancier" by interjecting more, ehm... recherché harmonies; I, on the contrary, opted for the simplest, plainest, folkiest. If your taste takes you elsewhere, well, enjoy! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Also, as regards a different "chorus": So very many folk songs/dances are similar in meter, character and (naturally), type of dance. So, it is entirely possible that you have heard the "A section" of song X coupled with the refrain of song Y, then leading without break straight into the "A section" of song Z. Perfectly OK.

As long as you enjoy the picking... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Jan-05-2004, 11:05am
I am going to write out the melody variation, and try to scan it, email it. I have never seen it written the way I "know" it. so I must have picked up some "particular" version. I like using both parts.

Jan-05-2004, 1:10pm
Please do; I love seeing and hearing different versions of my favorite folk/popular mandolin songs/dances.

My only reservation in responding to your question above was that I doubt whether any one of those myriad versions can ever claim to be "definitive". That sort of thing goes against the grain of any folk tradition.

My priority and modus operandi was not to be "authoritative" in accuracy of text (which I believe to be impossible in this genre anyhow) but to be stylistically accurate, i.e. accurately reflect the aesthetic of the era in which these mandolinatas were "Everyman's Songs".

But I digress. Alex informs me that Ferdinand's cyber-performance of Diferencias will be coming after some technical difficulties are overcome. Let us wish him and his team success.

Alex Timmerman
Jan-10-2004, 5:40pm
Hello Victor and others,

Well, there was unfortunately no chance to open the CDRom with Ferdinand's performance of Victor´s Diferencias. This was due to the very fact that we could not cut out the five and half minutes of Ferdinand´s mandolin playing from a CD with more than one hour film material. And there was no time to do it over again in the coming weeks. So Ferdinand´s playing will be something for the future. That´s a promise!

Since we all didn´t want to keep you waiting any longer, Sebastiaan recorded Victor´s composition yesterday and we hope you will like it as much as we do! #

You can click here to hear the sound sample of the (http://www.mandolineorkest.nl/samples/Diferencias.mp3)

# # # # # # # # # #“Diferencias sobre Morenika”

# # # # # # # # # # # # # ##for solo mandolin

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #composed by

# # # # # # # # # # # ## # Victor Vkioulaphides

# # # # # # # # # # # # # ## and played by

# # # # # # # # # # # ## Sebastiaan de Grebber

Thanks again Victor, for this wonderful piece of music!

Many greetings from Ferdinand, Sebastiaan, Frido (our web-master) and myself.

Jan-10-2004, 8:30pm
Oh, Alex... What a pleasure to hear the piece as played by someone who actually can play the mandolin! Please convey my most enthusiastic congratulations to Sebastiaan— and no less thanks to young Ferdinand!

That is truly a composer's dream come true. The gods may have given me many wonderful things I hardly deserve, but certainly no singing voice http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif So, in compensation for my own, croaky humming, what do I do? Why, turn around and write a dozen operas, choral works, and hundred-odd songs, so that I get to enjoy the experience vicariously, listening to my "inner singing" materialize thanks to people WITH a voice worth listening to. Quite the compensation!

Same thing, I suppose, with the mandolin: Sebastiaan's playing gave me that "sweet pain" I get when I sit in the audience, watching my "babies" play out on the stage. As the great Balanchine would say: "Ah, Art... the great as if"

MY thanks to YOU, dear friends!

Jan-10-2004, 8:39pm
Wow! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif Bravi! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif {wild, enthusiastic applause!}

Great work, both by composer and soloist!


Jan-12-2004, 12:38pm
Hey, hey... is there a conspiracy going on here? #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif #

Just got off the phone with a guitarist (who, incidentally, I have not spoken to in years) and who, God knows how, has a copy of my Suite for clarinet and guitar— a commission by a clarinetist/guitarist (married) couple, not the happiest combination projection-wise, to be honest.

Long story made short: He is giving several performances this spring with a fabulous violist. "Would I", he asks, "care to transcribe the piece for this new medium?" Why, of course! Not to mention that the "new" medium will probably sound better-balanced than the original one..

Having just come back from Disney World, I cannot but yell out like Timor from The Lion King: "WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?!?!?!?"


Mark Levesque
Jan-12-2004, 4:29pm
Wow, great recording, great composition.
I listened to it at least 20 times today, trying to absorb it all.


