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Thread: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

  1. #1

    Default Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Dear mandolin friends around the world,

    I hope 2020 brings you success in all your endeavors. For me, the year has started with the warm afterglow of a performance of my little Idillio Sinfonico by the Läänesaarte Kammerorkester, conducted by Maestro Edoardo Narbona in Estonia. Both the sensitive interpretation and the cinematography, featuring the lovely landscapes of the Baltic Sea, have left me smiling in delight.

    So I am happy to share this performance with you all, along with “inside story” of this composition. As some of you will notice, this is an orchestration for string orchestra of my earlier Idillio for unaccompanied mandolin.



    The original score is freely available at the site below for your perusal or perhaps to illustrate the curiously organic evolution of a musical composition from one medium to another...

    http://www.paperclipdesign.com/vk/

    My best wishes to each and every one of you.

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

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  3. #2
    Registered User Frankdolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Wow, Victor! Just Beautiful

  4. #3

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Thank you! Indeed, they did a lovely job, both with the music and with the cinematography. I couldn't be happier with the outcome.
    It is not man that lives but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  5. #4

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Groovy.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Thanks, Eugene. Curious, how such a itsy, bitsy composition may have just landed me a HUGE movie soundtrack deal...

    Like Brahms and Ravel, I am a chronic, habitual arranger of my own music; sometimes that odd, quirky habit pays off.

    Cheers,

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

  7. #6
    Registered User Eric Hanson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Victor,
    Congratulations on the success of your composition!
    The piece is very moving, and at the same time comforting.
    May your success move you to continuing to provide more of this beauty to the world we live in.
    Eric
    Eric Hanson
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  8. #7

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Thank you, Eric! This piece (or rather this arrangement) was my humble homage to Giacomo Puccini and was made around either his birthday or some round-number anniversary of his. I was thinking mostly of his Crisantemi, the sonority in that glorious orchestral score of his, the shimmering strings, the Mediterranean aura...

    But Edoardo (the conductor, who is Italian) tells me it sounds rather English instead— a compliment in his mind, as he apprenticed in England and absolutely loves the music of Elgar. Then again, the Estonian musicians on the video tell me it sounds rather Scandinavian, kind of like Grieg— again, a compliment in their minds.

    All of which goes to corroborate the old adage that music is an international language.
    It is not man that lives but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    I can't help wondering how this would sound with (Hey, it's the Cafe!) mandolins. I am not sure the sweet sustain of the bows would be matched by tremolo; on the other hand, you did start with a duo-style mandolin piece.
    We tried the beautiful Adagio for Strings by Barber a few years back and I don't think it worked with mandolins; similar texture.
    What do you think,Victor?

  10. #9

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Oh, I think this would work just fine! Barber's Adagio is a much longer piece than my Idillio so I think that sheer endurance becomes a challenge; many mandolinists (myself included) may not be able to sustain an even, flowing tremolo for all that long. But this little piece should work just fine. Besides, as you say, it was originally conceived as a duo-style mandolin piece and that is most certainly playable and in fact has been played effectively far and wide. So, why not?
    It is not man that lives but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Thanks for the "OK" on that Victor; is the full orchestral score available?

  12. #11

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Absolutely! I just emailed you the score and (bowed string) parts.
    It is not man that lives but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Listened to the Frati performance on Mandolin Mondays. I spend most of my time in the bass clef world with my K4 mandocello, but I need to move up in the (clef) world and try this beautiful piece. I am now studying with Fabio Giuduce (mandocdello, liuto cantabile) but he also showed me how to hold the little old bowlback I bought at a CMSA convention. I pick and chop on my Stiver F5 for bluegrass, but the old bowlback ("American Conservatory"--probably L&H) has a light sweet sound that fits you piece. Thank you again Victor.

  14. #13

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Thanks, Jim! I also noticed that performance via the constant and often jumbled stream of social media. I am always amazed at how far some of my "babies" have walked over the years. Sometimes I hesitate to forward such notices as we are approaching a global, digital ecosystem where everyone seems to get everything.

    Stay well and keep plucking away, my friend, no matter in what clef!

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

  15. #14
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    Listened to the Frati performance on Mandolin Mondays.
    I almost forgot how much I love this piece, Victor. For convenience sake, here is Dorina's perfomance embedded here:

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  17. #15

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Thanks, Jim. Very kind of you, as always.

    This is a classic case of how poor composers' predictive skills are. Such an itsy-bitsy little piece, sooooooo much mileage! This has only confirmed my lifelong conviction that composers should just shut up, sit down, and write the best music they know how to. All that speculative second-guessing of audiences is in vain.

