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Thread: Barbella (c. 1760), Sonata a due mandolini, Gimo 13

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Barbella (c. 1760), Sonata a due mandolini, Gimo 13

    Emanuele Barbella (1718–1777): Sonata a due mandolini
    1. Larghetto e staccato
    From the Gimo manuscript (Gimo 13), c. 1760


    This is the first movement of one of Barbella's mandolin duo sonatas without basso, taken from the Gimo manuscript. There are four sonatas by Barbella in the manuscript, of which this one seems to be the least performed -- the only professional version I have found is by Duo Acquavella. I'm not sure why, as it's both accessible and very enjoyable to play (and listen to, I hope).

    A scan of the original manuscript is at IMSLP, and a much more readable modern transcribed PDF at Mutopia -- the manuscript looks pretty scary, with its flurries of sextuplets and demisemiquavers, but it's actually fairly straightforward to play:

    http://imslp.org/wiki/Sonata_for_2_M...a%2C_Emanuele)
    http://www.mutopiaproject.org/cgibin...nfo.cgi?id=318

    I have played the opening larghetto e staccato on a late 19th century Italian bowlback mandolin, double-tracked.

    1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin (x2)

    Images by Rosalba Carriera, a famous portrait painter in Barbella's day.



    Martin

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    Registered User JH Murray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barbella (c. 1760), Sonata a due mandolini, Gimo 13

    Your music certainly brightened the mood on a dark and stormy night. Cheers!

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barbella (c. 1760), Sonata a due mandolini, Gimo 13

    Emanuele Barbella (1718–1777): Sonata a due mandolini
    2. Allegretto
    From the Gimo manuscript (Gimo 13), c. 1760


    I meant to get around to the other movements of this sonata fairly quickly after recording the opening larghetto, but in the end it took be a few weeks.

    Here is the second movement, allegretto, which is again both accessible and enjoyable -- not sure why there are so few recordings and performances out there. Because of the faster tempo it's a bit trickier than the larghetto, and the second mandolin is more technically demanding than the first: I had laid down the guide track at a fairly brisk (for me) tempo for the first mandolin, which I was then struggling to match when recording the second mandolin part...



    Martin

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Barbella (c. 1760), Sonata a due mandolini, Gimo 13

    Emanuele Barbella (1718–1777): Sonata a due mandolini
    3. Minuetto alla Francese - 0:00
    4. Gavotta - 2:53
    From the Gimo manuscript (Gimo 13), c. 1760


    These are the final two movements of Barbella's sonata: a minuet and a gavotte, both of them very charming. The minuet is similar in style to the duets in Barbella's 24 "Minuetti Gustosi", which I am a big fan on, and the gavotte is nicely bouncy.

    1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin (x2)

    Images by Francesco de Mura, another contemporary of in Barbella's in Naples.



    Martin

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