Jan-12-2004, 6:24pm
Lovely piece Victor, and beautifully played Sebastion.

If the offer of a copy of the music still stands please count me in Victor.

Respect and regards,


Jan-13-2004, 8:27am
Why, thank you, Mark. On your 20 listenings: Heavens, I could listen to Sebastiaan all day... of course, it would take me 20 or so years to play half as well as he does in his 20's. Didn't I speak of "sweet pain"?

Certainly, Marc (with a "C"). Just zap me your full name and address and I will put a copy in the mail for you today. And, I hardly merit your respect; I will, however, take your regards any day http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Cheers to you all. I've got to sit down and transcribe the clarinet & guitar piece into its reincarnation as my new-fangled viola & guitar suite. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

Jan-13-2004, 11:26am
I downloaded this in my office yesterday morning. I have forced it into the ears of my two student employees and any hapless graduate student to have stumbled into my office (I do believe it was a relatively pleasant "forcing" for the art-music uninitiated). I really like this...and it sounds so much better here than when I've scratched at it in my typical ham-fisted, I-wish-I-was-a-real musician fashion. Given its accessibility and rich, wistful mood, I wouldn't be surprised to find this making the rounds and generating a wee storm on the recital stage, comparable to the guitar storm caused by Domeniconi's "Koyunbaba" a few years back. Of course, relative to their respective sizes, storms generated on the mandolin recital stage tend to be a touch smaller. Too bad!

John Zimm
Jan-13-2004, 4:47pm
Thanks for the recording, and thank you again Victor for sharing this piece with us. I have been working on this and making progress, and in the near future I hope to have it memorized. I play for my coworkers from time to time, so maybe one day I will be able to share a performance of this with an audience. Thanks again, it sounds great.


Alex Timmerman
Jan-15-2004, 7:43am
Hello Victor,

That sounds wonderful! An arrangement by the composer of his "Suite for clarinet and guitar"!
Since you mentioned that your guitarist friend asked for a ´new medium´ to perform that Suite with a violist, I wondered if the latter also plays the Viola, because you mention to re-write
this Suite in a 'new-fangled' viola & guitar composition.

Anyway it all sounds great! The more new contemporary pieces for guitar (and mandolin) the better, and a viola- or violin part is only one step away from taking up the mandolin for it...

Could that be an idea?

Cheers, #


Jan-15-2004, 8:34am
Ehm... Alex, I presume you are asking whether the violist also plays mandola, right? Well, that I don't know. If , however, you are interested in trying out this piece on mandola and guitar, please let me know and I will gladly send you a copy, once the transcription is finished.

I wrote this piece a few years ago, on commission from Argentinian guitarist Gabriela Mangini and Venezuelan clarinetist Daniel Granados (formerly of the Quintet of the Americas); they were recently married at the time, and about to move to La Coruña, Spain. Quite obviously, this piece has a very prominent Spanish flavor. In fact, I could have easily called it Spanish Suite but I have a bias for generic titles. You know me...

The range (for the other-than-the-guitar instrument) is two octaves (plus or minus a step outside this tessitura) , from E, three ledger-lines below the treble staff, to E on the top space of the staff; essentially all (potentially, at least) first position on a viola/mandola.

Well, Alex, (and bratsche, and dolamon, and all you of alto-clef affinities), I will let you be the judge. If you want a copy, its yours for the asking. I am just delighted with the viola & guitar opportunity, as the piece had languished for years on my catalogue. Sadly but frankly, I knew the reason: clarinet and guitar are SO hard to balance... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

So, a new life for this still-crawling baby!

John Zimm
Jan-15-2004, 10:57am

If you don't mind, I would love to have a copy once it is finished. Just let me know if I can send you an envelope with postage paid or anything. I play the classical guitar as well, and I am currently building a mandola just for the fun of it. Thanks.


Jan-15-2004, 11:47am
Certainly, John. Just please remind me your address, as I did not hold on to the names and addresses of all those I sent the Diferencias to. But no, no need for you to pay the postage.

You don't, err... suggest that you will be playing both the guitar AND the mandola you are currently building at the same time, are you? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif (ongoing Café joke)

The transcription should be ready by some time next week.



