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Thread: Largo from Winter (from Vivaldi's 4 Seasons) for mando ensemble

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    Default Largo from Winter (from Vivaldi's 4 Seasons) for mando ensemble

    This movement is one of my favorites from Vivaldi. The key to making the piece work is to get tonal differentiation between the solo part and the accompaniment. In the original, the accompaniment is pizzicato (plucked) violin, viola, and cello/bass which provides a nice contrast to the violin solo. In this version, I apply the same principal to mando instruments. The solo part is played with a plectrum, with all of the accompaniment parts played with the thumb.


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  3. #2
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Largo from Winter (from Vivaldi's 4 Seasons) for mando ensemb

    That sounds very nice, Mark! I agree that the Largo from Winter is one of the most-enjoyable Vivaldi pieces, and the pared down pizzicato accompaniment makes it ideal for a small mandolin ensemble.

    I recorded the Largo a few months ago as a trio of two mandolins and mandocello, using the arrangement by Wanda Sobieska from:

    http://www.freegigmusic.com/violin-v...vivaldi/winter

    That's transposed from F minor to B minor, which is a bit easier to play.

    I agree that with having two mandolins, it's important to have a marked tonal differentiation between the soloist part and the pizzicato accompanist. Finger-picking is a good approach. What I did was to use mandolins with a very different tone: my Embergher with its bright nasal tone for the solo part and the much more mellow flattop tone from my Mid-Mo on the accompaniment. More or less the same tempo as yours, but Sobieska's arrangement is a bit simplified, both in the solo and the accompaniment.



    Martin

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    Default Re: Largo from Winter (from Vivaldi's 4 Seasons) for mando ensemb

    Martin,

    Thanks so much for posting your response and for sharing your version! Many similarities in both performances (and even in the accompanying artwork!). I hadn't heard of any other mando-based versions of this, so I'm glad to know you (and Wanda S.) had also worked on this. I also did it in Bm. Not only is it easier to play in that key, but being able to use open strings - especially in the two inner arpeggiated parts - give the piece a lovely resonance that wouldn't be the same in Fm. Thanks again and thanks for your various posting of recordings...some really lovely recording and arrangements of pieces that I wouldn't know about otherwise.

    Thanks,
    Mark

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Largo from Winter (from Vivaldi's 4 Seasons) for mando ensemb

    Mark,

    It's a piece that should be a fairly obvious choice for mandolins, because of the pizzicato in Vivaldi's original, but doesn't seem to have entered the mandolin reportoire. The Wanda Sobieska arrangement I used was intended for two violins and violoncello, but it translates straight enough to the equivalent mandolins.

    Her site (freegigmusic.com) is a very useful source of repertoire: she has taken about 30 "big name" pieces (Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven etc) and arranged them for string quartet and various scaled down trio and duo subsets thereof. Some of these are heavily simplified, but they are robust and they work. It's basically a kind of classical fakebook -- get a few friends together and belt out user-friendly versions of hummable tunes. Some, though not all, of these settings translate well to mandolins.

    For the Vivaldi, I used the violin/violin/'cello trio, as I didn't think the viola part added much and my alto clef reading is very sketchy. She has the Allegro from "Spring" as well, in what she calls her "Shameless Wedding Arrangement". Basically, everything a jobbing classical instrumentalist needs for social function work.

    Martin

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    Registered User Pasha Alden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Largo from Winter (from Vivaldi's 4 Seasons) for mando ensemb

    I look forward to listening. Thank you for submitting.

    Playing:
    Jbovier a5 2013;
    Crafter M70E acoustic mandolin
    Jbovier F5 mandola 2016

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    Registered User Pasha Alden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Largo from Winter (from Vivaldi's 4 Seasons) for mando ensemb

    Thanks for sharing. I look forward to listening to the music.

    Playing:
    Jbovier a5 2013;
    Crafter M70E acoustic mandolin
    Jbovier F5 mandola 2016

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    Default Re: Largo from Winter (from Vivaldi's 4 Seasons) for mando ensemb

    I have been playing, and enjoying, this piece since it was posted.
    I gave a copy of the sheet music to our organist at church today.
    As she played it she said, "Hey! This is fun!"
    "Yes, indeed" was my reply.

    Thanks, Mark and Martin for posting this music.

    Joseph Baker

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