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Thread: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

  1. #1

    Default Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Moving right along...

    Russian mandolin virtuosa Natalia Marashova recently asked me for a transposed version of my older work Alla mia bella insensibile, this time down to A-minor for baritone and plucked orchestra. I gladly agreed to the request.



    Once this is completed, you will all be equally welcome to the transposed score and parts, if you can envision performing this piece with a friendly baritone in your sphere. It's a small project but of course even the grandest trajectories are made of the tiniest steps.

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Me! I'm not that friendly, but I am a registered baritone. I sang the Bach Aria Mache Dich mein Herze Rein from St Matthew passion with the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra a few years back and have been looking for similar literature. Looking forward to seeing this, Victor.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    Me! I'm not that friendly, but I am a registered baritone.
    Eh, that's friendly enough for me. I will zap the materials to you as soon as they are ready. I believe I have your email address on one of my databases but, if you don't mind, please send it over via the Café's messenger. I'm always happy to share.

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  5. #4
    Registered User MoreThanQuinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Wow, I really enjoyed this. That was fantastic.
    2016 Martin TEN515 Tenor Guitar
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by MoreThanQuinn View Post
    Wow, I really enjoyed this. That was fantastic.
    Thank you! It really is a fine performance and in a splendid space, the Archeological Museum of Athens. The piece itself is throwback to the early 19th century. I thought it made sense since the poem came from that period. I am delighted to see it come to life in this guise and find a contemporary audience.

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  7. #6

    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Greetings, all.

    The transposed version has been completed and circulated to all those on my global mando-list. If anyone not on my contact list would like to have the score and parts, they are yours for the asking and the price is right: $0.00 Please just message me via the Café with your email address and I will be happy to share.

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

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    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Can't wait to get my hands and vocal chords on this!

  10. #8

    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    Can't wait to get my hands and vocal chords on this!
    It's already in the mail, so to speak. Email delivery time varies, of course, but you should have it soon enough.
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  11. #9
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    I asked Victor whether he minded if I tried this as an instrumental, giving the baritone part to solo mandocello. He kindly consented, although expressing some gentle doubt as to the viability of the concept...

    So, here is my attempt at this beautiful tune.

    Victor Kioulaphides: "Alla mia bella insensibile"

    My recording uses the baritone setting, but I am playing the vocal line as a mandocello instrumental. To add texture, I have doubled it on tremolo octave mandolin in unison -- I wanted the resonant sonority of the plucked mandocello, as well as the richness of the OM tremolo. I will let you (and Victor!) be the judge as to whether this works, but I had fun playing it on mandocello as it's such a pretty melody!

    Apologies to Victor for taking liberties with his score!

    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello (x2)
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    1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin
    1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin
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    Martin

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    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Ciao ,grazie maestro per la tua musica mi chiamo raimondo sono di napoli e suono chitarra ,mandolino e mandola non č il mio lavoro ,ma quando suono lo faccio con impegno e passione,la mia maiel č raimondoacca@gmail.com , se puoi mandami lo spartito e anche altri se vuoi,,ti ringrazio e scusami se non ho scritto in inglese....a presto raimondo accardo

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    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    [QUOTE=Martin Jonas;1726657]I asked Victor whether he minded if I tried this as an instrumental, giving the baritone part to solo mandocello.
    I object! The baritone part should be given to a mandocello player. (That's me!)
    Hope to perform this at CMSA, also hoping to recruit and work with a mandolin ensemble as my backup group.
    Jim

  15. #12

    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Quote Originally Posted by raimondo View Post
    Ciao ,grazie maestro per la tua musica mi chiamo raimondo sono di napoli e suono chitarra ,mandolino e mandola non č il mio lavoro ,ma quando suono lo faccio con impegno e passione,la mia maiel č raimondoacca@gmail.com , se puoi mandami lo spartito e anche altri se vuoi,,ti ringrazio e scusami se non ho scritto in inglese....a presto raimondo accardo
    Thank you for writing, Raimondo. I will send you the score and parts tonight, as soon as I get home.
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  16. #13

    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Hello, Raimondo. I have just sent you the score and parts for this piece in both versions, both the original one for tenor and the subsequent arrangement for baritone. I hope you and your colleagues enjoy it. I am delighted to see such a pocket-size composition travel so far and wide. Then again, the aesthetic is as Italianate as it can be so it will feel perfectly at home in Naples.

    Kudos to Martin for a lovely instrumental version! The tradition of playing songs on instruments goes far, far back so this is precisely in that august vein. A refreshing experience for a composer, to hear one's work in some way different from how it was conceived... I always strive to make my instrumental writing singable so there's probably some divine justice in hearing my songs played.

    Martin goes above and beyond in his YouTube video with posting those classy, vintage images of the poet, Dionysios Solomós, and the lovely, verdant island of Zákynthos, the southernmost of the Ionian Islands. By way of a literary/historical aside, it was just the day before yesterday (August 4th, back in 1865) that Solomós' Hymn to Liberty became the lyrics of Greece's national anthem.

