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Thread: Italian Waltz: "Mio Amico" (F.L. Grossi, 1917)

  1. #1
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Italian Waltz: "Mio Amico" (F.L. Grossi, 1917)

    F.L. Grossi: "Mio Amico - Valse"
    Published by G. DeStefano, Philadelphia, 1917


    This is an Italian-American waltz published in 1917. Like most of these ballo liscio dances, it was arranged for two mandolins and guitar. I have extracted an additional mandocello part from the guitar bass line to make it a quartet.

    The parts are from Sheri's Dropbox folder for DeStefano -- attached here for easy reference. I have used the chords from the guitar part; they are somewhat different from the chords handwritten on the first mandolin part.

    1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello



    Martin
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mio_Amico_M1_w_chords.pdf   Mio_Amico_M2_G.pdf  

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  3. #2
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Waltz: "Mio Amico" (F.L. Grossi, 1917)

    Martin, I do enjoy your videos. But --- what in the world is this instrument?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sorry I couldn't get a sharper view of it. The whole scene is interesting.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Italian Waltz: "Mio Amico" (F.L. Grossi, 1917)

    Martin, great stuff!

    Nicely played, and I really like the feel of the rhythm you're getting with these tunes lately.

    Thanks also for the sheet music!

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    what in the world is this instrument?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks like a theorbo or something similar. Here's a video of a guy named David Bergmuller playing a theorbo:


    (or direct link)

    Quote Originally Posted by HonketyHank View Post
    ... Sorry I couldn't get a sharper view of it. The whole scene is interesting.
    Indeed it is! Instruments everywhere, I counted 10 of 'em, maybe more that I missed! The people at the workbench on the right are doing something involving a vice and an instrument. I'm intrigued by the little 3-cornered thing on shelf below workbench at right, can't tell if it's a pointy-cornered balalaika-type thing or just a non-roundy mandolin, also not sure it that's a complete instrument or just a soundboard, almost looks like interior braces visible, would have to study it more I guess.

    Below are slightly sharper views perhaps, with all the instruments (that I found) circled. Click a few times to enlarge:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Plain:
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    I wonder what that black thing is, on the left-side lady's lute between the instrument's bridge and the rosette? Some sort of oddly-angled rectangular pickguard? Or a cut-out in the top?

    Anyway, thanks again Martin for the tune and the cool pics and the sheet music, and thanks to HonkeyHank for pointing out this particular scene.

  6. #4
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Waltz: "Mio Amico" (F.L. Grossi, 1917)

    Thanks both -- I'll dig out the original image and post it, which should be clearer than your screenshots. Can't remember where I found it, but I think it's a highly-romanticised image of a luthier's workshop-cum-sales room which does not bear closer scrutiny. From all descriptions, even the Vinaccia workshop in Naples was in a rather squalid and crammed back alley setting.

    Martin

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    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Waltz: "Mio Amico" (F.L. Grossi, 1917)

    Seeking more info on the theorbo, I found this site: http://theorbo.com/index.html

    At which I found this rather amazing photo of the site's proprietor:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

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  10. #6
    Registered User Jairo Ramos Parra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Waltz: "Mio Amico" (F.L. Grossi, 1917)

    The same picture is used in the artwork of the cd Les Galanteries: Mandolin Music from 18th-Century, by Artemandoline.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #7
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Italian Waltz: "Mio Amico" (F.L. Grossi, 1917)

    As promised, here is the original picture, which I got from here.

    It's not, of course, an 18th century painting. Rather, it's a historicising scene by Italian painter Vincenzo Capobianchi (1836-1928), roughly contemporaneous with the tune I used it for.

    It's a hotchpotch of instruments, fashions and props that don't go together: the lutes and theorbo are from a different era to the mandolins, the shawl of the seated lady is Spanish, but the instruments are not. The luthiers' workbench is in a grand palazzo with a precious tapestry, and so on.

    There was a fashion around 1900 for paintings of fantasy rococo scenes. Quite a few of these include mandolins, as that instrument was much more popular around 1900 than during the actual rococo. I attach another one of those.

    Martin
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Martin Jonas; Feb-19-2018 at 5:08pm.

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  14. #8

    Default Re: Italian Waltz: "Mio Amico" (F.L. Grossi, 1917)

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    ... It's a hotchpotch of instruments, fashions and props that don't go together: the lutes and theorbo are from a different era to the mandolins, the shawl of the seated lady is Spanish, but the instruments are not. The luthiers' workbench is in a grand palazzo with a precious tapestry, and so on. ...
    Thanks Martin! Yeah I'd kinda wondered about the ladies' attire... I mean it's not like everyday I go mandolin-shopping wearing a shiny silk low-cut gown. But still, cool artwork.

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