Jan-15-2004, 12:30pm
Oh, incidentally— and this applies both to John and Marc: If the MC-messenger fails (as it has on occasion), please drop me a note with your full name and address at my home e-mail (in my usual love for the generic, thus): vkioulaphides@earthlink.net

Alex Timmerman
Jan-15-2004, 3:42pm
Hallo Victor,

Well I found it strange that you were first talking about your friend the guitarist who now wanted to play your Suite with a violist, and than you were indicating to re-write it in a 'new-fangled' VIOLA & guitar Suite. So I presumed that the violinist is able to play the viola. I wasn´t thinking that he could play the mandola, but if he can: great http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif !

Anyhow, yes you know me: I would love to have a copy of your Suite. Both in the original setting for Clarinet and guitar and in the setting where the Clarinet part is transcribed for Viola (Mandola) accompanied by the Guitar (if I may ask).

If it´s all right with you I´ll compensate for it ´in kind´ (surprise, surprise...).



Jan-16-2004, 8:40am
Certainly, Alex. As regards whether the suite is scored for "other instrument" & guitar or rather guitar & "other instrument"... well, the piece is a true-to-form dance-suite, complete with traditional binary forms (spelled out and varied, i.e. NOT with exact repeats), so both instruments are perfectly equal in importance— they essentially play the same material in different guises. Only the visual aspect of the score places the guitar part on the lower staff, pro forma.

But, as you know, guitarists are usually the pro-active party suggesting and supporting the composition of new works. A salute, then, to guitarists!

Jan-16-2004, 12:51pm
As of 10-or-so minutes ago, the transcription of the "Spanish" Suite is complete. I will proofread it over the weekend and send it to you, John and Alex, early next week.

In the course of this transcription, however, I also made some minor but still significant improvements in dynamics, articulations, etc. In fact, I am far happier with the viola version than the original one for clarinet & guitar. Whether the "viola version" would #be workable and effective on a mandola, well... I leave that to the experts.



P.S. Alex: After the brief "interlude" of this transcription, I return full-force to the Concerto per orchestra a pizzico. All sketched, as you know; now I am "filling in", starting from the 3rd movement (i.e. backwards). I will let you know about Estimated Time of Arrival, to speak in business terms.

Jan-16-2004, 1:01pm
Hi Victor - music for viola? Count me in, of course! ;-) I'll send my address privately. Unlike Alex, I have no hope of compensating 'in kind'; I might one day send you a short mandolin/mandola duet for laughs, but it surely falls into the "ditty" category, rather than a serious composition such as yours. It's the first thing I've ever attempted to write, for that matter...

Now a silly question - how do I download Sebastiaan's recording of 'Diferencias' to my computer? I hate to keep going back to the site to listen, but haven't figured out another way.



Jan-16-2004, 1:18pm
Sure thing, bratsche. As requires compensation, you know I require none; all the wonderful materials Alex has sent me on several occasions are more testimony to his own generosity than to any demands of mine.

And, I would love to see what you are writing. I am firmly of an 18th-century persuasion (NOT age! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif ) that, given some application, any competent performer can compose an effective piece of music: starting from mere arrangements, to works for one's own instrument, then perhaps duets for that one plus some other instrument, etc.

I am ipso facto very skeptical about the alleged "special" talents handed down by some mysterious deity to composers alone, as I am (obviously) DEAD against the ridiculous bias of certain schools of 20th-century composition who view themselves as poets and us as typists. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif , I say.

As regards downloading: Hmm... when you listen to it, doesn't Sebastiaan's performance leave a copy of itself, alias a little icon, right on your desktop? Curious...

Jan-16-2004, 1:41pm
No, Victor, sorry to say there is no desktop icon, and no immediately obvious way of downloading, as with an image, for example. Perhaps someone else knows how to do it?

As to your other comments, I somewhat agree; however, while many people will put the notes in their head onto paper, very little of it really qualifies as "art", imho. I suppose that is true of all forms. I guess it shouldn't dissuade a dillettante such as moi from trying, though. ;-)


Mark Levesque
Jan-16-2004, 4:14pm
hi bratsche,

Here's what should work:
do a single RIGHT click on the link
then, double left click on "save target as..."
then, at the top of the download box that appears, you can choose where on your computer to "save in"
The desktop is the easiest place to find it.
The mp3 will be saved on your computer desktop.


Jan-16-2004, 5:15pm
Thank you Mark - For some reason, I didn't try looking for any save options before clicking on the link, but was trying to find a way to do it once I was already at the soundfile location! But your way worked, so now I have it!


