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Thread: Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New York

  1. #1
    Michael Reichenbach
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    Default Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New York

    I have recently added two pages about Stellario Cambria to my website:

    1903 - 1925 - Stellario Cambria, Valentine Abt and other Mandolin Players in New York

    1903 - 1925 - The Music of Stellario Cambria

    I have bought two works by Stellario Cambria and made scans which are available at musicaneo.com:

    Song of the Fairies, Op.37 for mandolin and piano (a version for mandolin orchstra was available in the Nakano archive..)

    Bacio D'Angelo (Angel's Kiss), Op.38 for mandolin orchestra - free download until end of 2013

    I think that Stellario Cambria has composed some interesting pieces for the mandolin that should be made available. I have not found any sheet music in the digital libraries that I know - I would expect that some of the sheet music should have survived. I would be happy if someone can add some mor information about Stellario Cambria.

    I am working on a new edition of another interesting piece by Cambria which will be added soon.
    Homepage: www.mandoisland.de / Blog: www.mandoisland.com / Freiburg / Germany

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  3. #2
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New Yor

    Stellario Cambria: Bacio d'angelo (Angel's Kiss), Op. 38
    Published in New York, 1920


    Further to Michael's posting of the parts in his original post in 2013, I have now recorded "Bacio d'angelo". The piece was written in 1920 and was advertised in the November 1920 edition of "The Crescendo", along with a short news item on Sig. Cambria in the same edition (presumably not entirely a coincidence).

    The piece was published with parts for two mandolins, mandola, mandocello and guitar, or alternatively with piano accompaniment. My recording has all parts except the optional piano part. The parts are available as free downloads from Michael Reichenbach's musicaneo site at the link posted by Michael above.

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    Martin
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New Yor

    Neil Gladd has a Trio Serenade by S. Cambria for free download.
    Jim

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New Yor

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Neil Gladd has a Trio Serenade by S. Cambria for free download.
    Thanks, Jim. There are also 12 compositions by Cambria in the Nakano archive, including the score of his only known surviving recording, a solo piece called "Invocation" (record label at mandoisland.de). I attach that score here, and you can listen to Cambria's recording on Michael's channel here:



    Copyright date is1915 and as Cambria died in 1938 (more than 70 years ago), it's public domain in all countries.

    Michael has put together a Youtube playlist with six Cambria pieces -- in addition to Invocation, they are all virtuoso pieces in home recording by a (very good!) Japanese player.

    Clearly, Cambria was a virtuoso player and his published compositions show a clear divide between the solo repertoire (which is very difficult indeed) and much more basic amateur mandolin orchestra material which is straightforward bordering on the simplistic, Bacio d'Angelo being in that category.

    Martin
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    Registered User Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New Yor

    I have a cameo of Cambria in my new book. What he excelled at is solo mandolin. Michael R is a master sleuth at unearthing these gems.

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  10. #6
    Registered User Neil Gladd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New Yor

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    Thanks, Jim. There are also 12 compositions by Cambria in the Nakano archive, including the score of his only known surviving recording, a solo piece called "Invocation"

    Copyright date is1915 and as Cambria died in 1938 (more than 70 years ago), it's public domain in all countries.

    Martin
    Martin, thanks for posting the music for Invocation. I have had the recording for decades (actually I have 4 copies, 2 copies each of 2 different takes), but did not have the sheet music. I wanted to included it in Four Centuries of Solo Mandolin Music, since it was the only piece he recorded, but did include 4 of his other pieces. It's interesting to hear that he didn't perform it as written, and the arpeggios on the first page are very uneven.

    Also, the music is public domain but the recording isn't yet (in the U.S.). It WILL be in a few years, though, thanks to a recent copyright law, which will finally enable me to legally release some of the early mandolin recordings in my collection!

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    Registered User Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New Yor

    Cambria died on September 12, 1929, at 60 years of age in Glen Cove, Long Island. This is the correct date of his death as per my research.

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  14. #8
    Registered User Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New Yor

    Just some general comments re Cambria's graded orchestral and mandolin trio titles. His obligation was mainly to his all-female students--to make certain they benefited and gained a sense of accomplishment as they studied and graduated to each level. But even his less demanding pieces, like Bacio d'Angelo, require skills of a trained Italian classical mandolinist. His "Fairies" even more so. Keeping in mind that his students functioned like the stringed section of a concerto--backing him up as the soloist-conductor a la Beethoven or Andre Rieu with his violin bow! Cambria riffed, he jazzed it up and the students had to be rock solid in their delivery as well. Cambria and his students regularly performed in public--and I have no doubt that they were vetted in every way so as to shine the light on the magnificent compositions rendered. Another point is that these young women (their parents!) paid tuition to Cambria. This is an investment that should not be ignored and it produced a superior 'product' if you will.

    It should be noted as well that Cristofaro was Cambria's Bible. How many mandolinists who read this thread have actually bothered to study from the revered Maestro? or took lessons from a properly trained mandolin instructor? Yes, I'm aware there are other instructional books but Tesio and Cambria were steeped in this tradition as were so many other Italian-born mandolinists. Is he the best? Who's to say? I'm sure there's another forum thread that can explore that angle.
    (p.s. see attached record of Cambria's death).
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  16. #9
    Michael Reichenbach
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    Default Re: Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New Yor

    Some clippings from The Crescendo Magazine about Stellario Cambria

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    Homepage: www.mandoisland.de / Blog: www.mandoisland.com / Freiburg / Germany

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  18. #10
    Registered User Mandophile's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stellario Cambria - Mandolin Virtuoso and Composer in New Yor

    He was good at grooming these girls into amateur mandolinists but it is disappointing to think that very few ever evolved
    to play even semi-professionally. For the most part, to be schooled in the arts mainly resulted in most becoming an eligible
    prospect for the role of motherhood, not a woman with an independent career. Alas~
    I'd like to see a copy of his velocity studies; I suppose they were patterned after Cristofaro's exemplary instrucional book.

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