    Cheers,

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

  18. #16
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    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Agreed; the best music is about music. I went to a songwriter workshop and the talk was about "the audience only remembers the beginning and end, so the middle doesn't matter.... and don't make the song too long or they will lose interest." Tell that to Mozart, Bob Dylan, or Bruce Springsteen. I think good music takes on a life of its own, and needs to be respected. I also don't like singing in jam circles, because the song gets chopped up--sing a verse, somebody plays the chorus, somebody else plays the verse, eventually you sing the rest of the song... that loses continuity. It works OK for instrumentals, but not a song with interesting lyrics.
    BUT... I authorize you to totally ignore any of my opinions and just continue writing good music!

  19. #17

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    I absolutely love and often play your compositions for mandolin, and this arrangement for string orchestra is just wonderful, thank you for the music!

  20. #18

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Thank you very much for your kind words, Xavier. I am always happy to hear that my little solo mandolin pieces are enjoyed far and wide. That's what they're for, after all.

    In a rather odd way, I am more of an 18th-century musician than anything else. Once I write something, I see no harm in arranging it, "reincarnating" it in some other guise. Naturally not all compositions lend themselves to effective transcription; some works are just too specific, too idiomatic for a particular instrumentation. But I think this one worked out quite well and I'm truly delighted with how far the orchestral version has traveled.

    Cheers,

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

  21. #19

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Imhoff View Post
    BUT... I authorize you to totally ignore any of my opinions and just continue writing good music!
    Music, like life in general, is a journey; not all of us start from the same point of departure, nor travel the same route, nor arrive at the same place. And that, as my first composition teacher used to say, is what makes the world go round.

    Cheers,

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

  22. #20
    Registered User Mike Romkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Beautiful arrangement for the chamber group. Especially following the earlier Mandolin Monday video. All this AND free sheet music! You made my Wednesday. : ) This will give me something to work on along with "Glory in the Meetin' House"! I look forward to exploring more of your music.
    '09 Gilchrist Model 1, “July 9” Red Diamond F-5, '12 Duff F-5, '19 Collings MT2, ’24 A2-Z, ’24 F-2, '13 Collings mandola, '82 D-35, Gibson Keb Mo.

  23. #21

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Thanks, Mike. Perhaps the only silver lining of these strange times we're living through is that music is always at hand: the charming mandolin, some sheet music, the warmth and coziness of home...
    It is not man that lives but his work. (Ioannis Kapodistrias)

  24. #22
    Registered User Mike Romkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    If you don't mind sharing the big score, I'd love to see a copy. That sort of thing is at the outer edge of my ability but I do play with a couple of symphony violinists. We might have some fun with it, once the plague abates. mgromkey@gmail.com
    '09 Gilchrist Model 1, “July 9” Red Diamond F-5, '12 Duff F-5, '19 Collings MT2, ’24 A2-Z, ’24 F-2, '13 Collings mandola, '82 D-35, Gibson Keb Mo.

  25. #23

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Hello again, Mike.

    I just zapped you an email with the score and parts attached as PDF files. I hope you enjoy playing through it, whenever that becomes possible.

    Cheers,

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

  26. #24
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Hi Victor, I just found and listened to this. Beautiful! It sounded familiar, of course because I had heard the mandolin version some while back. But the string orchestral version has more depth and nuance (to me); and, I have to agree with the conductor in this, sounds very Elgar-esque to my ears. Nice orchestration - I really like it! Congratulations, and hope you keep on re-arranging. ;-)

    bratsche
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  27. #25

    Default Re: Musical Reincarnation ;-)

    Hello, old friend. Glad you enjoyed it. If consensus is Elgar, Elgar it is. I do admire his music and its fabled, expansive "Englishness"— whatever that means.

    Yes, arrangement is composition; if done with artistic sincerity, if approached as a truly creative endeavor, it's not just a matter of slapping some paint on the surface of an old object and calling it a day. I genuinely enjoy working on pre-existent musical material. After all, I have been arranging Greek folk music for mandolin for years; why not take the liberty of arranging something I had written myself to begin with? Several mandolin works of mine have "mutated" that way...

    Besides, as I straddle #300 on my catalogue of works (and age 60 ) I have no qualms about viewing and treating my intellectual property as something very deeply mine, the work of a lifetime in music. Time and again, I use a piece I had written perhaps years ago as the basis for some new work. Commissions are fast and furious affairs, anyway; the ink is barely dry on the contract and the commissioning party is already writing to ask, "Is it ready yet?" So I treat my "inventory" with affection.

    Stay well, stay in touch.

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

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