John Zimm
Jan-16-2004, 9:29pm
As of 10-or-so minutes ago, the transcription of the "Spanish" Suite is complete. I will proofread it over the weekend and send it to you, John and Alex, early next week.
Thank you very much Victor, you are a gentleman and a scholar. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif


Alex Timmerman
Jan-17-2004, 7:40pm
Wonderful Victor,

I look forward very much to both works!

The Consort is - after the concerts in Italy and at home - very busy working on a new programme with compositions by Raffaele Calace (his 2nd Mandolin Concerto arranged for solo mandolin and mandolin chamber orchestra and his Concerto op. 155 ´per Strumenti a plettro e Chitarra). Two absolute fantastic virtuoso works through which one can hear the solistic possibilities of mandolin playing at the highest level. Especially the Concerto op. 155 is great to play and to listen to. Wonderful ensemble writing!

Beside these, an unknown Silvio Ranieri work and some Vivaldi chamber concertos, we are preparing several brand new compositions of contemporary composers who dedicated their work to us, like the Italian composer Luca Mereu from whom we play his ´Suite´, the ´Paesaggio Arabo´ and ´Balando´

Some time ago we received a new work titled ´Gone with the Wind´ for mandolin orchestra by Annette Kruisbrink (also Dutch). I sounds very impressive and will be a real challenge to perform. Annette is a guitarist herself and a prolific composer for plucked instruments, knowing the ´ins and outs´ of the plucked instruments technique.

Another interesting composer and guitarist from the Netherlands who recently completed her first work called ´l'Artibonite´ for mandolin chamber orchestra, is Margriet Verbeek. She will attend some of our future rehearsals to hear how it all works. At the moment she is preparing another piece for the The British Banjo Mandolin and Guitar Federation (BMG). This will be published in the magazin of the BMG.
It looks like Margriet is hooked on the mandolin as well.

And than there is the very well written composition by Jeff Hijlkema (yet another Dutch composer) who dedicated his ´Perpetua Melomania II´ to us. It is a work that really stands out: a long piece based on the Minimal Music style.
I am quite happy with it because the idiom lends itself perfectly to plucked instrument ensembles.

So, a lot to do! And Victor, if it goes as you planned, and by the time we have these notes in our heads and fingers, we can start with your ´Concerto per orchestra a pizzico´.

Sure something to look forward too!

Best greetings,


PS. It is great to see the nice response on the recording of your Diferencias! (http://www.mandolineorkest.nl/samples/Diferencias.mp3)

Jan-18-2004, 4:26pm
Wonderful! I'd ask for a copy of the score of Differencias, but it will be a long while until my technique will be able to do the piece justice. Until then, I will satisfy myself with listening.

Jan-19-2004, 12:54pm
All right: The new version of the Suite, now for viola and guitar, has been proofread and will go out to the duo that asked for it and bratsche tomorrow, Tuesday. The notation of the upper staff in the new version is (naturally) in alto clef, except those occasions where 4-5 ledger-lines would be needed for a while, in which case the part switches temporarily to treble clef, i.e. in line with standard viola-part usage.

Alex and buckley: Is that notation OK with you? Or, would you prefer that I notate the mandola part in treble-clef, octava bassa ? I have misgivings about that, as the part goes quite high (for the octave-clef, that is) and I would be forced to switch from treble clef, octave lower, to treble clef suono reale time and time again. For my taste, I would rather read alto clef any day than switch octave-register back and forth. But, the "customer" is always right: Thanks to the wonders of technology, either notation can be worked out with merely a few mouse-clicks. Please let me know.

Alex Timmerman
Jan-19-2004, 5:49pm
Hay Victor,

The easiest is of course to have it written in the treble clef with the octava bassa sign on it since it will be played on Mandola by Ruth (who from august on will be our 3rd(!) mandola player in the Consort). And if it is done with a few mouse-clicks, why not?

On the other hand, Helma (also a Consort mandolist) will surely have a go at it and since she is going to play the Mandoliola in the Embergher quartet, so she wants to learn it from reading the alto clef.

So do as you like.

I will attach the tone range of the instruments we play in the treble clef.

Many thanks in advance!


John Zimm
Jan-19-2004, 7:35pm

It is easiest for me to read the treble clef, but if it creates trouble for you the alto clef is fine. I may need a refresher on how to read it, but I am sure I can figure it out. Thanks again, I appreciate the music tremendously.


