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Thread: Ditson Victory

  1. #26
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ditson Victory

    Alison came over to the US for at least one tour and I emailed with her a little back then hoping she could come over again but that didn’t work out and she got sick and we all lost her way too soon. Our friends in the U.K. heard her play and learned from her. So sad.
    Jim

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  2. #27

    Default Re: Ditson Victory

    I actually booked Alison to a gig here in Ohio way back in April 2005. (She was planning to relocate to the US at the time.) Weird circumstances ensued, and she had to cancel. She was very kind to me, arranged to have me do a little pro bono mandoconsulting in 2007 for the Musée du Palais Lascaris in Nice (unfortunately, all by e-mail; I didn't get to visit Nice). She is missed.

  3. #28
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ditson Victory

    I do seem to remember that, Eugene, although I think she did come over and played another time before that, right? Her website is still online here.

    Boy, this thread has gone a little way off-track. Oh well...
    Jim

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    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  4. #29

    Default Re: Ditson Victory

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I do seem to remember that, Eugene, although I think she did come over and played another time before that, right?
    She may have. I honestly don't recall.

  5. #30
    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ditson Victory

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    As for strings and picks for classical mandolin today, I think it varies on the style you play and the school you attend or techniques you follow.
    Thanks, Jim, that’s a better way of saying what I was trying to get across — there are trends and traditions, and it’s helpful to be aware of them. I certainly wouldn’t offer my observations as universal; surely the classical mandolin world is big enough for differing viewpoints and conclusions. I suspect, though, if the goal is to extend the expressive range of the mandolin, we should probably all throw our various picks away, and keep only the long Roman picks. And take lessons in Ranieri-style technique. Alas, it’s a bit late in the game for me to change!

    I also use various picks, including (occasionally) the guitar pick teardrops. But my original point was just that since bowlback and carved designs often do not use the same picks and strings (and the vendors tend to ignore the vintage and bowlback markets completely) it can be difficult (especially for newcomers) to find the right equipment for bowlbacks, vintage or otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I still maintain that very few people were playing classical music on mandolin even in that golden era. . .repertoire consisted of pop and vaudeville tunes, ragtime, and some plectral semi-classical pieces.
    Fortunately we have a pretty good snapshot of what mandolin concerts sounded like, since Crescendo Magazine usually published concert programs with each issue. Lots of issues are online now; I see University of Rochester has dozens of issues available online, from 1910 through 1927. Below are two overlapping images of the same page (just to be more readable), from Crescendo’s June 1910 program listings.

    For sure, it was primarily popular music, but the classical influence is easy to see, since emulating European art forms was mainstream at that time. Ragtime: originally conceived as a form of American chamber music. Tin Pan Alley songs: sometimes borrowing from European art song. Small- and large-group arrangements of popular arias, and familiar themes from classical symphonies etc. You could say it’s not really classical music, but I’d view much of this rep as an extension of classical music traditions—which have their own common ground with popular music.

    And I’d add another category not yet mentioned: The golden era mandolin “art music,” mainly attributed to the early American virtuosos and composer/teachers (Abt, Stauffer, Odell, Stahl, etc.) and their Italian counterparts, all represented in these programs. One might expect that since the Crescendo editorial stance was in favor of separating mandolin from its (presumed) humble folk origins, perhaps these programs have been cherry-picked to make that point. But I think it’s clear that classical music traditions played a big part in the foundations of early American mandolin music, and those, in turn, on the mandolin music of today.

    Crescendo, June 1910, program listings:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Exploring Classical Mandolin (Berklee Press, 2015)
    Progressive Melodies for Mandocello (Amazon, 2019)
    New Solos for Classical Mandolin (Hal Leonard Press, 2020)

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