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Thread: James Oswald: Divertimento I

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    Default James Oswald: Divertimento I

    Pretty often is easier to play a tune, than to describe after that, what is this I have done. So it is now. Just my version of James Oswalds Divertimento I.
    https://youtu.be/6AsUnYE59A0

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    Default Re: James Oswald: Divertimento I

    Beautiful!

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    Default Re: James Oswald: Divertimento I

    A beautiful performance! I know this piece pretty well (although I usually cheat and play it in a lower key) and it's a pleasure to hear it done so nicely on mandolin. I especially like your pick and fingers approach to the last movement. Many thanks.

    John G.

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    Default Re: James Oswald: Divertimento I

    Quote Originally Posted by John Goodin View Post
    A beautiful performance! I know this piece pretty well (although I usually cheat and play it in a lower key) and it's a pleasure to hear it done so nicely on mandolin. I especially like your pick and fingers approach to the last movement. Many thanks.

    John G.
    Thank you! I can say that it was not very easy to „make the plan come together“, especially in the third movement, but somehow it succeeded. In what key did you played this tune and did you tried the other ones? They all are in C. Toomas

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    Default Re: James Oswald: Divertimento I

    Hi Toomas,

    Way back around 2006 I transcribed the 12 Divertimentos into Sibelius from a copy of Oswald's original publication. I put those transcriptions on a web page that you can find here: http://www.mandotopia.com/oswald/oswald12.htm

    The text on that page explains that I also transposed them all down to G on the theory that Oswald himself intended these pieces to be playable mostly in first position on his intended instrument the "guittar." In the process I removed many of the double-stops and chords that would be easy to execute in the guittar's tuning but are much harder (and sometimes impossible) in standard mandolin tuning.

    Once I did that it was easy with Sibelius to transpose pieces to a variety of keys for playing on the mandolin. I would often do that for my own enjoyment. So I have probably played Divertimento no. 1 in four or five different keys over the years.

    Around 2016 the folks at Mel Bay agreed to publish my versions of these pieces in a variety of keys and with only a few double-stops, intended for mandolin. You can find that link here:
    https://www.melbay.com/Products/3053...-mandolin.aspx

    At that point I removed the free versions in the key of G from my website, so as not to compete with the Mel Bay book, but I left the original transcriptions in C available there.

    I'm a big fan of James Oswald's music and I have derived tremendous pleasure from his work for many years. Your version of Divertimento no. 1 is one of the best interpretations I have heard. Far better than any of my own attempts. Thanks again.

    John G.

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    Default Re: James Oswald: Divertimento I

    Quote Originally Posted by John Goodin View Post
    Hi Toomas,

    Way back around 2006 I transcribed the 12 Divertimentos into Sibelius from a copy of Oswald's original publication. I put those transcriptions on a web page that you can find here: http://www.mandotopia.com/oswald/oswald12.htm

    The text on that page explains that I also transposed them all down to G on the theory that Oswald himself intended these pieces to be playable mostly in first position on his intended instrument the "guittar." In the process I removed many of the double-stops and chords that would be easy to execute in the guittar's tuning but are much harder (and sometimes impossible) in standard mandolin tuning.

    Once I did that it was easy with Sibelius to transpose pieces to a variety of keys for playing on the mandolin. I would often do that for my own enjoyment. So I have probably played Divertimento no. 1 in four or five different keys over the years.

    Around 2016 the folks at Mel Bay agreed to publish my versions of these pieces in a variety of keys and with only a few double-stops, intended for mandolin. You can find that link here:
    https://www.melbay.com/Products/3053...-mandolin.aspx

    At that point I removed the free versions in the key of G from my website, so as not to compete with the Mel Bay book, but I left the original transcriptions in C available there.

    I'm a big fan of James Oswald's music and I have derived tremendous pleasure from his work for many years. Your version of Divertimento no. 1 is one of the best interpretations I have heard. Far better than any of my own attempts. Thanks again.

    John G.
    Lot of thanks to you for these words! The work you’ve done is very impressive and also we can say now that someway your transcriptions have come back to you. I downloaded the the original transcriptions in C from the same web page: http://www.mandotopia.com/oswald/oswald12.htm. It was some years ago, fail info shows dates 20.01.2006 and 09.09.2010 but I think these are the dates you created these PDF fails. Strange fact is that the folder they are in is created by me and that is modified in 23.11.2011. Anyway, one is sure, first time I revised Divertismento I and some others in 04.05.2016. Then they waited their time until about a week ago I thought, why not to record at least one of them.
    It’s a good idea to play one piece in different keys. Musical history and joy of music are not separate things. One is not excluding another. If changing the key helps to play something and if it’s fun, why not to try that. I read that Oswald wrote and published many Scottish folk tunes. As an expert of Oswald’s music, can you suggest some more music for solo instruments by him? Toomas

    P.S http://www.mandotopia.com/oswald/DG1.pdf
    is the link to the sheet music of the Divertismento I,
    may I also add this link to the description page of the youtube video „for those who may follow“?

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    Default Re: James Oswald: Divertimento I

    Toomas, I knew that my transcriptions of the Oswald 12 had been downloaded many times years ago when I would check statistics on them. I haven't done that for several years now. I am glad they found their way to you. I was able to copy the original Oswald publication from a link on Rob MacKillop's website (I checked today and that link no longer works). Oswald's own printing is very elegant. Rob MacKillop probably knows more than anyone alive about James Oswald and his music, especially his music for the "wire-strung guittar" that is often called the English guitar. Hi website is full of good information about Oswald and his music.

    Even more than the guittar collections I think I enjoy Oswald's 96 Airs for the Seasons. These were pieces for solo melody instrument and figured bass. Again, around 15 years ago I was able to download copies of most of the original publications from a library in Scotland and I enjoyed making my own Sibelius versions of the melodies and playing them. Mel Bay agreed to publish my selection of 24 of these pieces, adapted for solo mandolin, in 2018:
    https://www.melbay.com/Products/3074...es-oswald.aspx

    As with the 12 Divertimentos I changed the key for many of them to be easier to play on the mandolin.

    Finally there is an online publisher in the UK, notAmos Performing Editions, that has created digital modern editions of hundreds of Oswald's works, including the guittar music and the Airs for the Seasons. They are priced individually at very reasonable cost. You might want to look at some of those too.
    https://www.notamos.co.uk/

    I would be honored if you add the link to my Oswald page to your YouTube description. I'm always happy to share my enthusiasm for James Oswald's music with others. This has been a fun exchange.

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    Default Re: James Oswald: Divertimento I

    I don't know if it's easily available any longer, but I also highly recommend this CD:

    MacKillop, Rob. 2001. James Oswald: Twelve Divertimentis for the Guittar (1759). ASV Gaudeamus CD GAU 221.


    Rob plays the entire set fingerstyle on an original 18th-c. English guittar. Given the open-chord tuning of the instrument for which the original publication was intended, the amount of over-ringing sustain was a bit of a revelation. It really changed my perception of these works.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, check https://robmackillop.net/guitar/18th.../james-oswald/

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  14. #9
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    Default Re: James Oswald: Divertimento I

    I've just discovered this thread. I've updated my "guittar" pages: https://robmackillop.net/guitar/18th...trung-guittar/

    and here is a dedicated James Oswald page with thee free scores: https://robmackillop.net/guitar/18th.../james-oswald/

    Any questions, just ask.

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