Jan-21-2004, 9:26am
HA! My "Conspiracy Theory" is coming true! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Back in 1994, I wrote the little "Spanish" Suite, shipped it off to the duo in Spain, and sat waiting. A while later, saddened, disappointed, and frustrated to be told by the very same artists who commissioned the piece expressly as a clarinet & guitar duet that "the instruments just never balance— it's just the nature of the beasts", I orchestrated it for small chamber orchestra, i.e. wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn— one each, of course), 1 trumpet, and (a few) strings. Needless to say, nobody performed THAT version, either, as nobody had ever asked for it. So I gave the piece up for dead.

Now, a good 10 years later, the first reincarnation as a viola & guitar piece; perhaps, who knows, even a second one some day as a mandola & guitar piece.

Believe it or not, yesterday afternoon I got a call from a conductor in Michigan who, by too many coincidences to mention here, is interested in performing the yet-unperformed chamber orchestra version of the piece!

Ye gods, are you peeking and smiling? #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

John Zimm
Jan-22-2004, 10:12am
That is great news Victor. Congratulations. It must be very exciting when something like this happens.


Jan-22-2004, 1:03pm
Thank you, John; indeed, it is. As a final step to this fortuitous chain-reaction, the conductor in Michigan, who is Greek-Cypriot, also asked me for a piece for large, symphonic orchestra, on behalf of the Polish (!) music director of the National Orchestra of Cyprus. (Ah, Peter, those errant, artistic Poles! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Now, back to mando-matters: John, I have sent you the mandola, octava bassa version. Alex, (if I understood you correctly), I have just mailed you all THREE versions, namely the original for clarinet & guitar, plus the two, mandoliola/mandola versions, one in alto clef, the other with octave-treble. If I have misunderstood you and sent you too much, well, you know my usual, "fireplace recommendation" #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Jan-22-2004, 2:04pm
Say Victor, I suddenly have a compelling urge to see this piece too. Can I also join your fan club and receive such stuff by mail?

Jan-22-2004, 2:39pm
[QUOTE ]"fan club" HA! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif #The last composer to have one must be (Sir) Paul McCartney.

Certainly, Eugene. Which, ehm... version do you want? As you know, it comes in three flavors:

1. Clarinet (treble clef in B-flat transposition) & guitar
2. Viola/Mandoliola (alto clef) & guitar, and
3. Mandola/OM (treble clef octava bassa ) & guitar

Call me superstitious, but I attribute this belated revival to a wonderul, #positive karma this piece was born with: Gabriela (Mangini) commissioned this for herself and her brand-new husband, on their way to Spain in 1994; she promptly sent me a check, money they probably could NOT have afforded, being newly married and recent emigres. I shipped the score to her new home in Spain, enclosing/returning the check (UNcashed, of course), letting her know that I was making this piece my "wedding present" to her; she then sent me the same check for the THIRD time across the Atlantic, graciously accepting my wedding gift but commissioning instead whatever else I would have cared to write for her. Hence the birth of my Guitar Concerto, also written for her.

The gods must have been eavesdropping... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Jan-22-2004, 2:47pm
I would like either version 3 or versions 2 & 3, at your discretion. Guitar concerto, eh? Guitar publisher Editions Orphee seems to have a particular affinity for guitar concerti. I think I need to visit there again soon.

Jan-22-2004, 2:58pm
On their way, Eugene.

My only quid pro quo from you and all MC-friends who have received or may receive a copy of this: Since the original, clarinet version was typeset in an ooooooooold, ANCIENT version of Finale® , it was no longer exportable to a current-version document. I accordingly had to re-enter each and every little note in the piece from scratch—#lovingly so, of course http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

So, errors may have crept in. Please feel free to question any note(s) that may strike you as erroneous. In case you are familiar with composers (alas, too many) who are mortally offended should a performer ever question their Infinite Wisdom, well, I am not one of them. As a "Man of the Theater", I am truly and genuinely grateful each time a conductor, singer, or instrumentalist apprises me of a misprint or other error. My own opera scores are marked up with so much red pencil, you'd think they are ribbons for Chinese New Year.

Hey, come to think of it, today IS Chinese New Year. May the Year of the Monkey be (as traditionally reputed) prosperous and may the changes it brings (ditto) be ever for the better!

John Zimm
Jan-22-2004, 3:23pm

Thanks again for sending this to me. I have had literally hours of enjoyment learning Diferencias . http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif


Alex Timmerman
Jan-22-2004, 5:30pm
Hello Victor,

That´s great news, congratulations!

