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Thread: Etude No. 17 for Two Mandolins (Wohlfahrt/Lansing, 1898)

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
    Northop, North Wales

    Default Etude No. 17 for Two Mandolins (Wohlfahrt/Lansing, 1898)

    Franz Wohlfahrt (1833–1884)/George L. Lansing (1855 - 1920):
    Etude No 17 - Study In Expressio And Phrasing

    This is a short duet for two mandolins, taken from "33 Special Studies For The Mandolin, Selected And Arranged by George L. Lansing". On the score, this particular etude is credited to Franz Wohlfahrt, he of the famous violin studies. I can't, however, find a source for the piece in the Wohlfahrt scores at IMSLP andit is unclear to me what precisely the role of George Lansing was, other than lending his name.

    Lansing was a pioneer of the banjo, mandolin and guitar scene in Boston, mainly associated with the tenor banjo. However, he must have had some mandolin street cred as Vega issues a "Lansing Special" model bowlback mandolin. He also somehow got his name attached to the US edition of the Cristofaro mandolin method and to this volume of 33 studies intended to supplement that method.

    Most of the 33 etudes are mechanical technical exercises, but this one has a nice tune and accompaniment and it works well for the stated purpose, i.e. practice expressiveness and phrasing. It's also a goot exercise in changing position as the first mandolin player has to shift to third position in five places. That mainly demonstrates that my own position playing is rather dodgy and my phrasing gets wobbly in these places.

    No free copy available, I think, but sold scanned PDFs some years ago. I haven't used mine much, but recently found a paper printout -- no idea where the PDF went. I attach the title page and a photo of my marked-up copy of Etude 17 (photo rather than scan as I'm not near a scanner today).

    Mandolin 1: 1890s Umberto Ceccherini
    Mandolin 2: 1915 Luigi Emberger

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