    Cheers to one and all,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

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    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    I'll be performing this beautiful aria with a mandolin ensemble at the CMSA open mic. Thank you for the wonderful music Victor, I hope we do it justice.
    Jim

  19. #15

    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Very happy to hear that, Jim. I hope that everyone in attendance at CMSA will enjoy this little piece. I'm happy to have made this arrangement.

    Music is to be shared; that's my "guiding star", if you will. Following it, of course, does involve some cost in time and labor. For example, I am currently wrestling with the layout and notation of my Four Love Songs. After a long and happy performance history as songs for soprano and piano since I first wrote them in 2001, they are now being taken up by several mezzos, countertenors, what have you. I can never say no to such kind and gentle requests for my songs in a lower tessitura. So back to the "shop", so to speak, trying to faithfully transpose not only the notes themselves but also the mood and character of the songs.

    I am currently also composing a brand new mini-opera, a play with music on the theme of the Nativity, slated rather hurriedly for premiere this holiday season! While being a fairly short composition overall, it includes four roles, adult chorus, children's chorus, and a mixed chamber orchestra of winds, strings, harp, piano, and percussion. Each day, another stakeholder asks for something else: the children will need something lively to sing; the adult chorus may involve a bit of dancing, too; can we please have some tambourine thrown in for good cheer and measure? You get the idea. That's my life.

    Bleary-eyed but happy,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  20. #16
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    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    I do understand the conflict between "music belongs to everyone" and "How does a composer make a living?" When I was a college choral director we were required to have valid paid-for copies (no cheezy photocopies) at performances and festivals. Performers and teachers should support the artists who provide their material. Do you have a site for "donations" to support your work? I have seen these on otherwise-free music sites. You have many fans around the world who appreciate your work and your artistic generosity. And then you could buy some eye-drops.
    By the way, my wife might be playing glockenspiel when Oregon Mandolin Orchestra performs Mozart's Sleigh Ride (Schlittenfahrt). I think your opera should include a part for glockenspiel, don't you? Oh--and roller skates: you need roller skaters!

  21. #17

    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    You raise many, interesting points. Here is my reply, perhaps too involved for anyone to care to read it. My views, of course, are just my views, not universal values.

    It's fair to say that the composer's business model has changed substantially in recent decades. The time-honored cash flow from the publication of hard copies is, alas, largely a thing of the past. It was killed by photocopiers quite a long while ago; digitized sheet music was just the coup-de-grace. I cannot say I lament this very much. Over the past 20 years, I have gradually "divorced" most of my commercial publishers, or our licensing agreements simply expired and we never renewed them. But the math is rather bleak: you sell five copies of a piece of mine for $12, I get the usual 10% composers get, my net earnings are barely a cappuccino in New York City.

    At this point in time, my only significant income streams are from upfront commission fees (sizable but sporadic) and, most of all, licensing of live performances— something that, hilariously enough, had been pronounced dead ages ago. I chuckle at the recollection of all the Cassandras who predicted the demise of the live performance 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago. LPs didn't kill it, CDs didn't, YouTube hasn't, either. People still enjoy hearing live music— and perhaps always will. We like going out, hanging out with friends, seeing other people, chatting during intermission etc. That's not a strictly musical value, it's a human value, I think.

    So I am always happy to see my royalties flow in, even though of course they are a very unstable source of income. They are also, ah... geographically lopsided. Most of them come from Europe, most often the UK, the Netherlands, some from Italy and France, some from Germany and Belgium. The US plays a significant role, too, but most of my works' performances Stateside are in unlicensed venues; in analytical terms, I get far more "secondary marketing" value from America than real, hard cash. Other places, largely music-lawless (Russia, former Eastern Europe, Latin America) bring me good news of the pat-on-the-back variety but not a penny in real revenues.

    A major market is Japan, bringing in virtually every type of income, from licensed live performances to sales of hard copy CDs and mostly commercial downloads to commissions for new works. One, single country figures bigger on my royalty statements than the entire Asian mainland! All this may change, of course. I can see on the horizon all sorts of things that are taking shape, little by little. As of this writing, I am only describing what happens now, not what may happen further down the line. In any case, as the hilarious oxymoron goes, predictions are hard— especially about the future.

    So this is the quilt-like story of just one professional composer. Others may do otherwise, there are many, much bigger fish in the pond, I am but a speck of dust in the universe, YMMV and all that. I have no regrets. Once I retire from academia— my more regular, day-to-day work for a living— I hope and plan to put my catalog of works in better order, promote my more presentable works, brush up on some old scores, compose some new ones. As Bach said late in his life, in perhaps the greatest understatement in all of music history, "I've worked hard". That's all I can do. Trying to second-guess future audiences is a fool's errand and a waste of time, IMHO.

    Cheers,

    Victor
    It is not man who lives, but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

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  23. #18
    Registered User Classicalcomp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Concert aria for baritone and plucked orchestra

    Victor. You’ve always been amazingly generous. I love the occasional email with a piece that you have released to us. It’s a great thing that you’re doing for mandolin (extended) and it is appreciated!!
    (I was) my own teacher and pupil, and thanks to the efforts
    of both, they were not discontented with each other. -- Segovia

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