I just came home from teaching, sat down, had coffee and was curious to see our ´board´. When I read this topic I just had to smile and laugh.
It is so wonderful to see all these things happening and also to see that we all can enjoy so much of it through this modern communication system called internet. Just great!

Yes you understood me correctly obting for all the 3 versions. I can´t wait to see them (I might well play it with a clarinet collegue of mine!)

And Eugene, I had a go at Victor´s Guitar Concerto and can tell you that again we have a wonderful work here,#written in a very personal style.

Thanks again Victor for all your work!



Jan-22-2004, 5:35pm
Now, Victor, I want a copy of the guitar concerto!

Jan-23-2004, 8:51am
Certainly, Robert. I must, however, embarrass myself by asking you to please e-mail me your postal address for the umpteenth time. Sorry... *blush*

My Guitar Concerto has also sat on the shelf for a while http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif Several fine guitarists have expressed an interest in performing it, including such luminaries as Mark DelPriora in the States, Oscar Ghiglia in Italy, Eva Fampas in Greece, Daniel Wolff in Brazil, et al but the sad reality lies elsewhere: Whether a piece involving a soloist AND an orchestra is performed or not is really the conductor's / Music Director's call, not the soloist's.

Look, then, at the harsh realities ANY guitar concerto faces: How many of them do conductors even know of? Now, I absolutely LOVE the Concierto de Aranjuez and could listen to it all day but (to quote yet another bit of popular song wisdom) "Is this all there is?" I think not; but I harbor no illusions, either.

John Zimm
Jan-29-2004, 1:19pm
Hey Victor,

I just wanted to let you know that I received the Suite yesterday and I look forward to learning the parts. I have a tough time with those doubly dotted eight notes, so that may take some time for me, poor musician that I am. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Thanks again for sending it along. You rock.


Jan-29-2004, 1:49pm
hi vic, forgive me if I am misunderstanding something,
do you have a mando / guitar version of little dark one?

Jan-29-2004, 2:32pm
To clarify, Jeff: No, John (a.k.a. buckley) was speaking of my little "Spanish" Suite, which was originally scored for B-flat clarinet and guitar and was recently transcribed for viola/mandola and guitar. It does require an alto instrument.

John, if you permit me to advise you, at the risk of sounding like I am "lecturing" you (apologies in advance):

While strict, academic musical training will tell you "subdivide into 8 parts, hold the long note for 7 of those, play the last, little note on the 8th", I would rather give you a simpler, less academic, and for that reason more "hands-on" approach to performing double-dotted rhythms, to wit:

Hold the long note as loooooooong as you can, without, of course, stepping onto the next long note; then, *snap!*, jam the little note onto the NEXT long note, as close, as tight, as right-up-against it as you can. As far as I am concerned (and many, many, many other composers...), the 7:1 ratio be damned, just play with verve and sparkle! THAT's what double-dotting is all about!

Jan-29-2004, 2:43pm
oh, thanks.

John Zimm
Jan-29-2004, 3:27pm
To clarify, Jeff: No, John (a.k.a. buckley) was speaking of my little "Spanish" Suite, which was originally scored for B-flat clarinet and guitar and was recently transcribed for viola/mandola and guitar. It does require an alto instrument.

John, if you permit me to advise you, at the risk of sounding like I am "lecturing" you (apologies in advance):

While strict, academic musical training will tell you "subdivide into 8 parts, hold the long note for 7 of those, play the last, little note on the 8th", I would rather give you a simpler, less academic, and for that reason more "hands-on" approach to performing double-dotted rhythms, to wit:

Hold the long note as loooooooong as you can, without, of course, stepping onto the next long note; then, *snap!*, jam the little note onto the NEXT long note, as close, as tight, as right-up-against it as you can. As far as I am concerned (and many, many, many other composers...), the 7:1 ratio be damned, just play with verve and sparkle! THAT's what double-dotting is all about!

Thanks Victor, I appreciate the tip. I have had only a few formal music lessons in my life, so I appreciate a tip from a pro. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif Thanks again, and to the barracades, 7:1 be damned!


Jan-30-2004, 10:37am

The chain-reaction that simply won't quit: I am currently sketching a Rhapsody for mandolin and piano at the request of young virtuoso Sebastiaan de Grebber.

Year of the Monkey? I think not. Rather "Year of the MANDO"! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

John Zimm
Jan-30-2004, 11:44am
That's great news Victor. #It's good to see that you are busy. #

I have taken a look at the score for the suite you sent to me and I am thinking if I polish my abilities on the, ehem, alto recorder, I may try to learn it with that instrument as my mandola is nowhere near completion. #Hey, at least I don't play the banjo. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif


Jan-30-2004, 5:24pm
Victor sent me the score to his guitar concerto and it arrived yesterday. I read through the guitar part (embedded in the score) last night, and it is a lovely work. Three movements, about 15 minutes in length, and lightly (and effectively) scored for woodwinds and strings. The language is modern but tonal throughout. The guitar part is not fingered, but is very idiomatic, straightforward to sight read, in low positions throughout, and well within the skills of an intermediate-advanced student (particularly one with a good right hand technique.) The first and third movements are in 12/8 and the middle (slow) movement is in 3/2. There are numerous passages where the guitarist gets to plays solo (and, therefore, shine). Bravo!

Alex Timmerman
Feb-04-2004, 7:06pm
Hello Victor,

Your Suite - MOST welcome to all the van Beethoven studying on the Milanese mandolin - has arrived.

It looks just great and will have it´s mandola/guitar air-born from Holland on Friday evening!
I´ll let you know more in a few days.#

Thanks a lot,


Feb-05-2004, 2:55pm
Thank you kindly, good Sir.

I must say, however, that I am quite baffled by your allusion to either Beethoven or the Milanese mandolin. Please bear with me: I am an ignorant man, you know... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif You mean... ?

P.S. Good Heavens! Counting this one, 100 replies on this thread! And I thought I would only get half a dozen direct e-mails with names and addresses... What can I say? I cannot get over what a supportive community this is!

Alex Timmerman
Feb-05-2004, 4:36pm
Well, that has more to do with myself you see, I am devoting all my free time on the four mandolin compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven and practising them on this three finger-plucked six single gut-strung Milanese type of a mandoline (of which we wrote about in the other thread). A lot of fun of course, but getting a new piece - your Suite for guitar and mandola - is just wonderful and a welcome change!



Mar-02-2004, 1:06pm
Well, dear friends, it has come to pass: After laying dormant for an entire decade, my little (Spanish) Suite will be premiered in its viola & guitar version this coming Saturday, March 6. The baby walks!

The usual heartbreak: Due to my (*&$&%^#&^$)@&*% schedule as a performer, I will not be able to attend the Suite's maiden voyage http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

I am posting this here —knowing full well that I am in essence hijacking my own thread— only to verify that none of you have already performed this in public since I sent out numerous copies. The performers naturally want to know whether they can call this a world premiere.

Jim Garber
Mar-02-2004, 1:31pm
Where is this premier? And who is performing it?


Mar-02-2004, 2:01pm
The performance is this coming Saturday evening, 7:30 p.m.. The performers are violist Brett Deubner and guitarist Chris Kenniff— both excellent, EXCELLENT players! The venue is in New Jersey but, distraught as I was to realize that I will not be able to make it, I "blanked out" when Brett told me. I could find out...

I, on the other hand, have a major performance of works by Valentin Bibik and Leonid Hrabovsky with Continuum, a group I have been with since 1989, one of this country's premier new music groups, by Lincoln Center. And, with my luck, same day, same time... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Jack Roberts
Mar-15-2004, 2:08pm
Thank you, Victor, for sending me Diferencias. It is perfect for the timbre of the mandolin. I love the piece already.


Mar-15-2004, 2:26pm
You are welcome; and, thank you, Jack! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

I realize that, as per the "trills" thread, you are taking this up after The Great J.S. *gulp* Tough act to follow, for ANY composer! But I console myself with the usual "apples vs. oranges" analogy.



Alex Timmerman
Mar-18-2004, 6:08pm
Hello all interested,

We had to change - due to the fact that last month the data transfer limit at the CONSORT Website was almost exceeded - the link to the recording of Victor´s Diferencias, as played by Sebastiaan.

Click here to hear the Diferencias (http://www.nemsis.nl/Diferencias.mp3)


here to view the old film where Sebastiaan is playing the 2nd Prelude by Calace. (http://www.nemsis.nl/Calace_Prelude_No2_Ranieri_Plectrum.WMV)